IA Commits: An Initiative Case Study
Watching organizations thrive thanks to digital products we've designed and developed is enormously rewarding. Our team's talents, abilities, and empathetic approach to design, coding, and client support have made life easier and more enjoyable for millions of users.
As a natural extension of our lived values, we want to channel our resources into giving back to the community and causes we care about—causes like STEM, sustainability and the environment, mental health, diversity and inclusion, education, and first responders and frontline workers.
Company Mission and Team Feedback Serve as a Catalyst
From our first days as a company, the InspiringApps mission and values have been at the core of everything we do. Empathy, commitment, integrity, and inclusivity have enabled InspiringApps to work with hundreds of companies, providing strategic business solutions and immersive experiences that transform ideas into reality. Although we're proud of the work we've done, we're most honored by the influence our products have on the organizations we serve and their employees, customers, and communities as well.
Last year, we asked our team what initiatives made InspiringApps a Great Place to Work®. One idea quickly rose to the top of the list: the desire to give back. The fruit of this feedback is a new InspiringApps initiative: IA Commits. IA Commits helps our team and the organizations we support by:
- Enabling organizations to serve their audience through applying our team's expert technical skills and resources.
- Mentoring underrepresented and less experienced software developers while providing a clear plan to support more inclusive hiring.
- Doing purposeful, fulfilling work for the communities and causes we care about.
Our Process of Creating IA Commits
InspiringApps is proof that solid company culture fosters loyalty, creativity, and motivation. Almost half of our team has been working together for five years or longer. Along the way, we've created the environment, that made the IA Commits initiative possible: encouraging communication, welcoming ideas, and acting on feedback. As a result, many improvements in processes, branding, and more have been born.
We followed a time-tested process to develop and launch the IA Commits program. Collaborative from start to finish, our steps included:
- Analyzing survey feedback from our Great Place to Work Certification™ to gain insight into the vision team members were presenting.
- Hosting a brainstorming meeting following the survey, open to all InspiringApps employees, encouraging idea sharing.
- Formulating a high-level concept and strategy for our initiative.
- Creating a detailed plan that defines the initiative's service offering and recruiting program.
This process yielded a powerful impact—the formation of IA Commits.
An Inspired Solution: Service Offering and Training Program
IA Commits is a combination service offering and training program, filling the gaps in the current app development space and encompasses two avenues of giving back: (1) supporting non-profit organizations that need exceptional digital products and (2) providing opportunities for underrepresented developers to gain valuable experience.
But there's more to the name than meets the eye. IA Commits also represents one of our core values, Commitment, and is a play on the developer operation, Commit, that sends the latest source code changes to reveal an app's changes. In other words, the work we do reveals our commitment to change through providing our expertise to help benefit the communities we care deeply about.
“IA Commits offers affordable, safe, and reliable development services alongside exceptional opportunities through inclusive hiring practices—all while enhancing employee engagement.”
President and CEO of InspiringApps
Investing in a high-quality digital app can be costly and outside many non-profit and community organizations' budgets. With IA Commits, these organizations have the opportunity to launch their own digital products under the guidance and supervision of InspiringApps experts for a reduced cost. The impact of a beautifully designed, reliable digital product is immeasurable. Beyond this, and a key point we want to stress, is that community organizations can count on their new digital products to meet the high standards of every InspiringApps product.
This, in turn, opens up a new opportunity for InspiringApps to offer a service option to have your project completed on-shore, at a reduced price, under the guidance and supervision of experts who have been working at InspiringApps for over a decade in some cases. Although the timeline may be extended to support the learning of our apprentice team, we assure you will still receive a great-looking, reliable product that meets our high standards.
Training and Hiring
Software developers are in high demand. There are nearly 2 million opportunities for software developers, with an expected increase of 22% in the next five years. However, many companies expect years of experience or formal education to do the job, which are often out of reach for women and minorities in the industry.
Tech hiring is notoriously homogeneous, and InspiringApps has worked to diversify the team through inclusive hiring practices. IA Commits doubles down on our dedication to inclusivity by recruiting a diverse development team.
IA Commits aims to solve this problem by offering work-based training to less experienced developers, hands-on experience with talented developers and designers, and mentorship and training on new technologies. Our team hopes to train the next generation of tech talent and break down the barriers to entry into the tech space.
