The Elevator Pitch
If you've only got a minute to read our post, this is the section for you. SaferGrounds is a hosted mobile and web application that gives members of an educational community the ability to request safety assistance from security officials via their smartphones. This idea is meant to modernize the current security posts found scattered around institution's campuses by providing a theoretically infinite (though the institution limits it to a certain radius) range of coverage instead of only having the smaller area of the post. Crime is a growing issue in the United States and around the world, and by utilizing these devices that 55% of college students have we will be able to help make campuses a little safer. The money that we're requesting will cover the paperwork, legal fees, marketing costs, development hours, space costs, bandwidth and server costs as well as the many other costs associated with launching a product of the quality we want to launch.
Hello Indiegogo. We are a small, independent web development and design team named LuminoCityGroup. Since LuminoCityGroup started, our primary goal has always been to work in the education industry providing software that will enhance the experience of students, faculty and staff at these institutions.
SaferGrounds addresses one of the primary concerns that we see in the education industry today: safety. In the US, college campuses in particular have fallen prey to various crimes and these institutions are continuously struggling with how to resolve this issue. In the past, most institutions have placed "emergency posts" around their campuses in order to allow students to call for security by pressing a button. While these posts are beneficial, the inherent flaw becomes obvious when a crime happens and one is not within reach of the student. In most cases, this means the student will unfortunately be left to fend for themselves.
This issue does not have to exist. With the quickly advancing devices that are in 55% of the average college student's pocket, SaferGrounds believes that we can resolve this issue.
While there are products out there that do things similar to what we aspire to do, they tend to either cost a large amount of money to the students or the institutions that utilize them. We want to provide a cheap, hosted, powerful and integrated alternative that will work with these various institutions' existing infrastructures to provide the members of their communities with a new sense of safety.
Where We Are Now & What We Plan To Do
We have already made a significant amount of progress towards creating our application, and we have basic mobile apps for both both iOS and Android devices; But we want to enhance these applications. In their current iterations, the users log in one time using their institution's chosen login method and then any time after they login that they launch the app they are presented with a single, practically full screen button that they would press to trigger the alert process. This would then fire off a notification to the security staff at the campus via (currently) a web interface that shows their realtime position on a map. The security dispatcher can then send an official to their location as soon as possible to resolve any issues that may be occurring.
Where We Want To Go
But that isn't where our ideas stop. We are also looking into many other additions to our current development plan, including features such as allowing SMS reports from students that will also populate the system, phone calls to notify security officials alongside the web interface and the ability for institutions to send out push notifications (via both SMS and the application) if the need arises. We also recognize that there are often visitors to these campuses who may also want to have the application. SaferGrounds would like to take this into account by offering users of the app who are from another institution “guest” access to the institution's security network. This means that if the user's institution had SaferGrounds and they were visiting another SaferGrounds campus, they would be able to send notifications to that campus instead of the campus they are originally from. One of the features we are most excited to offer is a collection of API endpoints that we will allow institutions to implement into their existing mobile applications so that their users do not need to download and maintain two separate apps. However, Institutions that do not want to implement our service into their existing apps can just instruct their users to download our separate application which will be conveniently available in the various app stores.
Unfortunately, we do not have the funds necessary to release our product. And that's why we've turned to you. There is a lot of paperwork, legal fees, marketing costs, development hours, space costs, bandwidth and server costs and many other costs associated with getting this product reliably out the door and in the hands of the institutions. The goal we've requested covers these costs and will allow us to operate while we work on attracting more attention to our product.
We Need Your Help!
LuminoCityGroup, and the SaferGrounds project, are set on making sure that this product isn't all about making money - we want to better the world of education. Our price for the product once we release clearly reflects this idea. Instead of looking for outside investors who would alter that goal, we're turning to Indiegogo for assistance in securing the funds required to cover the charges we're encountering that are blocking us from continuing with our project. We've already invested some of our own money trying to get it started, but it wasn't enough for all of the costs associated with releasing a product of the caliber we desire.
We realize that our business model doesn't have many perks that we can directly hand to you since it's a software meant for institutions. We've tried to come up with some interesting perks that we think you'll enjoy anyway.
When We'd Like to Launch
Ideally, we'd like to launch the SaferGrounds beta this fall and the final product in the Spring of next year. This will allow for enough time for us to work out any bugs and also give various institutions time to consider us before their fall semesters start by using the summer as their testing time. If we get more funding than our goal, we'll be able to bring additional talented staff onto our team and complete the project more quickly.
We hope you'll share in our desire for safer campuses around the world. We hope you'll spread the word and consider helping our product be released. If you have any questions (or perk ideas!), please don't hesitate to ask. We'll respond as quickly as we can. Thank you for taking the time to read about our project.