A collective of startups in Waterloo has announced Start-Ups for School, a volunteer outreach initiative for small local startups to help children access enriching educational experiences.
“We want to make sure the Waterloo Region tech community builds a reputation of giving back to the local community.”
“Many tech communities in the US are facing backlash from their local communities,” stated Tomas van Stee, founder of participating startup EnPowered. “We want to make sure that the Waterloo Region tech community builds a reputation of giving back to the local community. We may be small but we can still support the community that has helped us grow.”
Start-Ups for School currently has two participating companies including EnPowered, which was founded in 2015 and uses AI to predict spikes in electricity prices. Kiiah, is the second participating startup, also founded in 2015, running an eGift registry created to encourage meaningful gifting. The companies officially announced their initiative on March 15.
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Any startup, or someone employed by a startup, can join the initiative. The group plans to develop projects looking to benefit the region’s children, schools, or other community organizations. The group stated that potential projects could include fundraising, mentorships, educational workshops, tutoring, and more.
The collective noted that it hopes to grow in size, both in terms of participating companies and impact upon the local community. The collective is currently gearing up for its first fundraiser with The Family and Children’s Services Foundation. Its goal is to raise $5000 CAD for the Resilience Project, which endeavors to help children build confidence, self-esteem, and self-efficacy.
“Some are fortunate to receive doses of adversity spread over time. For some youth and families’ adversity comes all at once,” said Hayden Dent, founder of Kiiah. “Our capacity to be resilient and bear these dark periods can make a difference between breakthrough or breakdown. Resilience is a life skill worth of social cultivation, especially in our youth.”