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Summit Stories

Bringing Charity and Technology to New Heights

June 21, 2013 by

Imagine combining innovative technologies, a philanthropic cause and climbing the highest mountain in Africa and you will have a very powerful and fascinating mix.

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That was KiliTechTrek: a group of TECHNOPHILES from Silicon Valley, Europe and Asia climbed Mt Kilimanjaro (a stunning 5,895mt/19,341ft) to swap ideas, test technology and raise funds for a local non-profit.

KiliTechTrek saw a very diverse group of tech execs from Silicon Valley, Europe and Asia representing large companies like Amazon, eBay, PayPal, startups like Livestation and Staanoi, and MindTheBridge (a startup accelerator and seed investment fund) get together and take a set of challenges.

We climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise funds for a local non-profit (Amani Camani135hildren’s Home) that supports the homeless children of Tanzania. KiliTechTrek and Summit Stories are supporting Amani in their next big challenge: to purchase and build a new welcome center in the city of Arusha that will help support up to 100 new children per year.

Our fundraising runs until the end of June and it is our goal to hit the magic 20,000$ mark (we are at about 16,000$ right now). JOIN US by making a donation or spreading the word about our fundraiser.

In addition to the charitable cause, KiliTechTrek focused on the use of technology by its participants before and during the trek.


KiliTechTrek partnered with TECH COMPANIES to enable Trekkers to power their devices with Goalzero portable solar panels, transfer media seamlessly to their phones with Eye-Fi wireless memory cards, record their biometrics with the Runtastic mobile apps and gps phone and transfer money on the trail using PayPal.

I feel incredibly blessed to have made this trek as we ascended Africa’s highest mountain for a great charitable cause and used the latest technologies on the way. This is an impactful story and I hope it is as inspirational for others as it is for me!

We will share more stories, images and videos in the coming weeks – stay tuned.

do you want to learn more about KiliTechTrek or make a donation to Amani? You can check

Bring gold to Kilimanjaro?! PayPal is easier!

May 28, 2013 by

When you climb a 19,000ft/6,000mt mountain, every gram counts and it is critically important to minimize the amount of extra stuff to carry. Would you bring your credit cards, your thick wallet, those notes and coins? Wouldn’t it be simpler to have a mobile payment solution from high on the mountain?

paypalThe Kili Tech Trekkers will benefit from the effortless ways to pay, be paid and donate offered by PayPal, our welcome sponsor to Summit Stories.

PayPal makes it simpler to get more of what people want from their money: this is especially true at very high altitude, whether paying for that delicious soda, paying a bet off to a fellow trekker or make a donation to Amani upon reaching a milestone on the mountain.

Amani is the local non-profit organization that supports the homeless children of Tanzania and that Summit Stories elected to support in their nex big challenge: to build a new welcome center in the city of Arusha and help support up to 100 children a year.

Follow our Trekkers as they climb Kilimanjaro assisted by PayPal, and emulate them by making a DONATION to Amani on KiliTechTrek, of course using PayPal!

Kilimanjaro’s amazing scenery shared from 19,000 feet

May 21, 2013 by

You’re on an incredible trip, capturing amazing photos and thinking, “if only my friends could see this.” You use your smartphone for the accessibility and instant sharing. But, camera phones fall far short for capturing low light, fast action, zooming or other features that make digital cameras superior. And, the gorgeous, high-resolution memories you do take often remain trapped on your SD card long after you return home.

eye-fiWell, KiliTechTrek wants more for our travelling photo enthusiasts. And Eye-Fi has the technology to make that happen.

Eye-Fi wireless SD memory cards automatically upload photos and videos to smartphones and tablets, anywhere. Built-in WiFi means you don’t need to be connected to the internet or a wireless network. Instead, you can stand on Kilimanjaro, take the best photos of your life and they are instantly available on your smartphone to post, tweet, email or just enjoy.

Eye-Fi joins KiliTechTrek on Kilimanjaro to improve the lives of homeless children in Tanzania. We hope the photos and videos the trekkers share will prompt you to action as well.

Stay tuned for more from the heights of Tanzania!

Wanna bet we will RUNTASTIC it on Kilimanjaro

May 16, 2013 by

We thought it would be smart to put aside any suspicion about our upcoming trip to Kili: no helicopters are planned nor we will be carried on the back of a donkey. Runtastic, the mobile health and fitness company whose products make exercise easy and fun, will keep us honest by tracking our progress step by step on the trail.

We will be using the Runtastic mobile apps and Runtastic Gps watch to provide precise updates and snapshots of each milestone we reach on Kilimanjaro.

20130516-085005.jpgRuntastic combines a software platform, hardware device, and an online service which together create a fitness and health ecosystem that can measure any activity data (whether running. Biking, skiing or working out, even eating doughnuts at high altitude). Developed with professional athletes, the technology tracks, monitors, analyzes and shares fitness activities.

Runtastic website states:”Runtastic motivates people to get their body in shape, stay fit, and feel terrific”. Well, this is exactly how we already feel and we can’t wait to deploy the Runtastic arsenal on the trek.


Mountain Hardwear and KiliTechTrek

May 7, 2013 by

20130507-114848.jpg Excited to announce that Mountain Hardwear will be a supporting partner to KiliTechTrek. The Trekkers will soon climb Mt Kilimanjaro and Mountain Hardwear will help keep them warm, protected and strong.

Mountain Hardwear was founded 18 years ago by a group of passionate people who believed anything is possible, and that anything worth pursuing in life required challenge.

Here is a quote I particularly like from Mountain Hardwear’s mission statement: “…we realized standing on the peak didn’t define who we were and our potential; it was the moments of challenge, along the journey that defined us. We celebrate those individuals and are inspired by big dreamers that believe anything is possible.”

Our KiliTechTrekkers are motivated by a similar challenge: to be example to the Amani Kids on the journey we are taking and the motivation it needs to reach a summit.

Welcome, Kili Tech TREKKERS! Game ON!

April 17, 2013 by

The jim whittaker countdown to Mt Kilimanjaro has started: it is now less than two months away and our Kili Tech TREKKERS are already preparing their gear, polishing their boots and … worrying about connectivity on the mountain! Ah!

Our tech TREKKERS are all coming together from Silicon Valley, Asia, and Europe to reach the summit of Kilimanjaro to raise money for Amani, a local non-profit organization that supports the homeless children of Tanzania.

Meet Bada from eBay, Marco from MindTheBridge, Lippe from Livestation, Simone from Amazon, Jim from Accenture, Lucrezia from Staanoi, Stephane from Sabre and Francesco from PayPal.

…What new ideas will this gathering of tech and social minds will spur?

To be continued…