Catena co-founder sees new charity as “project for 50 years”

Catena co-founder sees new charity as “project for 50 years”

Tuesday, June 5, 2018 Posted by Michael Lawson
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Erik Bergman is helping build schools in West Africa.

Catena Media Co-Founder Erik Bergman has quit his position at the company to start his own charity,

The charity is dedicated to helping children in West Africa, and Bergman formed it after becoming disillusioned with the pursuit of money.

“I see this as a project over the next 50 years. In 50 years the goals can be almost endless,” Eriksen told Google as a company is just about 20 years today. I’m not saying this would ever be Google, but the aim is definitely to create something that generates billions of dollars to charity during my lifetime.”

Read an excerpt from the blog section of his website below:

“I am really, really good, at making money.

This is a story about when I realised the true value of that. A story that changed my life.

My name is Erik Bergman, I just turned 30 and I’m from Sweden. I come from a very ordinary family. I grew up having everything I needed – but I went to the rich and fancy school – but not being rich and fancy. Which made me feel like, the poor kid. Something that had a big impact on my self-esteem and the way I viewed life.

This, early on, gave me a big hunger for money.

After graduation I started running companies and about two years ago, my first company went public. I made 15 million dollars, in one day, on my 28th birthday.

It just felt amazing! I mean, the poor kid, was now the rich kid – and it felt like I had everything I ever wanted.

This was a feeling that lasted for about two weeks. Then I started feeling uninspired – and unmotivated – just lost. Was this, all there was?

Then my friend Emil introduced me to this charity project, call IT for Children. It’s a project in Ghana, in western Africa, about teaching kids to use computers. At first, I wasn’t very emotionally engaged, but I still felt, OK I’m looking for something, I want to do this. They needed 13 000 dollars to build a school, so I donated those money. It wasn’t until January last year that I really understood the value of that. We went down there on a trip to just visit and see what this project was all about. This trip, completely changed my way of seeing things.

I didn’t know anything about Ghana, it’s a country in the south western Africa. I flew down there, it was a very bumpy plane ride, got picked up by a crazy cab driver and driven to this village called Busua. It’s a small village in the south of Ghana with about 3000 people.

I remember when I stepped out of this cab. I hadn’t seen anything like this before – this, this was Africa. The first thing that hit me was a smell that I hadn’t felt before. It was, a mix of, dirt, farm animals and the ocean. It wasn’t a bad smell, it was just a very special smell.

I looked around and I saw houses of mud, some sheds of steel and some house of concrete. Everywhere were chickens and goats running around – I felt like, this is something new.

The first evening we just sat there and spoke about journey and what we were expecting from everything – but it was the next day, that turned out to be the day, that really changed my life.

I hadn’t even seen our school in a picture before. When we came there, my first feeling was, “this is like a war zone”. It was worn our grey concrete buildings. They had steel bars across the windows. It felt, depressing.

Then I saw our building – and it was this splash of colors. It was yellow, green and red – and it just felt happy! Something in this moment just felt right.”

Read the full story at

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