Start-ups on social
Cloud computing giant Salesforce has launched a $50 million initiative to support start-ups leaning on its technology to do social good. The Salesforce Impact Fund will invest in firms active in workforce development and education, equality, sustainability and the social sector with a view to accelerating their development.
Among the first funding recipients are:
Angaza, which is helping manufacturers and distributors to make clean energy products more affordable to the world's off-grid consumers.
Ellevest, an investing platform designed for women to help close the gender investment gap.
Hustle, a P2P text messaging platform enabling non-profits, educational institutions and advocacy groups to connect with donors and constituents
Viridis Learning, a developer of machine learning and predictive analytics to support career discovery and pathways.
The new fund is part of the Salesforce Ventures unit that has invested in more than 250 startups in 14 different countries since 2009.
Salesforce is also stumping up $50 million and one million volunteer hours over five years to expand computer science education in the US to better prepare students for jobs in the digital economy. The company has an ongoing programme to provide computer science education opportunities to students that includes strategic partnerships with organisations such Code.org, Girls Who Code, CoderDojo and Iridescent.