Venios, a personal safety net for students

QUICK PITCH:  Venios provides a personal safety net for students that instantly notifies their loved ones in case of an emergency.

THE BUSINESS: When you walk somewhere, you drop a pin on your destination in the Venios app and we take care of the rest. We estimate the time you need to arrive, track your movements completely privacy-protected. If you go off-route, take too long unexpectedly in the same spot, or just take longer than our estimate, we notify your loved ones or campus safety/911 and then send them a link where they can see your location. To provide even more peace-of-mind, we also alert them when you arrive safety in your destination.

THE “AHA” MOMENT: We noticed alarming numbers of sexual assaults, especially to college-aged women. One of the most shocking events happened less than 4 month ago in Austin, where a women was raped and murdered on the campus of a top university. It was clear for us we need a solution that reacts quickly and provides additional peace-of-mind especially to the parents. That was how we got the idea for Venios.

HOW DOES IT MAKE MONEY? Venios relies on a classic Freemium model. The free model does only one thing: Alert when you take longer than expected and the paid version has intelligent premium features such as detection of stalling or going off route.

BUSINESS IT COULD DISRUPT: This could change how people move around in their daily lives and dramatically decrease the worries parents and other loved ones have.

MARKET SIZE: There are more than 11 million female college students in the US, our primary market. Our secondary markets (single moms, elderly parents, young children) are more than 100M people.

LIKELY COMPETITORS: We have a range of likely competitors, all of which we differentiate in one way or another: Companion App, Sec App, Life360, TapShied, bsafe, Watch Over Me, Get Home Safe, Life Alert, Safe Treck

PARTNERSHIP AND COLLABORATIONS: We are collaborating with college students in Texas and California.

WHO ARE YOUR ROLE MODELS? Elon Musk, Richard Brandson, Will Smith

WHAT’S THE BEST THING OF BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR? There are many ways entrepreneurship is great, but the best would probably be that you can build things that actually affect other people’s lives. That’s a satisfaction nobody can buy.

WHAT’S THE BEST ADVICE ANYONE HAS EVER GIVEN YOU? Of many advices, I stick with this public advice from Gary Vaynerchuk: “Look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself, what do I want to do everyday for the rest of my life…do that”

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHERS? Don’t let anybody tell you what you can’t do.

HOW HAS MANOS HELPED YOU GROW? Manos helped me understand that it doesn’t matter if you have no money. You can still build a business. Also, they helped me a great deal figuring out how to go to market with my product, something I was completely clueless about.

MANAGEMENT TEAM: Marc Backes, CEO – Melina Herrera, COO