We can make a difference

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Rutul Davè is an entrepreneur with over ten years of experience in software and marketing. He immigrated to United States to pursue a master's degree in Computer Science, fell in love with the land of opportunity and innovation, and founded Bright Funds to connect donor capital to the most effective nonprofits in the world. @letsfixtheworld

As a kid growing up in India during the 1980s, there was one public service video on television that I vividly remember even today. It was a simple message on unity, and the video showed how by joining forces one can overcome any threat that is considerably bigger and stronger.

More than 20 years later, the significance of that message was again evident to me last week. On June 19th-20th, the Bright Funds team joined 17 other startups from all over America on a two-day event on Capitol Hill. Engine Advocacy, a group with the mission to create a platform for innovators and entrepreneurs to connect with government and policymakers, put together the event and invited Bright Funds to participate.

One message was loud and clear - startups can make a difference and have a say in the government and in policy decisions.

As someone who participated in the event with some skepticism, it took me some time to come to that realization. As entrepreneurs we are busy building businesses in the face of uncertainty, and as startups we feel we are too small to have any impact on government. But sitting in a room alongside smart, driven, like minded entrepreneurs and having a conversation with congressmen from both sides of the aisle, it became clear that when united, our voices will be heard. We are the engines of economic growth and job creation. When we ask questions, present our point of view, and tell our stories, we can influence policy decisions that make it easier to start and run businesses and build the future.

We’ve shown that we can come together to influence policy decisions, with the movement to prevent poorly drafted copyright bills SOPA and PIPA from passing earlier this year. The ground-up movement was an excellent example of the strength of the technology and startup community to unite and influence a policy that would have severely limited our freedom to innovate.

I realized that my voice counts. As someone who immigrated to United States, earned a masters, and am fortunate to be a part of the innovation happening in Silicon Valley, I have had the opportunity to participate in the impact that entrepreneurship, startups and high-skilled immigration has had on the economy.

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I couldn't help but make the parallels in the approach used at Startup Day and the one we use at Bright Funds, a startup that I co-founded earlier this year. Through this service, we are connecting donor capital to the most effective nonprofits in the world. We are building a community that believes in uniting the support for the most effective nonprofits that are instrumental in solving the social challenges of our time. And the biggest weapons we have in our arsenal are the technologies enabling this effort, and the unity and focus of our actions. Social challenges like ensuring access to clean water for everyone, preserving the environment, and eliminating poverty look large and intimidating, but we can achieve these goals when we join forces and we unite. Besides the passion behind solving a problem for our customers, that inspiration alone was enough to build Bright Funds.

If you are a startup, join me at Engine Advocacy and let's make a difference.