02 8 / 2012

Today’s culture of philanthropic thinking, and our attachment to important discussions of how to encourage social good, is in need of examples of principled organizations with noble goals. Weeve is committed to providing such examples, and one wonderful suggestion is Seva Canada and their mission to restore sight and prevent blindness in the developing world.



As their project on Weeve suggests, “giving sight to a blind person is the most effective way to relieve suffering, reduce poverty and transform lives.” Seva is an organization that works in 9 of the world’s poorest places. Their work is focused on creating localized, sustainable programming that effect long term change, while maintaining sensible and culturally sensitive standards. At the forefront of their work is a commitment to guaranteeing that their services are available to everyone regardless of income, gender, or race. 

The statistics are startling: two hundred million people could see tomorrow if they had access to glasses or cataract surgery. In other words, try to envision a population that is six times the size of Canada, in which every man, woman and child is blind or has low vision. With numbers like that, the need for support from organizations like Seva is obvious.

Seva’s project on Weeve is a superb illustration of exactly the kind of work that the above statistics demand. With a belief that that everyone has the right to sight, Seva maintains that children are especially vulnerable; unless children have focused, straight vision as early as possible, their sight won’t develop properly.

With the help of Seva’s project on Weeve, 14,000 children in schools and orphanages in Cambodia will receive free eye testing.  Such testing will ensure that that those who need glasses, eye surgery or other forms of corrective or follow-up care will get the treatment they need in their development. Additionally, educators in these Cambodian schools and orphanages will also be given basic training in how to recognize vision problems early, as well as how to work with children who can’t see.

This work has already begun, too, speaking to the efficacy of Seva’s efforts.  Last year (2011), Seva donors guaranteed that 7,284 children in Cambodia had their eyes examined. Of the children examined, 846 received glasses and 67 children were referred for eye surgery. Such corrective procedures can change a child’s entire life, perhaps even preventing a lifetime of blindness.

Daniel Maki,
Social Media Manager | @weeveit

01 8 / 2012

I’ve always admired the amazing work done by YouthCO. I was first introduced to this team when I worked at the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation doing fundraising and events; it was then that I met the great people at YouthCO such at Jesse Brown (Executive Director) and Michael Reid (Community Engagement Manager).

YouthCO is one of Canada’s leading organizations in the realm of HIV and Hep-C. By being an organization that focuses on Youth (a demographic which can often be either alienated or forgotten) it is able to provide services and programs to youth living with HIV and Hep-C in a space which is inclusive, promotes harm reduction, encourages sex positivity, drives anti-oppression, and is youth-driven.

Part of its mandate is also to be proactive. Because a strong demographic of YouthCO clients are gay or bisexual, YouthCO launched mPowerment, a program designed to shape a strong, healthier community. The outcomes of the project will allow young (15-29 year old) gay and bisexual guys to plan events, organize outreach, and build lasting friendships.

As young gay and bisexual men meet, they’ll have open and frank conversations about sexual health, self-esteem and empowerment - an environment you can’t find at a night club. Through this the community becomes safer, healthier and more inclusive.

It was an honour for YouthCO to come to us to launch their mPowerment fundraising project on Weeve. Check it out here: http://weeve.it/project/home/20

Oh, did we mention that if you donate between now and Saturday that you could win 4 tickets to the 11th Annual Trouble Pride T-Dance… oh, and also a Rolls Royce with a uniformed driver to get you to the event. 

@TrevorLoke

01 8 / 2012

We were very fortunate to be selected as one of startups that got to visit Seattle. To Vince and I, this was a once in a lifetime experience! We had the honor to visit The Alliance of Angels at Seattle Tennis Club, which was situated beside the beautiful Lake Washington.

The Alliance of Angels is one of the largest and most active angel groups in the Pacific Northwest. They have invested more than $70M into 180 companies since 1997. Vince and I had the chance to pitch to 25 angels that day. 

We then hopped on the bus and visited TechStars, a Seattle-based accelerator that provides seed funding from over 75 top venture capital firms and angel investors. At the DemoDay party, we showcased Weeve to the guests who visited our booth. 

