The Help List is an online resource dedicated to supporting the Canadian Tech Sector during times of economic downturn, having been born out of the COVID-19 global crisis.
On March 18th, 2020, the ripple effect of COVID-19 was making waves across the Canadian tech industry. Conferences were being canceled, offices were closing down, and venture deals were starting to fall through. Companies were scaling back, and, as a result, tech workers across the country began to lose their jobs.
That same morning, three Canadian entrepreneurs came up together to build the Talent Help List -- a crowdsourced list of any tech-industry professionals whose employment status has been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
"We may be alone in our homes, but in many ways, technology has brought us closer together than ever before. If we ever wanted to demonstrate the power of technology to change the world for the better, the moment is now.”
- Marianne Bulger
What began as a modest Google Sheet of around 60 people on day one quickly turned into a database of over 1000 in less than a week, with numbers still climbing to date. This community-powered tool was working so well that replications of the list started to pop up in other industries and countries.
The lists' creators share the belief that people, not products, are the heart of any successful business. Marianne Bulger, Adam Gellert, and Adam Bercovici have all built companies to support talent in the tech sector. Bulger is the founder of Prospect, Canada's largest startup job hub. Bercovici is the founder of Luminari, a digital education network for CPAs. And Gellert is the founder of Hired Hippo, an intuitive recruitment platform for high-growth companies.
As the ‘help list’ grew and resources were added, so did the need to invest more time to ensure that initiative could take form. In week two of the project, YouX Ventures' Jason Goodman and Teija Bean came on board to build a digital home for what would become the Help List.
Marianne has rapidly evolved the spreadsheet into a more accessible and refined online resource for the broader technology sector to come together to find and share resources to help one another get through this crisis.
In July 2021, Communitech took over thehelplist.ca as part of its mission to help Canadian tech companies attract highly skilled talent.