At Betakit150, the Canadian Startup community helped to build significant momentum for our 150×150 campaign.  With Canada Day only 9 days away, 14 new companies pledged to give back to their communities by joining The Upside Foundation.
Harley Finkelstein, Shopify COO, kicked off the discussion by speaking about founders who find success having an obligation to give back to the community and support the entrepreneurs coming up behind them.
Saadia Muzaffar, Tech Entrepreneur and Founder of TechGirls Canada, spoke about the importance of building a purpose-driven company, and the opportunity for Canada to differentiate itself from Silicon Valley by building great companies while also maintaining our sense of citizenship and humanity.
Ben Zifkin, CEO of Hubba, spoke about his decision-making algorithm which led him to give back with The Upside Foundation:

1.    Are you going to give back to the community or not?  If so… 

2.    Are you going to give back as an individual or as a company?  If as a company…

3.    Are you going to do it directly or through another organization like Upside?

Ben made a strong case for giving back to a community that you’re benefiting from, the benefits giving can have for your company, and the benefits of being part of The Upside Foundation community (including the amplification of your giving through joint initiatives).  Watch the video of Ben’s talk here.
Finally, Mike Katchen, CEO of Wealthsimple, spoke about his decision to give back with The Upside Foundation.  He reminded us that all founders, fundamentally, are trying to create the future that they hope is going to exist tomorrow- where they’re solving big problems by building great companies- but that there are lots of problems that companies can’t solve, which must be led by the nonprofit sector.  Watch the video of Mike’s talk here.
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To close off the event, we invited all those who are part of a company who has pledged to give back with Upside to the front of the room- 20 people stood up.  Then, we invited all those who would like to join our movement and also pledge to give back to join us- and 16 people, representing 14 different companies, stood up.  It was an inspiring moment.

So far, 132 companies have pledged to give back with The Upside Foundation.  4 days remain to join our movement before Canada Day- an opportunity for your company to make an impact and express your Canadian values in a meaningful way, at a momentous time in our country’s history.  Will you join us, and be a part of the 150×150?