“We are building a Swiss Army Knife for activism and activists.”
Profession: Co-founder, Torch™
Twitter Handle: @mseiler1
Michael Seiler grew up in NYC and attended the Cornell University program in Applied Engineering. There the saying for engineers was “Either have friends and see them, do well in school, or sleep. Pick 2.” He chose friends and school, but no sleep for 4 years didn’t stop him from pursuing his passion for entrepreneurship and technology.
About a year ago, Michael met Rick Greenberg, whom would soon become his co-founder of Torch™. Together they have developed the first mission-driven business intelligence tool and search platform for organizations in the non-profit and social impact sectors. Torch offers the opportunity for coalition building, market research, and market trends through targeting thousands of non-profits, government officials, research institutions, and many more.
What was the first charitable gift you ever gave: Pre-k when I ran around with UNICEF boxes, taking money out of my piggy bank for donations. Funny enough, this is coming around full circle as we’re speaking to people at UNICEF on how they can get involved with Torch.
Who inspires you to give: My Grandma, Lila. Throughout her life she ran a non-profit, Dental Volunteers for Israel, that helped provide dental care to children in Israel. She recently turned 92 and continues to inspire me today with her philanthropic mentality.
What motivates you to give: Even though Torch is for-profit, we’re building tools for non-profits which is motivating in and of itself. To build a useful product that enhances the ability for organizations changing the world to achieve their goals better is motivating.
Favorite Volunteer Experience: In college I spent a few months helping out at a soup kitchen in Ithaca. The combo of connecting with people while they’re eating something you created was truly powerful.
What advice do you have for others to consider giving: Having recent experiences where relatives have had physical illnesses, I advise to keep focusing on yourself first so you can properly give back to others. Enjoy what you do, which creates joy within you, and then you can solve problems that you’re interested.