TUGG Makes Boston Recap

Sold Out TUGG Makes Boston, Brought Out the Best in Boston Tech!

On March 23 we celebrated our sold-out 11th Annual Wine & Tequila Party under a new name, TUGG Makes Boston!

Thank you to everyone who came out to support social innovation and party for good with us at the Innovation and Design Building! At every Wine & Tequila Party we're reminded that this event is so much more than a party! It's about the remarkable impact our community can have in just one night when we come together to catalyze greater good.

No other event in Boston tech can bring together such a diverse group of industries, networks, and people, and we believe it’s largely due to this incredible synergy that’s made possible by all of our outstanding partners and supporters on both sides of the non-profit and for-profit table. 

Read more about it on VentureFizz and get BostInno's take on the event here.

Who run the world? Media Girls!

Congrats to our new nonprofit winner: Media Girls! Media Girls is a program that shows girls and young women how to use social media to share their authentic selves, post positive content, develop their critical thinking, and take a stand on meaningful issues.

Being part of the TUGG event was extraordinary even beyond winning the $50K grant. It was receiving a masterclass in the craft of pitching from top experts who were truly invested in us. After taking part in this experience, our whole team feels confident in sharing what we do in a concise way in any type of situation. That is a skill we will carry with us for the rest of our lives.
— Michelle Cove, Founder & Executive Director, Media Girls

5-Time Winners: Resilient Coders

Congratulations to Resilient Coders on their 5th consecutive win! 

Resilient Coders is a free, volunteer-based program focused on making web technology more available to kids who might not otherwise be exposed to it. Each student builds a website, coached along by a web professional.

Last night’s win allows us to support more stipends and seriously grow the Lab. We will also be launching a new Dev Ops track later this year. But what’s amazing to us about TUGG is the community.
— David Delmar, Founder Resilient Coders

A huge congratulations to all 6 of TUGG's nonprofits, new and returning, who pitched their hearts out. We know it's tough and you all stood your own! We're proud to have you all in our portfolio - First Teacher, Mbadika, Media Girls, Resilient Coders, Tech Goes Home and We Thrive!


We have some awesome photos of you all! Check them out below and get tagging. There are some gems in here!

Photo booth photos by Sharingbox


If you're new to our community follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page to stay up to date with upcoming tech events and ways to get involved with our innovative nonprofits.


Take a minute browse through these companies below that have stepped up and placed community as a priority for their culture. They and their employees represent the very best of tech. Without them, there would be no TUGG.

Brought to You By Sponsors

Featuring Sponsors

Announcing TUGG's New and Returning 2017 Nonprofits

The 6 Most Innovative Social Enterprises Competing for $50k at TUGG Makes Boston

TUGG Makes Boston, the 11th Annual Wine & Tequila Party is much more than a party, it's the largest grant writing opportunity for the most innovative social enterprises in Boston! 

On March 23 the following six organizations will compete for the chance to win $50k in grant funding. You will select the winner! 

Take a minute to get to know and welcome (on twitter), TUGG's incoming nonprofits.

2017 New Portfolio Nonprofits

Mbadika provides hardware and engineering workshops for under-resourced youth to inspire young innovators. Learn more about Mbadika.  

Media Girls teaches girls to critique how they're portrayed in the media, re-envision new possibilities, and create their own empowering content. Learn more about Media Girls. 


Tech Goes Home is an initiative that brings digital access and basic technology training to underserved families as an entryway to the digital age. Learn more about Tech Goes Home.



2017 Returning Portfolio Nonprofits

First Teacher is a community of parents and caregivers working together to prepare all our children for kindergarten and beyond. Learn more about First Teacher.


Resilient Coders spreads code literacy to young people from traditionally underserved communities. Learn more about Resilient Coders.

WeThrive is an entrepreneurial mentoring program that pairs college students with underserved middle school and high school students. Learn more about WeThrive.

Support Social Innovation in Boston!
TUGG Makes Boston Tickets are on sale now!

Now that you know who your TUGG Makes Boston ticket is helping support, we hope you'll join us on March 23 in celebration and support of social innovation in your community. Your vote will decide who leaves with $50k in grant funding to catalyze their organization!


$100/person Ticket price includes open bar, food, some special surprises, and the opportunity to fund someone's dream! 

Introducing the 2017 Team TUGG Boston Marathon Runners

Introducing the 2017 Team TUGG Boston Marathon Runners

As the weather warms up in Boston and the winter comes to a close, nothing ushers in the official start of spring for us Bostonians more than watching Boston Marathon runners cross the finish line down on Boylston street. And while the Marathon has its fair share of elite runners who descend upon the city from all over the world, there’s also a large portion of locals who are running to help raise money for charities of all kinds. Some of TUGG’s nonprofits happen to be among those benefitting as well.

