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Salesforce ups its Canadian startup outreach with partnership

Channel StrategySalesforce

Global cloud computing company Salesforce.com Inc. is ramping up its work with startups this week with the announcement of the Canadian launch of its Startups program as well as a partnership with Kitchener, Ont.-based innovation centre Communitech.

The announcements were made as part of the Salesforce World Tour in Toronto, and represented the “formalization” of about two months of outreach efforts for the cloud giant.

“Our partnership with Communitech complements what we can do with the startup community,” said Ludovic Ulrich, director of startup relations at Salesforce.  “Together we’ll go into the community and infuse it with the resources that entrepreneurs need.”

Specifically, Salesforce will be enhancing Communitech’s Rev accelerator program in the company’s first partnership of this kind in Canada.

At Communitech’s hub, which brings together global brands, government agencies, academic institutions, tech incubators and accelerators, Salesforce will be providing training and resources to qualified local startups who are beyond the initial design and prototyping phases and “just want to grow,” Ulrich said.

Meanwhile, Salesforce’s own Startups program, which Ulrich said has already helped in the launch of 2,400 products in 80 countries, will now allow Canadian businesses who are just starting out to access playbooks, knowhow, case studies, templates and software such as its CRM products directly through the company’s portal.

In the portal, it is also asking companies of any size to participate in what is known as “Pledge 1%” a corporate philanthropy movement that asks companies to pledge one per cent of equity, product and employee time to their respective communities.

According to Salesforce, since co-founding the program, it has given out $85 million in grants, 920,000 employee volunteer hours and free or discounted technology to 25,000 non-profits.

“We wanted to provide tools to let startups give back to their communities and give them tools to have an impact on their communities, attract employees,” said Ulrich. “We want to help startups build a culture in their company.”