Pay­ing it for­ward at the hos­pi­tal that saved her daugh­ter

The Globe and Mail (Alberta Edition) - - REPORT ON BUSINESS - PAUL WALDIE pwaldie@globe­and­mail.com

The donor Jodi Kovitz

GIV­ING BACK

The gift: Help­ing to raise $25-mil­lion

The cause: Toronto’s Hos­pi­tal for Sick Chil­dren

The rea­son: To fund a chair in biomed­i­cal ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence and a new emer­gency depart­ment.

Jodi Kovitz’s daugh­ter was two years old when she de­vel­oped a se­ries of rare in­fec­tions that re­quired months of treat­ment at Toronto’s Hos­pi­tal for Sick Chil­dren. Her daugh­ter pulled through and is now a healthy nine-year-old, but Ms.Kovitzh as never for­got­ten the pro­fes­sional care her fam­ily re­ceived from the hos­pi­tal’s staff. “We slept there a lot of nights and had 14 dif­fer­ent spe­cial­ists at any given time,” re­called Ms. Kovitz, who founded Move the Dial, an or­ga­ni­za­tion ded­i­cated to ad­vanc­ing women in the tech sec­tor.

Last year, she joined the Sick­Kids’ cap­i­tal cam­paign and de­cided to aim her ef­forts at the tech sec­tor. To­gether with Salim Teja, pres­i­dent of ven­ture ser­vices at MaRs Dis­cov­ery Dis­trict, Ms. Kovitz came up with sev­eral fundrais­ing ideas. One in­volved en­cour­ag­ing tech en­trepreneurs to pledge a per­cent­age of the eq­uity in their com­pa­nies to the hos­pi­tal, so that once the busi­ness went pub­lic, or was ac­quired, the exit trig­gered a do­na­tion. Last year, Zen­surance, a Toronto-based dig­i­tal in­sur­ance com­pany, pledged 1 per cent of its eq­ui­tyand, in Au­gust, the com­pany sold a por­tion of the busi­ness, gen­er­at­ing a do­na­tion worth more than $100,000. So far, Tech4Sick­Kids has raised $3.6-mil­lion, not in­clud­ing the stock pl edges, and the goal is to raise $25- mil­lion.

“My No .1 goal in life was to mean­ing fully give­back to the hos­pi­tal and en­sure that fu­ture gen­er­a­tions of kids have the same level of out­stand­ing care that I did,” Ms. Kovitz said.

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