Using technology to make a difference in the society
Thinking beyond yourself and helping those who help othersUdit Narang
Every now and then, there are new startups on the market trying to solve a problem and hoping to make it big. Some do it for the monetary gains and then there are some who do it as a way of contributing back to the society. Today, I am writing about one such non-profit initiative called TechStart that falls in the latter category. TechStart, founded by a team coming from a technology background, is a non-profit initiative with the sole aim of helping individuals in need and organizations engaged in meaningful work for the society by leveraging technology for free. Yes, you read that correctly!
On asking Nikhil Berry, the founder of TechStart, why would someone spend their limited time helping other non-profits, he said "We feel very lucky to be where we are today in our careers. As much as we love our work, we have always wanted to do something meaningful for the society and for the underprivileged. Given our busy schedules, it is almost impossible to take out a few days at a stretch and get deeply involved with a non-profit. However, we do get some time off in between and we thought why not we leverage our technology skill set to help others already working for the society. That was the whole idea behind TechStart, to leverage what we are good at i.e. technology and help the underprivileged and organizations working for the society for FREE. That is the least we thought we could do for our people."
I really like the idea behind TechStart as we rarely come across a group of people doing something without any personal agenda. They've been around for an year and have been doing some interesting projects including setting up online fundraisers for raising money to sponsor poor children's education and medical treatments, online marketing for a non-profit to get traction and raise funds, providing computer training for unemployed youth and even building a mobile app for a non-profit to collect books from people who want to donate them so that they could be used by deserving children.
We asked Nikhil about how someone can approach them, he said "The first step is to reach out to us via email: firstname.lastname@example.org with some background information about your non-profit, NGO etc. and how TechStart can help you. We then discuss your requirements internally with the team, come up with a plan and an estimated timeline and get to work. We stay in touch with the non-profit and communicate frequently updating them on the progress". He further added more details on how they function: "Internally, we follow a few more steps. Obviously, as a 2 person team, we cannot take on all the projects by ourselves, so we follow a volunteer method in which we assign the work to our existing volunteers if they are available or else look for new volunteers who can get the task done. We maintain an active list of available volunteers and have a strong network of 2000+ members which is growing further at a fast rate, so finding volunteers is generally not that hard."
There is nothing more beautiful than someone who goes out of their way to make life easier for others and TechStart is doing just that. Personally, I have never seen something like TechStart before and am very impressed and intrigued with the idea. Our best wishes to Nikhil and the team! We hope TechStart continues to grow and has a great impact on the society.