Stakester challenges VCs to battle climate change with charity fitness competition

Online entertainment platform Stakester is challenging venture capitalists (VCs) to take on the ultimate virtual fitness competition The Golden Gilet and support rainforest charity Cool Earth.

Each team will aim to burn the most calories in a week by stepping up their physical activity in this intense and fierce race to the top.

There will be two rounds and the teams with the highest average score pro rata will go through to the final at the London Aquatic Centre at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, London, on 23 April. They’ll have an hour to cover as much distance as possible by cycling, running and swimming.

The winning team will receive a Golden Gilet as a prize in a cheeky reference to the casual attire of choice for many VCs (along with fleeces and quilted waxed jackets).

The event is being powered by Stakester in collaboration with Super League Triathlon (SLT). The SLT is the world’s premier swim-bike-run series, pitching the world’s best athletes against each other in quick and exciting race formats including the Arena Games Triathlon which blends real-life and virtual formats.

The aim is to raise as much money as possible for Cool Earth, a charity which raises funds for rainforest communities, to deliver projects that create choice, tackle the root causes of deforestation and protect vital carbon sinks.

Tom Fairey, Founder and CEO of Stakester, said: “VCs sometimes get negative press because they exist in the dog-eat-dog world of capital investment. But they’re also the ones funding the technological innovations that will change our world for the better. Notable businesses like Apple, Google and eBay might not exist had they not been fuelled by VCs. They’re also known for being giving and giving back, so this is a chance for them to support a great charity and help save the planet.”

VCs are being invited to log onto and register with a suggested donation of £1,000 each. Organisers are aiming to sign up 30 VCs and funds raised will run into the hundreds of thousands. The competition will run on the PQ app which will track the calories burned by each team. Each VC can enter with a team of at least three people and no more than ten.

Fairey said: “Stakester is all about competition – we pit gamers against each other to win cash and prizes. But backing yourself also encourages people to excel, innovate and fight to be the best they can be.

“If you’re the only player in your field it can be difficult to improve. Competition shakes off complacency and forces you to push yourself. This is something that is central to SLT’s ethos, too, which is why it makes the perfect partner.”

Michael D’hulst, SLT Founder, said: “Although we’re in entirely different fields, Stakester and SLT share a passion for the benefits of healthy competition, which is why this collaboration is a natural fit. By encouraging VCs and their teams to take up the Golden Gilet challenge, we have a chance to expose more people to the benefits of competitive exercise, all while raising considerable funds for a worthy cause.”

Venture capitalist and entrepreneur Leonid Boguslavsky said: “As Co-founder of Super League Triathlon, it is great to bring my two passions together – triathlon and investing – and host this fantastic event.

“Participating will be excellent for team building within the funds and a perfect opportunity for investors to meet up and enjoy some healthy competition and then watch the world’s best athletes in action racing the new e-sport of triathlon format at an Arena Games Event.

“Most importantly, it should raise a significant sum of money for an exceptionally worthy and important environmental cause!”

Magda Pieta of Cool Earth said: “We’re so thankful to Stakester and Super League Triathlon for fundraising for Cool Earth.

“Backing people who live in rainforests and supporting their rights is essential in fighting the climate crisis.

“Indigenous peoples and local communities have lived in balance with rainforests for thousands of years and are the real rainforest experts, yet are the people facing extreme injustices whilst living on the front line of climate change.

“Money raised by this event will help fund projects that create choice, tackle the root causes of deforestation and protect vital carbon sinks.”

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