A team of volunteers from Kanga and Trashwater are leaving this afternoon for Managua, Nicaragua. During the 10 day trip, the team will be delivering water filtration systems to critically underserved neighborhoods around the city, and conducting classes to help families improve their health through better understanding of water-borne disease prevention. As the sponsoring organization of the trip, Kanga has contributed our time, our talents, and our monetary resources to the cause. I frequently get asked why a tech startup would put our limited resources towards something that doesn’t drive sales or improve our technology. I’d like to take a moment to explain the answer here.
Kanga is a for profit corporation. As the CEO of this corporation, I have a legal obligation to maximize the profitability of the company to the benefit of our shareholders. I cannot legally shirk that duty, nor do I want to. So why, as a young company in the process of raising another round of funding committing a portion of our first 3 month’s earnings to something that doesn’t drive revenue? The answer is simple. I believe that social responsibility is a moral obligation, and as such, we include it in our business plan in just the same way we account for marketing expenses, personnel, and office space. If we do not establish this commitment in our early stages, we will not be positioned to do so as we grow. We committed 10% of our shipment revenue from June and July to this trip, and are already looking for the next opportunity to continue the partnership. We have some cool news on that front, too!
Kanga has been incredibly fortunate, both to receive funding at an early stage, and in the success that we have seen in our brief lifespan here in Atlanta. In the year since we incorporated, and the 4.5 months since we publicly launched, we have proven the case for our success, but the future is always unknown. If something were to happen to end our run, everything would go away. The billboards we’ve put up, the ads we’ve run, the events we’ve promoted and interviews we’ve done, all of it would disappear. The office would close, the lights would turn off, and the team would begin searching for our next great adventure. Some things, however, would not go away. The food we’ve delivered to our neighbors here in Atlanta through volunteering with Project Open Hand, the water filtration and education we’ve delivered to Managua, the logistical and financial support we’ve given to The Georgia Conservancy, Dad’s Garage, and others, those will endure. The legacy we leave will be based not on the money we make, or the success stories we create, but on the positive impact we have on the lives of others.
As a team, we place great value on helping others. It’s why we created a crowd-sharing delivery service in the first place. We’ve created jobs for over 100 Atlantans to date, and we’re bringing that same opportunity to cities across the US this year. We believe that technology can help people live healthier, happier lives, and empower people to improve their communities. We are committed to that belief, and will also strive to reflect that commitment in our actions, our partnerships, and our ethical management of the resources with which we are entrusted.