Pongathons Are Mobilizing DFW Tech Companies For Social Good

Give Back Dallas' ping-pong social tournaments are uniting North Texas' tech community to help raise funds for local nonprofits.


Pongathons (ping-pong social tournaments) have officially arrived in Dallas.

For those of us who are not in-the-know about European trends (i.e. me), pongathons have recently become a social craze in Europe and have grown to include music and art entertainment as well. These events have engaged thousands of people in both corporate and academic settings alike since first produced in 2011.


[ Photo via Lauren Hasson ]

Thanks to Dallas technology executive and Copper Mobile co-founder, Richard Sumner, these pongathons are now quickly becoming the hottest event to attend in North Texas. The added bonus for Dallas is that all funds raised from the event by way of pongathon entrance fees benefit local nonprofits with a new one selected for every event.

Sumner has long been known as a mover-and-shaker in the North Texas technology community and he’s also actively involved in local philanthropic initiatives as well. So, it’s only natural that he had the vision to bring together pongathons, technology, and philanthropy to found Give Back Dallas, the organization that co-hosts these monthly technology pongathon events in partnership with leading technology enterprises.


[ Photo via Lauren Hasson ]

Most recently, Give Back Dallas partnered with North Texas technology powerhouse Research Now for a flagship North Texas Giving Day Technology Pongathon to benefit Dallas-based nonprofit, For Love & Art. The event packed Research Now’s new state-of-the-art engineering innovation space and raised more than $25,000 to benefit For Love & Art.

“Hosting the pongathon was a no brainer for us … We at Research Now are committed to giving back to our community, we love talking tech and we’re a competitive bunch that like to have fun … so naturally this event brought it all together for a very good cause,” said Khusro Khalid, vice president of engineering at Research Now.

Sumner said he wants to keep expanding the network of players involved. A corporate fight club Pongathon in the near future will unite multiple corporations in hopes of raising more than $200,000. 

“It’s incredible to see the tech community come together for a competitive game of ping pong and think about how far the technology pongathon concept has come,” Sumner said. 

I agree. North Texas technology pongathons are off to a strong start and even more is to come. The best part is that these pongathons do more than just unite technologists. They unite the Dallas innovation community for the greater good of the nonprofits that serve our community.


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Lauren Hasson is the Founder of Develop[Her]  a career development platform for tech women by tech women, and a practicing software engineer at a prominent Bay Area fintech company where she’s bui(...)

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