We received overwhelming positive feedback for our concept and it made me super happy to hear that people actually want to support the idea. Some of the keywords used  in their feedback are: disruptive, awesome, world-changing, and innovative.

Overall, the trip was a huge success. We’ve learned tons and I want to thank GrowLab and Launch Academy for making it happen. Looking forward to demo-ing at Launch@Grow!


Cheers,

Alex

Founder & CEO, Weeve.it

@alexchuang72

27 7 / 2012

It’s my pleasure to announce that Weeve has been accepted by GrowLab to join their Farm Team Program. Along with KarmaHire and Battlefy, Weeve is set to disrupt the Vancouver tech startup community. Check out our coverage on Metro News.

Founded by super angels, Boris Wertz, Jason Bailey, Leonard Brody, and Debbie Landa, GrowLab is a Vancouver-based tech startup accelerator. Led by Mike Edwards from Initio Group, GrowLab has helped many tech startups chase their dreams. Weeve is very fortunate to be a part of it. 

It’s true. Nerf guns are startup essentials!

Not only do we get to work in a collaborative space, we also receive mentorship from successful entrepreneurs from all over the world. Anyone who has started a company would know that it is very difficult to create something out of thin air. The collaborative space allows startups to work with each other and overcome challenges the lean way.

We have been working at GrowLab for two weeks now and we are loving it! 

Alex, Founder and CEO

@alexchuang72

26 7 / 2012

Life is precious. 


A big thank you goes out to all of you who supported our weekend blackout last week.


Kind Regards,

Alex, Founder and CEO  |  @alexchuang72

23 7 / 2012

Last Friday, we had the pleasure to visit BC Children’s Hospital. Terra Scheer who is the Communications Officer at BCCH gave us a brief tour of the hospital. This was my first time visiting the hospital and I am fascinated by the campus as I learn more about future plans of the new hospital.

Campaign for BC Children’s Hospital will fund the construction of a new hospital and the relocation of Sunny Hill Health Centre from Slocan Avenue to the hospital site. The new hospital will facilitate a transformation in the delivery of pediatric care and give us the room needed to provide the most compassionate patient care, to train our medical specialists of tomorrow, and to conduct groundbreaking research that will impact the lives of children for years to come.

I am proud to present BCCH as a partner of Weeve and we hope that through Weeve, we can build a brighter future for our children. 


Kind Regards,

Alex, Founder and CEO  |  @alexchuang72

23 7 / 2012

“Alright, gentlemen, you have twenty minutes.” Variety BC’s event coordinator says to us as she walks into the imposing conference room and takes a seat across the massive table from us. I look at my coworkers, Alex Chaung, 23, our CEO, and Trevor Loke, 23, our COO. Alex nods and we launch into our pitch. After a slideshow, questions and answers, and a spur-of-the-moment speech by Trevor that could put my very best writing to shame, we’re met with success. Variety BC wants to work with us, and it all started because of a tweet I sent.

This is a typical day for me working as the Social Media Manager at Weeve.

I joined Weeve because I supported the idea behind the company: empowering local people to support local projects, based on the uncomplicated philosophy that we are in the service of our communities and should be the ones responsible for making a difference within them. That commitment has only grown since I joined the team. Watching the creation of our partners’ projects, experiencing business development firsthand, and the challenges and achievements associated with it, has been amazing. I’ve been brought onto an ambitious team of entrepreneur millennials, and helped them navigate the complicated business and nonprofit landscapes of Vancouver. With easy communication and a diverse group, the environment has been among the best in my working life.

The team at Weeve has moved me to engage philanthropy, and pay attention to the twittersphere’s opinion of activism and social change. They’ve taught me to keep a close eye on social media buffs (tip: if you have 4 followers and tweet only at 2AM, you can’t state you’re a ‘Social Media Expert’ in your twitter bio). Part of my job has been to follow and promote local nonprofits and charities, who comprise some of our seven thousand followers on twitter.