In order to help the community to get to know the Team TUGG runners a bit better, we decided to ask each of them some questions to shed some light on why they’re running and how they’re feeling about the big day.

2017 New Year's Resolution: Do More for Your Community

2017 New Year's Resolution: Do More for Your Community

The top feedback that we received last year was that companies and individuals would like more meaningful ways to get involved with TUGG's nonprofits. So we put together this list of organizations that need your help!

By giving just a little bit of time, you can make a BIG difference in a young person's life! Check out the list to see what volunteer or mentoring opportunity is best for you and get involved today!

2016 TUGG By The Numbers

All the KPIs You Need to Know About TUGG's 2016

2016 was an eventful year (literally) for TUGG! 

We hosted the most events in our history and brought together nearly 6,000 people from across Boston tech. From the Wine Party to four different tourneys to our first ever Tech Night at the Museum. 

You were there for the best of it - thank you for making 2016 such a great year for us.

Here's to a fruitful 2017!

Funding Update: First Teacher, Mass Leap, WeThrive

Funding Update: First Teacher, Mass Leap, WeThrive



History was made this past April at TUGG's 10th Annual Wine and Tequila Party: for the first time ever, thanks to all your votes we had a tie for first place in the new nonprofit category between First Teacher and WeThrive. Both nonprofits joined TUGG's portfolio, along with our third place winner, MassLEAP. Read on to see what they've been up to since April.

Give to TUGG Today and Double the Good!

Give to TUGG Today and Double the Good!

Today's the day! Your gift to TUGG will be doubled!

Today, Giving Tuesday, TUGG kicks off the largest fundraising campaign in our history. We are nailing ourselves to a $1M goal, to be capped off at our 2017 Wine Party on March 30.

Let's repeat that:
$1M by March 30

To get us started, and in the spirit of leading the charge, our founder Jeff Fagnan is matching the first $25k of donations today ONLY!

 Donate Now 

What Does TUGG Do Exactly?

Since joining TUGG as Executive Director in 2015 I have met many of you and you have had the same question…

What does TUGG do exactly?

TUGG (Technology Underwriting Greater Good)  funds the most experimental nonprofit programming focused on local under-resourced youth. We find the most innovative nonprofits tackling big, hard problems in their communities and we write the first check to make their programming a reality. 

Do we serve our community in other ways? Of course. TUGG is ultimately the nonprofit arm of Boston’s tech community and we do, as our mission states, connect and engage technologists, entrepreneurs, and innovators across New England to give back to the community.

Make no mistake, TUGG’s contribution to the local nonprofit landscape is crucial.

We are one of two local funders that are willing to write “the first check”, and the only funder that focuses exclusively on experimental youth programming.

If we want to make big progress in the issues facing our local under-resourced youth, we have to come at the challenges with new solutions and new models. TUGG makes this possible. 

How do you fit in?

Someone, at some point gave you a shot to prove yourself. Start-ups represent the ultimate meritocracy, and through your smarts and hard work you found success.

Being a member of the TUGG community means paying that forward. Your donations fund the grants that we write to nonprofits so that the entrepreneurs in the TUGG portfolio can have that shot of making their programming a reality. 

We raise every penny, every year, and rely on the support of the New England tech community to make our work possible. 

A Call to Action

 This Giving Tuesday, we ask that you consider a donation to TUGG to help us further our mission and fund our grant-writing. Or even better, donate now

Thank you for your consideration, your engagement, and your support.

- Zoe Anetakis
Executive Director, TUGG

One Nonprofit that Is Making Our Youth's Voices Heard in Our Democracy

One Nonprofit that Is Making Our Youth's Voices Heard in Our Democracy

TUGG Portfolio Nonprofit Generation Citizen Ensures that All Students Can Participate in Our Democracy

Today is Election Day and while many of us can't wait for this election to be over, it's good to take a moment to celebrate how our youth can impact change in our political system. Today we want to highlight one of our nonprofits that works to provide young people with the tools necessary to participate in our democracy, encouraging them to use the their voices as a catalyst for change.

 Through action-oriented civics education programming, Generation Citizen (GC) works to ensure our kids, particularly those in under-resourced communities, have the knowledge and skills to participate in our democracy as active citizens. 

Recapping #TechGivesBack2016

Recapping #TechGivesBack2016

Give Kindness, Give Time, Give Back

Our 6th annual Tech Gives Back day of service on October 20 brought out 1,500 TUGGers from over 70 companies to get in to give back at 50+ nonprofits across Boston.

