Hurricane Sandy Aftermath: Startups Reach Out To Help Those In Need Without Power

  @nadinedeninnon.deninno@ibtimes.com on November 02 2012 10:20 AM

By now it’s been widely reported that because of the devastation and power crisis brought on by Hurricane Sandy, AirBnB—a property matching service-- has magnanimously waived its fee in areas ravaged by the storm.

It’s the least the company can do, they say, and they’re not the only members of America’s startup community who have chosen to sacrifice profit and space in order to assist other startups and hurricane victims.

One such company is Moxy, a mobile charging and WiFi service that has partnered with Chase to provide free cell power and Internet in one of the bank’s Lower Manhattan branches, according to Mashable.

Zaarly, an online local marketplace based out of San Francisco, launched a function where users can donate services and food to New Yorkers. All proceeds, the company says, will go to the American Red Cross.

“People were asking if you know anyone in New York who needs help,” Bo Fishback, CEO of the San Francisco-based company told Mashable. “We spent a year and a half building a platform for the most talented and skilled people in New York, so we reached out to our sellers and many said they were able and ready to help out.”

To assist groups in need, the New York Tech Meetup has created a Google Doc for small businesses, non-profits, schools, and government entities to ask for technological help following the storm. Off of this, the Meetup hopes to match groups with volunteers.

Even though they’re helping out in droves, New York’s startups have been similarly battered by Sandy’s wrath. Many are located downtown in New York’s “Silicon Alley,” and as any startup founder or employee will tell you, every single day in the life of a young startup is crucial. To not have power for a week could kill a nascent company.

That’s why upstarts like Mirror Media have offered their office space to young companies seeking power and Internet.

“As a startup founder and CEO, I understand how important it is to be productive. Each day is critical in the life of a startup,” said Mirror’s Daniel Mattio. “We have the available space to help New York entrepreneurs who may not have power in their homes or current workspaces. It’s the least we can do to help out fellow entrepreneurs in the New York area.”

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