As a central part of Ecosystem work, Smart Chicago offers free developer resources for qualifying projects.
All of our offerings— things like web hosting, text tools, map hosting, and user testing— are designed to stimulate the civic innovation sector of the technology industry to serve the needs of the people. Here’s what we’ve got:
- Web hosting and configuration on Amazon Web Services, Heroku,and Mapbox. We also have Compose.io, which includes MongoDB, Elasticsearch, RethinkDB, and Redis. We also have texting tools for your apps through Twilio and Textizen. Just complete the simple form to get started
- User testing through the Civic User Testing Group, a set of regular Chicago residents who get paid to test out civic apps. We use a variety of methods to test apps, teach new skills, and create communion between developers and the people they seek to serve. Be sure to download The CUTGroup Book, where we’ve documented our work to date. Just complete the developer form to kick off the process
- Mentoring through our network of consultants, partners, and associated developers. We regularly host public meetings as well as office hours. Complete our contact form if interested
- Free code through our Github account. We publish all of the source code for all of our projects on our Github account. In 2015 we are working on easier configuration of some of our products so they can be deployed more easily
- Seats at 1871 and Blue 1647. We are founding tenants of 1871, the digital co-working space, and often have seats available for developers and other thinkers interested in civic innovation. Complete this form here to apply
Many of our Smart Chicago corporate partners also have free resources for nonprofits and startups which you or your organization might already qualify to use:
- BizSpark is a resource for startups less than 5 years old and earning less than $1 million annually. If your new business qualifies, you get up to three years of free software and Azure cloud services.
- Through the Community Connections Program, Microsoft and their local partners offer free training events and software giveaways to small businesses and organizations who support them. These training sessions can be about everything from security to collaboration on the cloud.
- Qualifying nonprofits can get Office 365 for free or at a discount.