Our team had the opportunity to visit several volunteer sites throughout the day to show our support and appreciation for the volunteers. Spirits were high and impact was huge! 

Go Outdoors for Tech Gives Back!

Go Outdoors for Tech Gives Back!

New Outdoor Projects Added to Tech Gives Back!

We sit in an office all day, why not use October 20th as an opportunity not only do something good for the community but also to get out of the office and into the great outdoors? 

Tech Gives Back is next week and it looks like the weather will be fabulous, so we added several park related projects to the roster!

Participation in Tech Gives Back is free (though we hope you'll consider making a donation) and you can register as an individual, team, department or your whole company!

Pledge 1% Boston - The Start of a Movement

Accomplice Pledges 1% of Carry to Two TUGG Portfolio Nonprofits

Last Wednesday was a special day in Boston tech and philanthropy. We celebrated the launch of Pledge 1% Boston, an initiative spearheaded by the Boston Foundation and supported by TUGG.

Pledge 1% is a national corporate philanthropy movement dedicated to making new stakeholders in support of local communities. Pledge 1% encourages and challenges individuals and companies to pledge 1% of equity, product, and employee time for their communities. We are are grateful that the Boston Foundation brought this to Boston and are proud to call them a partner, collaborator and fellow funder of social innovation in our great city.

The packed launch event brought together leaders in Boston's innovation and social sectors including Accomplice, GreenLight Fund, MassChallenge, and others. 

Photo: TBF

Photo: TBF

10 companies have taken the pledge in Boston so far including: Accomplice, CoachUp, Cuseum, Freebird, FundLatinosGravyty, Nanogenecs, Ovuline, and Pepper Lane. We believe this is just the start and as more companies catch wind of this, the list of 10 will soon grow to 20+.

TUGG's founder, Jeff Fagan, brought goosebumps to attendees as he spoke about joining the movement of Pledge 1% "This is a movement and that's why I ask you not to join me, but to join we and make Pledge 1% a part of the fabric of our community."

TUGG's ED, Zoe Anetakis & Tim Smith from TBF Photo: TBF

TUGG's ED, Zoe Anetakis & Tim Smith from TBF
Photo: TBF

Hands down, the most exciting moment of the night came from Jeff who announced that Accomplice is pledging 1% of its carry (unheard of in the VC world) and splitting that 1% between two TUGG nonprofits, InnerCity Weightlifting and Resilient Coders. While 1% may not sound like a lot, 1% of a several million dollar fund is huge deal and will make an extraordinary impact on these two organizations.

Our hope is that others will follow suit and join the movement as Pledge 1% snowballs into something bigger and better than we could ever imagine.

Below you can read a sample of Accomplice's Pledge 1% announcement.

Repost from Accomplice:

"We at Accomplice pledge to give 1% of our carry to TUGG nonprofits InnerCity Weightlifting and Resilient Coders. They’re two Boston-based organizations fighting to bring social and economic equality to under-resourced youth, and they’ve done amazing work.

The Pledge 1% campaign asks startup employees to commit to giving 1% of their equity, time, or product to nonprofits in their community. It’s a pledge to pay it forward if you become successful.

VC firms don’t have equity the same way that startups do, so we give our employees carried interest (or “carry”) in our funds. Carry is complicated, but think of it as our share of the profits we generate from our company-building and investing efforts.

We’re splitting our 1% pledge between InnerCity Weightlifting (ICW) and Resilient Coders, two nonprofits that started with TUGG and have grown to become part of the Boston tech community and our culture at Accomplice. TUGG supports nonprofits at the earliest stages through crowdsourced grants. These nonprofits are often the riskiest — and boldest — out there. And just like tech startups, they need someone to believe in them when they’re just a big idea and a tiny group of motivated people..." Continue reading.

TGB 2016: Why Rapid7 Is Shutting Down Its Offices for Tech Gives Back

Q&A with Rapid7’s Chief People Officer, Christina Luconi

TUGG relies on the support of our annual partners to keep the lights on. We are always amazed when these companies go above and beyond to run their company in the TUGG spirit by making giving back a part of their culture. One such company is Rapid7. Rapid7 is fairly new to TUGG’s community and yet their support of our mission and Tech Gives Back has been one of the most fervent of any of our supporters.

Rapid7’s Chief People Officer and culture architect, Christina Luconi, spearheaded the company’s decision to shut down their offices for the entire day on October 20th to participate in Tech Gives Back. Below Christina talks to us about developing culture, working with TUGG, and how to shut down your offices globally for a day of giving.

Below Christina talks to us about developing culture, working with TUGG, and how to shut down your offices globally for a day of giving.

