Raise5, Founded at Startup Weekend Toronto, Hopes To Capture Youth Donating Audience

If you’re familiar with Fiverr, the world’s largest marketplace for small services starting at $5 which is actually ranked 93rd in Canada according to Alexa in terms of traffic you’ll like this modified concept of a startup that came out of Startup Weekend Toronto in November. 

Being able to move on to build a prototype over Startup Weekend is no easy task- you have to pitch an idea to over 300 people and then get picked into the top 20.

It’s called Raise5 which was co-founded by Hassan Hassan, Nelson Wu and Mike Tang where people buy services from Canadians who use their talents, skills and creativity to raise funds for a charity or non-profit cause of their choice.

Hassan of Raise5 says that charities & non-profits are always looking for new sources donations and that his site is targeting the most active online demographic- youth and students. He says that students don’t really have money but everyone is talented at something so Hassan thought it would be great to turn these talents and skills into donations.

After getting picked into the top 20, Raise5 built a half-working prototype over the weekend and like most other startups sought feedback. The advice they received from friends, Twitter followers and on popular social sharing website Reddit really helped shape Raise5 into what it is today.

Hassan adds: “We’re hoping to make giving back to charities and non-profit causes more popular and mainstream, especially among the younger demographic, high school and university students. We think everyone has some free time on their hands. It’s also important to educate youth about non-profits and how they helps solve problems that are happening around the world. Together, we can truly make a difference, five dollars at a time.”

Some examples of people using the platform include Jet, a high school student who will dancing as a Teddy Bear for $5.

The startup is currently being bootstrapped and has been publicly launched out of beta in just three months. Hassan hopes to partner directly with many non-profits and has made some inroads already in that area.

Youth can be a hard demographic to reach, especially young men and this might bring out the best in some people from both sides of the equation- the creative portfolio building aspect and the confidence gained from doing something good for the world.