Fireside Conference Announces $40,000 Commitment To Diversity & Inclusion, New Pledge 5 Movement

TORONTO, August 1, 2018 – North America’s smallest and most authentic conference for startups and entrepreneurs announces a $40,000 diversity and inclusion fellowship for its upcoming September summit. The announcement marks the birth of Fireside Conference’s “Pledge 5” movement, where they hope to inspire other conferences, summits and community organizations to pledge, at minimum, 5 per cent of attendance tickets towards underrepresented members of the community. The pledge builds upon Fireside’s inclusive culture and on Canada’s growth as a global leader in technology, innovation, diversity and inclusion.

Between September 6 and 9, 2018, Fireside is expected to bring 400 global leaders from across North America and around the world to a remote private lake just outside of Bancroft, Ontario for a disconnected, no cellphone weekend. The event will bring together influential people in tech and business to share knowledge around campfires.

Fireside, now in its fourth year, is the slowest growing startup and entrepreneur conference in the world, restricting attendance to an intimate 400 individuals. Despite the exclusive nature of the event, Fireside aims to become the most inclusive startup and entrepreneur conference in the world.

Fireside attracts all ecosystem stakeholders including C-level executives, fast growing startups, the hottest influencers, top media, government and investors from around the world and as far away as Australia.

“Last year we committed $10,000 to the diversity and inclusion fellowship,” said Steven Pulver, co-Founder of Fireside. “The program was a resounding success and, with special thanks to our partners at Hover and MinuteBox, we are extremely excited to announce that we have quadrupled the size of the fellowship fund to $40,000, or 5%, of tickets.” Pulver says this wouldn’t be possible without the efforts of committee leaders Takara Small (founder of a tech-focused not-for-profit called VentureKids and technology journalist) and Ria Lupton (a community leader and founder of Community Builders).

“We want Fireside to reflect the diversity of the local community around us rather than merely being accessible to those that can afford a ticket.” says Small. “At its core, Fireside values inclusivity and this investment will have a major impact towards bringing together an even more diverse and inclusive community. More importantly, we hope to inspire the community and encourage other conferences and events to be ambitious and Pledge 5,” said Lupton.

The conference is expanding its industry focus to include leaders from the Cannabis, Blockchain and Health & Wellness industries. In the last two years the Fireside community has raised over $35,000 for charities including the StopGap foundation and the Red Door shelter through a live benefit auction held at the event. This year, Fireside will be supporting a mental health charity to be announced just prior to the community auction on September 8, 2018.

Individuals may apply and find complete details for Fireside’s Diversity and Inclusion fellowship at Applications are open from August 1 to 15, 2018. Successful applicants will be advised August 18, 2018. Media inquiries and other conferences and events that wish to join the Pledge 5 initiative may contact

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