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Is there really such a thing as free tech help? Apparently, yes!

Posted by Chad O'Connor  November 7, 2013 11:00 AM

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We all get plenty of messages in our inboxes about some new free offer or another. Of course, lots of them are junk or are loaded with so many strings you'd have to question if it really should be considered "free" at all. But after hearing about 2 recent offerings that crossed my desk, it seemed like a perfect opportunity to get the word out about these programs set up to help startups and nonprofits...

500Hrs
First, the team behind CauseCode has rolled out 500Hrs. I was contacted by Vishesh Duggar, CTO of former MassChallenge finalist AltrUHelp and Founder & CEO at CauseCode, to assure me that they really are giving away 500 hours of coding help to startups that are not yet funded. Duggar and his team of coders based in India will work on a lucky winner's minimum viable product (MVP) with no strings attached. The Northeastern University educated Duggar cites that "79% of startup founders have no prior experience in startups. 52% pursue their startup part time. I think if we can provide them enough momentum to convert full time and if they can avoid some of the mistakes we've made or seen other startups make, it could make a huge difference."

If you're interested in applying for help, visit http://500hrs.com.

Global App Initiative
Secondly, there's a movement happening at Boston University to put some serious manhours behind helping nonprofits. BU student Habib Khan recently connected with me about the Global App Initiative where a team of 150 interested and motivated students are looking to make the world a better place by developing mobile apps for deserving nonprofits. During their regular volunteer meetings nonprofits are invited to come pitch in front of the group and the lucky winners get full team support. One of those groups being helped right now is Angel Ed, whose work on tackling student debt has been featured here on occasion.

To find out more about Global App Initiative you can visit their site and check out some seriously informative talks on their YouTube channel. Be on the lookout for a deeper dive piece on them in the coming weeks.

Chad O’Connor is a communication consultant, teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Organizational Communication and Culture at Northeastern University, and is editor of this blog. Connect with him on Twitter @chadoconnor.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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