Safety Concerns Put LiveSafe On Top for 2016
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The stats on workplace and university violence are staggering: About 700 people are murdered on the job per year and this year alone saw over 20 shootings on college campuses. It’s a critical time for LiveSafe, a mobile safety platform, as it brings in a new CEO, prepares to dominate the enterprise space and doubles in size in 2016.
Launched on college campuses in 2013, the LiveSafe technology allows users to report suspicious activity, anonymously if they prefer, directly to security officials. CEO Carolyn Parent sees companies and universities ramping up security and encouraging “see something, say something” reporting (75% to 80% of mass shootings had warning signs). With a recent $4M round of financing locked in, Carolyn says the company, whose founding team includes a Virginia Tech shooting victim, is well capitalized to expand from its roots in universities (nearly 100 schools use it) and start targeting companies with over 2,000 employees.
Carolyn says it was recently used by a USC student attacked by an Uber driver. When the student called for help through the app, it immediately contacted local police and campus security; the driver was caught within 12 minutes. Universities are also using it to blast mass messages. Georgetown recently sent one, encouraging students to report suspicious activity in light of the fact that the school is in DC, a city considered a terrorist target.
One of LiveSafe’s most successful corporate use cases is NY-based Hearst Corp. The media company, which also invested in the startup, has seen a 3x increase in tips from employees. It can range from reporting a water leak to suspicious behavior by an employee.
The San Francisco 49ers will monitor communication from the app on a dashboard sitting in their command center to protect Super Bowl goers in February at Levi’s Stadium.
It’s also seeing more interest from real estate property owners, who want to be able to offer a safety feature for tenants. When someone working high up in an office building needs an ambulance, the app calls 911, but it also alerts the building’s security team so they can quickly get paramedics up to the correct floor. Hearst has used it to reroute employees if a peaceful protest is happening outside of its building.
All of this has also helped the company attract a cadre of advisers and board members, including Chelsea Clinton, former FBI assistant director Jan Fedarcyk and former US Secret Service director Mark Sullivan.
Carolyn says it’s exciting to be at the forefront of a growing industry, but it’s also a sad reality. While the company is only big enough to focus on universities, corporations and stadiums, it sees a need for this technology in nearly every organization, including K-12 education. “Safety is a much bigger concern than it was even a year ago,” she says.
Carolyn was hired as CEO after spending the last four years focused on mobile technology. She launched and ran Gravy, a marketing analytics firm that tracks a consumer’s interests based on the events and activities they’re attending. And before that she was the GM at Deltek, an enterprise software and information solutions firm.
The opportunity to run LiveSafe appealed to her interest in disruptive mobile technologies, while also making life safer for millions of people, including her own children—one is a college junior and the other is at the tail end of her high school career in boarding school. They were both part of her due diligence of LiveSafe’s technology. “This was a gift to be able to find a company leveraging mobile technology for good,” says Carolyn.