Names: Nichita Misin, David Pooley, Callum Coombes, Ryan Smee, James Rogers, Matthew Rumbelow
Safepoint is a safety app for lone workers – people who work without direct supervision or help from their colleagues. This could include field engineers, security guards, estate agents, factory workers, carers, farmers and many other professionals. Safepoint is able to notify dedicated guardians if a lone worker needs help, for example if they became suddenly ill, were injured or attacked by another person. We use GPS tracking so help can reach the worker quickly.
How did UEA Student Enterprise help you?
We were awarded a grant to get Safepoint off the ground. However, UEA EnterpriseCentral has been incredibly helpful with any questions we might have. We are planning to organise a focus group to test Safepoint and the centre have offered some help in this.
What worries did you have while setting up your business, and how did you overcome them?
We are working in a competitive market place. There are several established competitors already, so we had to make sure our proposition is superior and will attract customers away from the current solutions.
What ignited the spark in you to start a new business rather than look for work from someone else?
The team was formed at Sync the City 2017. It was an amazing weekend filled with plenty of ups and downs, but most importantly a lot of learning. Our team won the judges prize which was a massive motivation to continue with Safepoint.
What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Courage – to ask questions, to challenge, to learn, to ask for help. Ability to deal with ups and downs – there will always be both. Research skills – you must be able to find relevant information such as competition analysis (what do others do) and market analysis (what do customers want and need).
What motivated you to set up this business?
One of the most emotional moments was when we came across the case of Robert Geach – a water utility engineer who drowned in a water filtration unit. We keep going believing we could save “Roberts” with the help of Safepoint. Please read more about Robert’s story here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cornwall-34791639.
How do you define success?
If we save just one “Robert Geach” Safepoint will be a success story.
Where did your funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it? Was UEA part of this?
Our team won the judges prize at Sync the City 2017 which attracted a cash prize. We were also awarded the “Do it” award from UEA and Santander. Some other expenses are paid for from our personal savings too.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
We partnered up with a local engineering firm to test Safepoint in the real life setting. It was really great to get their feedback and validation of our idea. This gave us an extra push to keep going.
What piece of advice would you give to university students who want to become entrepreneurs?
Be honest about your idea and don’t allow your own personal attachment to your “brain child” blind you.