A key point of differentiation with our training program is the high level of supervision and mentorship, combined with innovative and flexible solutions that tap into our broad expertise. Subject matter experts will carefully supervise each new developer's work. We've fine tuned the application development process to create a collaborative work environment that avoids silos. With IA Commits, developers can apply their expertise to value-driven projects alongside fintech, medical, and other industry-specific work. Everyone benefits from our finish line, every time guarantee and uncompromising quality commitment.
We listen to our team because Inspired Employees Make InspiringApps. From the initial brainstorm to the launch of our first IA Commits client, the IA Commits initiative reflects the careful processes, creative thinking, and thorough planning we pour into every solution our team creates.
AI + Data Privacy Artificial intelligence has arrived—and the race is on. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has revolutionized how we live, work, play, and communicate. It has tremendous potential to enhance our lives but can pose significant risks if not harnessed properly. AI technology can detect and prevent data breaches, identify cyber threats, provide secure and encrypted communication channels for businesses, and more. And yet, with great power comes great responsibility. As AI continues to evolve, it poses significant challenges to data privacy, transparency, and accountability. Join the CEOs of Brain+Trust and InspiringApps on March 21 as they engage in a thought-provoking discussion surrounding the rapid transformation in data privacy, and provide invaluable insights into the direction it’s heading next. This is a fantastic opportunity to gain a deep understanding of the current state of AI + data privacy and its potential implications for businesses in the future. When March 21, 2023 at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time (US and Canada) Registration Don’t miss out on this opportunity to stay ahead of the curve and be part of this important conversation. Click here to RSVP for an informative webinar you don’t want to miss!
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Business & Strategy
Austin has been ranked #1 in “America’s Best Places To Start A Business,” according to CNBC. This is largely due to the significant amount of resources available state-wide. Resources for Austin entrepreneurs abound, with phenomenal resources such as Austin Startup Week, BIGAustin, and Austin Women in Technology. Austin-based nonprofit, PeopleFund, posits that more than 99% of companies in Travis County are considered small businesses—so entrepreneurs in Austin are in good company and at a great vantage point to find phenomenal support systems. We posted a list of resources for entrepreneurs in Boulder and Denver, and since we also have team members in Austin, we felt a similar list could be useful for our friends in Texas. This post will touch on the same four areas of assistance for entrepreneurs in Austin: Legal Resources: As an Austin entrepreneur starting out on your business journey, you can benefit greatly from hiring an attorney as well as learning fundamental laws that impact entrepreneurs, such as intellectual property. Financial Resources: There are many active organizations that dedicate themselves to providing you with helpful resources to assist you in building the startup of your dreams. Networking Resources: Networking opportunities prove to be invaluable to getting acquainted with fellow entrepreneurs and immersing yourself in the tech world. Educational Resources: Austin entrepreneurs can utilize these resources to empower themselves and innovate for the future. Whether you are just starting out or are in the midst of your business journey, these resources will provide excellent value for every stage of entrepreneurship. Legal Resources for Austin Entrepreneurs RWR Legal: Entrepreneurial Law With offices in both Austin and San Antonio, RWR Legal focuses on entrepreneurial and investment areas of the law. The firm specializes in intellectual property, real estate law, and corporate services, among other legal needs of startups. As they put it: “We are passionate about building businesses—our own and our clients’—to help innovators achieve success.” Legal Garage: Business Law Legal Garage offers similar services to entrepreneurs. They cover areas of law, including filing confidentiality agreements, trademark licenses, and website terms and conditions. The company wants to ensure that entrepreneurs can find the legal services and resources they need at an affordable price point. Lawyer Referral Service: Lawyer & Community Resources Although not specific to entrepreneurs, the Lawyer Referral Service of Central Texas also offers a way to find the right lawyer for your business. They have an online form for an immediate referral, or you can contact them to ask questions if you need clarification on the type of legal help you need. CooleyGO: Legal Assistance Finally, as noted in our blog post about resources for entrepreneurs in Denver and Boulder, CooleyGO is a valuable online resource that can help you to identify and create all the key legal documents you need to get a business started. Whether you want to incorporate or want to protect IP with a non-disclosure agreement, you’ll find their free, easy-to-use document generator indispensable. They also create and curate outstanding content on everything from creating a board of directors to selling your company. Financial Resources for Austin Entrepreneurs CTAN Austin: Helping Startups Get on Their