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Startups Offer Aid After Boston Marathon Attack

Startups Offer Aid After Boston Marathon Attack
Image credit: NPR

Following yesterday's explosions at the Boston Marathon that killed at least three people and injured more than 170, many in the business community are showing their support by facilitating aid and accommodations.

Big business is lending a hand. Google made its Person Finder tool available so that the friends and families of runners and spectators could locate their loved ones. Likewise, American Airlines, Delta and British Airways are waiving penalties for customers who need to change their flights into or out of Boston within the next few days. 

Several startups are also offering support to victims and displaced marathoners, including:

Boston tech community
Boston-based technology startups have joined forces in a campaign to raise money for Technology Underwriting Greater Good, a philanthropic organization. They've set a goal of $50,000 and will funnel money to organizations working with victims of the bombing. "The money is going to go to the support and care of the families and victims, and then the overage to the Red Cross," said Phil Beauregard, a campaign organizer and the chief executive of Objective Logistics, in an email to BostInno, a local news site that covers startups and innovation. As of noon on Tuesday, the campaign had already raised nearly $24,000.

Airbnb
Peer-to-peer apartment-sharing platform Airbnb is waiving its service fees for people affected by the bombing. Anyone checking into a Boston property between yesterday and Wednesday and checking out by Saturday won't have to pay any fees. The company has also created a special web page for people to find or offer properties for rent in the Boston area.

HomeAway
Vacation-rental company HomeAway has set up a web page to connect those who need a place to stay in Boston with property owners. It is also hosting a spreadsheet where those seeking shelter can explain their needs and provide contact information. HomeAway currently has 184 vacation homes listed for rent in Boston, and owners typically offer a discounted rate or a free stay in disaster recovery situations.

Brian Patrick Eha is a freelance journalist and former assistant editor at Entrepreneur.com. He is writing a book about the global phenomenon of Bitcoin for Portfolio, an imprint of Penguin Random House. It will be published in 2015.

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