Q: What’s something about the Rapid7 workplace that might surprise our community?
A: We are a pretty special company to work for. While culture and people efforts are just now picking up momentum with press -- and are rightfully getting increased attention from businesses -- it’s been written into our DNA since the beginning. We have scaled quickly, gone public, and grown a vibrant business without losing our soul – all because we understand that our people are at the center of making it all work.

Q: How do you work on something like “culture” at a large, public company? What advice would you give to start-ups that are rapidly developing their teams and culture?
A: We’ve worked very hard to keep our five core values the center of our culture, regardless of our private or public status. Our core values – created by our people, for our people – are woven into every element of our employee lifecycle. They guide our behavior and help shape our decision making. As a result, they serve as the thread that ties all of us together. Of course, every office and team have their own unique vibe, but we all share the same core belief system. I’d suggest any small company spend some time early on figuring out exactly “why” they exist, and articulate the behaviors that will help the company to be successful. Then it’s about ensuring every action and behavior maps back to those beliefs.

Q: Rapid7 volunteered with Tech Gives Back for the first time last year with a small team. What made you decide to shut the entire company down globally for TGB this year?
A: We’ve been a partner of TUGG for years, but last year we decided to commit in a much bigger way – both in terms of time and dollars. Those of us who participated in Tech Gives Back last year loved the element of giving back to our community, but actually found working together with co-workers you don’t necessarily get to partner with on a daily basis was a huge bonus. As a result, we decided to partner with TUGG on local projects, and simultaneously have all our other offices across the globe lead their own community service project.

It’s a pretty exciting prospect to see so many people galvanized to support their communities, and spend some time connecting personally as well.

Q: Logistically, how do you shut down a company of 900 people with 3 offices across the globe on a Thursday in October?
A: It does take some planning. In our case, we’ve been planning all year. We’ve had to get creative with some of our teams who need to be “on call” for customers, etc. but we’re a committed bunch. I have no doubt our folks will be ready to be able to step away for a few hours.

Q: What advice would you give companies who are considering shutting down their offices and taking the #Rapid7Challenge but are nervous about how it will affect their business?
A: Involve a broad group of people in the planning. Ensure you are thinking through the needs and restrictions of everyone, and offer a variety of options to accommodate. If people are excited, motivated and committed, they likely won’t miss a beat!

TUGG annual partner Rapid7 has committed to closing its offices globally on October 20 for Tech Gives Back and will commit its entire employee base to a day of service alongside TUGG. Will you commit to getting your team out in full force? Take the #Rapid7Challenge and tweet us @TUGGOrg!

When Tech Gives Back, Boston Wins

When Tech Gives Back, Boston Wins

Join Us for TUGG’s 6th Annual Tech Gives Back Day of Service

With the summer behind us, Boston is back in the groove - the mean, lean tech machine is hard at work. Take a look around you on your morning commute, the shift in mindset is palpable.

Boston’s nonprofits are ramping up too, ready to serve those who need help the most. Soup kitchens planning out warm meals for cold nights. Schools purchasing supplies to challenge young minds. Homeless shelters preparing beds for those who don’t have a place to call home. These nonprofits can’t succeed without the support of their communities, so this October 20th we ask you to get out of the office and into your community for Tech Gives Back!

Registration is Now Open!

TUGG's First Ever Tech Night at the Museum

TUGG's First Ever Tech Night at the Museum

A recap of when we took over the Gardner Museum!

Dubbed a "Boston tech hit," TUGG's sold-out Tech Night at the Museum was attended by 200 people from across Boston's tech, nonprofit and arts communities. The power of art is in the experience and we were thrilled to see such a great, engaged crowd experience the magic of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum with us and our portfolio nonprofits.

Robots With Heart - Limited Edition Ts that Fund Arts Programs

Robots With Heart - Limited Edition Ts that Fund Arts Programs

Limited Edition Baby Onesies & Youth Tees
Designed by kids, for kids.

A few months ago we brainstormed with our friends at Rightside Shirts about a way to get the kids they work with involved in a limited edition tech related t-shirt. So we opened a Robots with Heart design competition to the students at the Patrick Lyndon Pilot School in West Roxbury, MA. We were absolutely amazed when we saw all of the awesome design submissions. Selecting our favorites was no easy task, but in the end we went with a design that melted our hearts!

Our 10th Wine Party Topped Them All!

Our 10th Wine Party Topped Them All!

TUGG's 10th Annual Wine Party was like none before!

Last Thursday, we celebrated our 10th Annual Wine & Tequila Party at Landmark Center in Fenway. Thank you to the almost 2k attendees who came out to support social innovation and party with the best of 'em! If you couldn't make it, just know that you missed one heck of a party! Read more about it and our first tie in Wine Party history!