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Chimp Culture, community

Vancouver Tech Companies Gear up for TechPong

Lisa Manfield September 25, 2014

Since late August, 18 Vancouver tech companies have been sharpening their ping pong skills in preparation for an epic tournament in the name of a good cause.

The cause? Downtown Eastside charities working to alleviate poverty. The event? TechPong.

Ready, Set, Serve!

On October 1, TechPong - a ping pong tournament with purpose launched by Chimp in partnership with Unbounce - will be the culmination of unique and creative fundraising efforts that have raised more than $26,000 so far for Downtown Eastside charities.

“The response from the tech community has been phenomenal,” said Steven Davis, business development manager at Chimp who dreamed up TechPong as a means of galvanizing Vancouver’s vibrant tech community in the lead-up to giving season. “The enthusiasm we’ve seen is a clear sign that Vancouver’s vibrant tech community is perfectly poised to lead the way in giving back to the neighbourhood where many tech companies do business.”

Participants including Hootsuite, Vision Critical, Mobify, BuildDirect, Quick Mobile and Invoke Labs among others, have raised a minimum of $1,000 each to enter players into TechPong, and many have gone above and beyond the minimum entry fee to raise additional funds for charities of their choice.

“Our first office was in the Downtown Eastside and it's important to us to give back to the community now that we're in a position to do so,” said Unbounce CEO Rick Perreault.

"TechPong is a fun way for our team and the tech sector to rally together for a good cause." -- Rick Perreault, CEO, Unbounce

TechPong gives Vancouver’s tech community an opportunity to support charities of their choice fighting poverty in a neighbourhood where many employees work and live. It’s also a chance for entrepreneurial change-makers to initiate fundraising activities that benefit their corporate culture.

“We’ve given to the Downtown Eastside before, so this has been well received,” said Kyle Gruen, business development manager at BuildDirect. “But it’s been more social this time. Having a specific call to action when people are busy has been a good thing. It’s cool to see people having so much fun while raising money.”

Creativity in Action

Unbounce2

Chimp’s online donation platform has allowed companies to get creative with their fundraising efforts.

“When companies and individuals can participate in an event that combines fun with charitable giving, it gives new people access to participate in charity,” said John Bromley, CEO of Chimp.

“Combining fun and charitable giving. That’s what Chimp is designed to enable.”-- John Bromley, CEO, Chimp

Participants have raised funds with initiatives ranging from fitness and eating challenges, to workplace productivity games to Jimmy Fallon-style lipsync contests. And that’s just at Unbounce!

“Our entire team has gotten behind this and it’s been amazing,” said Sarah McCredie, sponsorship and PR manager at Unbounce.

Unbounce’s customer success team, for example, upped their productivity by adding some fun and charitable challenges to their daily work routine. Every time the phone rings more than three times, or whenever a team member gets caught “talking like a hipster,” team members make a donation to their fundraising group.

While Vancouver’s tech community has always been known for its love of ping pong, TechPong has clearly demonstrated the sector’s passion for charitable giving. As for who will be crowned king of the pong? That remains to be seen.

TechPong takes place October 1, from 6 - 10 pm at the Imperial (319 Main St.) Spectators are invited to cheer on their favourite teams. Tickets are $10 and include a drink plus appetizers. One hundred percent of the proceeds go to Downtown Eastside charities.

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