#Tech4SickKids launches campaign to raise $25 million for SickKids hospital


Last night at the MaRS Discovery District, the Toronto tech community officially launched the #Tech4SickKids campaign to raise $25 million for the hospital in five years.

Co-chaired by #MovetheDial founder Jodi Kovitz and MaRS venture services president Salim Teja, the event outlined three main initiatives the council (of which BetaKit is a proud member) is working toward.

The community is hoping to support the hospital’s first chair in bioinformatics and AI dedicated to developing tools that analyze complex patient data; supporting the hospital’s big data and analytics initiatives; and constructing a state-of-the art emergency suite.

The energy was high as the community rallied around the cause of modernizing the 68-year-old facility, and some members of the advisory council shared their own experiences with the hospital.

Kovitz spent countless nights in SickKids after her daughter was diagnosed with the rare Kawasaki disease; Uberflip CMO Randy Frisch spent time in SickKids after getting diagnosed with diabetes; and Intelex’s Mark and Jade Jaine trusted the hospital to take care of their son born premature. The common thread between the stories was an immense gratitude and a desire to give back.

“We all know organizations and cities that embrace this technology — AI, data science, wearables, and IoT — and all these world-class things that we want SicKKids to embrace, organizations that embrace this will win,” said Faktory Ventures’ Candice Faktor, a member of the advisory council.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to change the future of children’s health. The people of Toronto and beyond have done it before and we are poised to do it again,” said Ted Garrard, CEO of SickKids Foundation. “It’s going to take all of us to achieve this ambitious goal – donors who give monthly, at their local retailer, at community events, through employee campaigns, you name it. We are especially grateful to our 110 Catalyst Donors, each of whom has already committed $1 million or more, for their generosity and for helping us build the momentum needed to unleash the full potential of SickKids.”

There are several ways the tech community can help reach the $25 million goal. Individuals can make one-time or monthly donations (Autonomic founder Amar Varma challenged 500 members of the tech community to match his $250,000 gift by donating $100 a year over five years), pledge one percent of their company’s proceeds after an exit through the Upside Foundation towards SickKids, or run events and raise awareness on Twitter with #Tech4SickKids.

For more information on the campaign, check out the website here.

Photo via Twitter

Jessica Galang

Jessica Galang

Freelance tech writer. Former BetaKit News Editor.

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