Feet Financial concerns weigh heavily on many startups. The most active angel organization in the US, Central Texas Angel Network (CTAN), helps young startups get on their financial feet. The group helps entrepreneurs secure early-stage investment. CTAN also offers mentorship opportunities and business resources. CTAN operates through a dedicated group of local business people who dedicate their time to helping entrepreneurs but also has a full-time executive director and an investment associate. BiGAUSTIN: Assisting Austin Entrepreneurs With Financial Options BiGAUSTIN is another excellent resource that has a quarter century of experience supporting local small businesses. A micro-lender, BiGAUSTIN helps entrepreneurs find the right loans and financing options for their startups. The nonprofit organization understands the unique financial needs of entrepreneurs during each step of building a company. Likewise, BiG houses Women’s BiZ Inc., a group specifically geared to support the female leaders of Central Texas. Accion: Providing Loan Advice & Assistance Similar to BiGAUSTIN, Accion assists entrepreneurs and small businesses with loans. Just fill out their hassle-free online application that outlines your business goals and the type and amount of financing your young company needs. Need help determining what kind of loan or the amount you need? Accion provides one-on-one advice and solutions. SCORE Austin: Answering All Your Business Questions SCORE Austin, an organization that offers free counsel in multiple cities, assists local entrepreneurs in confidently tackling financial questions. They do everything from pairing you with a mentor in the business world to helping you enroll in workshops on a variety of topics to providing free financial resources. SCORE relies on a dedicated group of local business people who volunteer their time and experience to help those just getting started. Mentoring is free and entirely confidential. USDA B&I Eligibility Map: Checking if You Qualify for USDA-Backed Funding Small business owners/entrepreneurs may want to know if they are eligible for a business loan or a specific loan in relation to what they do. To do this, they can check out a USDA B&I eligibility map to see if it is available in their area. The USDA B&I eligibility map finds out if you qualify for funding in a matter of seconds. Networking Resources for Austin Entrepreneurs Austin Chamber of Commerce: Nonprofit Member Organization It’s always so helpful to “find your people,” and that’s never more true than when faced with the challenges of startup life. Austin Chamber is a nonprofit organization that helps entrepreneurs meet other startup leaders while focusing on developing businesses as a community. Part of the mission of the Austin Chamber is the growth of the local economy; they believe that when entrepreneurs thrive, so does Austin, and thus are eager to help create community. Capital Factory: Entrepreneurial Co-Working Space Capital Factory is a prime co-working office space home to many entrepreneurs and startups. Beyond offering desk space, they sponsor numerous community events, many free of charge. Whether you have just started down the entrepreneurial path or want to expand your startup, Capital Factory provides valuable workshops and networking opportunities to help your business excel. Expansive is another shared workspace and is a personal InspiringApps favorite. Expansive is just as it sounds—an expansive and thriving workspace. Networking Austin, BuiltIn: Local Professionals Club Networking Austin is a club of local professionals from various industries and companies worth checking out. Membership is broader than just entrepreneurs, but the events offered can still help you build your business and make quality connections. BuiltIn Austin is a tech-oriented meet-up to meet new people and build relationships LinkedIn Local Austin Networking has a strong membership and is a great way to expand your network. Austin Technology Council is a fantastic group with which to network, engage, and share ideas. Educational Resources for Austin Entrepreneurs Austin Technology Incubator (ATI): Bootcamps for Startups Austin Technology Incubator invests itself in the tech solutions of the future. Part of the University of Texas at Austin, the ATI enjoys access to university affiliations as well as corporate partners. You can attend a diverse set of boot camps and workshops with ATI, such as their “Health Care Startup Boot Camp” or “The Art of Combining Social Purpose with Profit.” The City of Austin also has a Small Business Program that offers “business training, educational events, and coaching to empower entrepreneurs.” Events cover topics from how to hire the right employees to understanding business loans. Their website also includes a comprehensive list of outside resources for entrepreneurs. Utilizing Your Resources as an Austin Entrepreneur As you continue to grow your business and face new challenges, we hope you keep some of these resources in mind for future use. No matter what stage you find yourself on the entrepreneurial path, these legal, financial, educational, and networking organizations are great places to turn to for guidance and assistance. We encourage you to utilize these resources as a starting point to connect with other techies, immerse yourself in knowledge, and attend leading events. At InspiringApps, we believe shared collaboration is the key to creating immersive and transformative solutions. Looking to dig deeper? We created this free eBook on app development from a business perspective geared to help innovative entrepreneurs like you succeed.
17 days ago