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This app builder is letting students turn their ideas into apps for free

TechCrunch TechCrunch 3/06/2016 Fitz Tepper

“We just need a technical co-founder!” “We have the idea, we’re just trying to find a CS major to build it!”

In 2016, everyone and their mother has an idea for an app. This is especially true on college campuses, where starting an app has seemingly replaced beer pong as the most popular extracurricular activity. The only problem is that there are far fewer developers than ideas, and no CS major is going to turn your napkin sketches into a full-fledged app for a 3 percent stake in the business.

That being said, the trend of students starting companies (app-based or not) is great. It provides a type of entrepreneurial education that is unobtainable in the classroom, and can even spur the economy if it turns into a full-fledged business.

So to help non-technical students get started, Bizness Apps, a DIY app development platform, has been giving free access to any student with a .edu account.

In the first few months about 30,000 students have registered for the platform, and the company has partnered with entrepreneurship departments in about 50 universities to onboard students.

What exactly does access to the platform get them? Either the tools to build an app for their own startup, or the ability to use Bizness App’s white-label solution  and sell apps to local small businesses, which could be a business in its own right.

But why is the company giving away a tool that normally costs $59/month per app, plus an optional $2,000 design fee for the white-label portion of the platform?

Mainly because Bizness Apps was started while its founders were still in school. Andrew Gazdecki, co-founder of Bizness Apps, explained that starting a company in college changed his life, and “if [he] can help one student do the same I would consider this mission accomplished”.

Of course, the more students using the platform, the stronger word-of-mouth promotion the company will get. But ultimately, the company is genuinely interested in helping create as many student entrepreneurs as possible. And in this app-crazed world we live in giving students access to an app-builder is probably the best way to make this happen.

But is using a platform as good as learning to build a native app? Of course not. But for many students, free access to this platform could help them build the minimum viable product they need to prove traction, which help them raise funding or recruit real developers.

Any student can register here, and as long as they use their .edu email address to sign up before September 1st they will receive free access forever. The company says that deadline is mainly to encourage students to get to work ASAP, and maybe even entice them to build something over the summer to bring back to campus in the fall.

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