Safety isn’t a women’s issue, says GoSafely cofounder and CEO Annmarie Stockinger.
After she was assaulted in her freshman year of college, Stockinger began developing a device that calls for help and notifies responders to your location, all without relying on Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
When looking at competitors’ products, though, Stockinger noticed that most market exclusively to women.
“A lot of other companies really focus on women and call their product ‘jewelry,’” she says. “When I think of safety, I don’t think of jewelry. I think of something sturdy and reliable.”
That’s the idea behind the design of SafelyTags, which are sleek, solid, and keychain-ready.
GoSafely has already won several competitions in its first year, including HackATL and WeWork’s Creator Awards. Stockinger and her cofounders Koby Schmetterling and Rahul Sane have used the $18,000 in prize money from WeWork to manufacture the first batch of SafelyTags. And to get the product into the hands of consumers for beta testing, the company is launching its first crowdfunding campaign today.
“Right now, we’re not in the market for investor capital,” Stockinger says. “While I am interested in having a company that can stay afloat, I want to help people. I’m concerned that any funding we would receive might not align with that goal.”
A data nerd at heart, Stockinger analyzed her options and chose Indiegogo above all other platforms because she’s seen hardware and social impact products raise more money there. They’ve set a goal of $45,000, and plan on sending customers devices by February.
GoSafely’s tech is developing so fast, its patents can’t keep up. The team filed their first provisional patent in March, but outgrew it by June and had to file another one. Stockinger, too, has outgrown her current circumstances. She just moved from Atlanta to Philadelphia to be closer to her cofounders and to manufacturers. Now she’ll be based out of WeWork Northern Liberties in Philadelphia.
Looking forward, she remains focused on her original vision of creating a sense of safety for students and providing colleges with data about dangerous spots on their campuses.
“The fact that we’re college students helps us reach out to colleges,” Stockinger says. “I’m not just talking about people who’ve had experiences. Whatever you’re worried about, here’s this tool. Here’s this opportunity to be part of a community of people who care about being safe.”