My eyes have been opened to the multiplicity of ways in which folks striving to promote social good (#socialgood) have turned to platforms like twitter, Facebook, Wordpress, and tumblr to share their causes, encourage awareness, and support community engagement. I’ve come to enjoy a beautifully crafted tweet. If you’re having a hard time not rolling your eyes at that last comment, go ahead, for now. But try reading hundreds of tweets a day, written by passionate, engaged people and you’ll start to see where I’m coming from. It means that when I am on the web I feel like I’m apart of something greater. I am a small piece in massively diverse and growing community. That’s what I’ve taken away from Weeve: a sense of place.

Daniel Maki,
Social Media Manager | @weeveit

Photo credit: Jerry Yang, Kairos Exposure

13 7 / 2012

I created the first mockup of what Weeve would look like about 8 months ago in Photoshop.  At this point, neither Alex nor I knew exactly what was going to be in the end product; we didn’t even know what the MVP was going to look like.  All we knew were a few things:

  1. We want to make a crowd-funding platform for nonprofits.
  2. The user experience had to be simple so users can easily browse through the projects they wanted.
  3. We liked blue.

Of course there was a lot of talk about cool features, but these three points were the most important.  With this in mind, looking at other crowd-funding websites, I decided to try my hand at designing what the first prototype would look like.  I’ve never had professional training in graphic or web design before, so you can probably imagine how terrible the first mockups looked.

The first mockup of the first landing page

Awful.  But, it did get our blood going.  The point wasn’t to get it perfect on the first try, because nobody can.  In order to achieve something of high complexity like starting a company and building a product, countless iterations of do’s and redo’s must occur; and that’s exactly what happened.  The current design of Weeve was only achieved after tens of iterations of design, feedback, and redesign.  And that is one of the biggest things I’ve learned in developing our product: don’t say, just do, ask for feedback, and redo. If you have an idea, just execute it and create something minimally viable so you can gather feedback to evaluate its value.  It is only through these changes that allowed Weeve to become what it is today.

Happy iterating,

Vincent Chu
Founder & CTO
@soulinas

12 7 / 2012

Throughout the entire eight months of building Weeve, I survived on miso soup. If you do not know what miso soup is, it is the most popular soup in Japan. (It is basically miso paste and water.) You will find it in every single japanese restaurant:



As an entrepreneur, one of the things that you have to sacrifice (besides a balanced diet) is a full-time job. Upon graduating, I dived into the wonderful world of entrepreneurship. Soon enough, I realized that it is not all fun and games - I have lost 18 lbs, sold my car, and lived off miso soup. Even so, if you ask me “Was it all worth it?” I would say “HELL YEAH.”

For the first time in my life, I actually feel like I am doing something that I love. Work and life have become so integrated that it is hard to distinguish the two. I wake up and I am at work. There is not a single second where my mind is off work. I am obsessed.

The minute that our platform went live, tears of joy came rolling down my cheeks. I thought, “We’ve (Weeve) done it! We’re well on our way to forever changing the landscape of philanthropy.”

I am truly excited to see what kinds of positive change we can create. Weeve is constantly growing and improving to better serve our users, donors, and nonprofits worldwide. Join us in weaving small acts of kindness into big change!

Kind Regards,
Alex
Founder and CEO
@alexchuang72

10 7 / 2012

Meet Whitney Fwu, a 12-year old student from Maple Lane Elementary in Richmond, BC. Whitney is a genius in modeling clay. It started as a hobby of hers, but now it has grown into something more. 

Whitney is raising money for BC Children’s Hospital’s project: Campaign for BC Children. By selling her limited edition masterpieces, she has raised $50 for the project. Check out this Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino! The detail is amazing.

It really makes me happy to see young change agents making a difference in our community through their creative ways. Fifty dollars may not seem like a lot but it’s coming from one individual who believes in positive social change.

Whitney is an inspiration to all of us and if a young girl like her can do good, you can too!

Kind Regards,

Alex

Founder and CEO

@alexchuang72


You can help BCCHF to build a new Children’s Hospital!




You can check out Whitney’s Weeve profile here.