Canada Learning Code has received $117,149 because the Toronto Raptors beat the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, bringing home the championship trophy to Canada for the first time in NBA history.
“Canada Learning Code is honoured to receive the support of #TechBet to create a lasting impact from the Toronto Raptors championship.”
– Melissa Sariffodeen, Canada Learning Code CEO
The funding came about because two tech organizations, TechToronto and San Francisco-based sf.citi, launched #TechBet ahead of the NBA Finals. The initiative was devised as a way to celebrate the NBA Finals, while challenging local tech entrepreneurs, in two of North America’s biggest tech hubs, to raise money for charity.
If the Raptors won, TechToronto pledged to support Canada Learning Code, if the Warriors had won, sf.citi would have provided the money to Circle the Schools, an organization that aims to help students prepare to live, work, and thrive in the Bay Area. Unfortunately for the Bay Area, the Raptors beat the Warriors on their home court throughout the Finals, with the final three games ever to be played at Oracle Arena resulting in losses.
“Canada Learning Code is honoured to receive the support of #TechBet to create a lasting impact from the Toronto Raptors championship with a legacy beyond the basketball court,” said Melissa Sariffodeen, co-founder and CEO of Canada Learning Code. “This contribution will help us reach more communities coast-to-coast to help us continue to empower youth to be builders, and not just consumers, of technology.”
The #TechBet sought to bring together tech leaders from both cities to support their local teams. TechTO and sf.citi put up the first $10,000 for each city and challenged their local technology communities to raise the stakes to $100,000. The organizations managed to surpass their target by more than $17,000, similar to how Kyle Lowry outscored the Warriors 11-2 by himself in the opening minutes of the deciding Game 6. Lowry finished with a heroic 26-10-7 statline.
“Inspiring some friendly rivalry between tech leaders in the Bay Area and Toronto, the TechBet between sf.citi and TechTO united our communities around an important cause,” said Jennifer Stojkovic, executive director of sf.citi. “Even though we were disappointed to see the Warriors break their winning streak, we know all donations are supporting future tech talent through Canada Learning Code. On this bet, there was really no losing.”
Notable contributors to the bet included Shopify CEO Tobias Lütke, Toronto Mayor John Tory, American angel investor Ron Conway, and Michele Romanow, a Canadian tech entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and Dragon on CBC’s Dragons Den. These tech leaders were certainly inspired by the notable contributions of Raptors players Pascal Siakam, Serge Ibaka, and Fred VanVleet, who earned himself an NBA Finals MVP vote for his clutch shooting. TechTO and sf.citi granted Canada Learning Code the donation at the demo day of Canada Learning Code’s Creative Computing Summer Camp, where participants have the opportunity to showcase their coding creations with their friends, family, and peers.
“I am proud that the Raptors won and even more excited that the tech community raised over $100,000 for Canada Learning Code,” said Alex Norman, co-founder of TechToronto. “This will help make our community more accessible and inclusive.”
Feature image source: Sportsnet.