Summer is THE season for motorcyclists. Enjoying the countryside on a fast motorbike is definitely fun, but can also lead to dangerous situations. The ESNC winner of the UK Regional Prize in 2015, Realsafe Technologies, offers an app called “REALRIDER®” to help riders immediately if the worst case scenario, an accident, happens. It is the first of its kind to detect if a rider has had a crash and notify the emergency services of the rider’s location.
Before joining the ESNC in 2015, Realsafe Technologies business success was at its very beginning and got a kick-start by the huge media interest after being awarded as an ESNC winner.
Discover how the ESNC winner REALRIDER® jump-started its business with high-level support from the regional Challenge organiser, the Satellite Applications Catapult and learn more how to turn your business idea into real success. AZO Content Manager Matthias Engler (ME) interviews Zoe Farrington (ZF), CEO Realsafe Technologies.
6 Questions to Realsafe Technologies
ME: Please give us a sneak peek of your product and the team behind it.
ZF: Realsafe Technologies is focused on developing safety-based technology connected to the Emergency Services. The company launched its industry-first app, REALRIDER®, for motorcyclists following a controlled UK Pilot. The app is the first of its kind to detect if a rider has had a crash and notify the emergency services of rider location.
There is no other app on the market that links directly to the emergency services. REALRIDER® fully integrates into BT telematics which ensures crash detection alerts are treated as any other 999 emergency calls. REALRIDER® is the first app in the UK to receive Home Office (via the Department for Culture, Media and Sport) 999 App Certification in 2016.
ME: What was your company’s biggest challenge so far?
ZF: Every part of the journey so far – from imagining the business through to delivery of the product and beyond – has been challenging. But developing innovative technology solutions is rarely easy or uncomplicated; especially when the co-founders had no prior experience of delivering in the technology space.
But following the successful completion of a UK-wide pilot, via a controlled group of users in conjunction with the National Health Service (NHS) in England, the technology is now proven. 50,000 app sessions across a 12-month period generated only 0.01% false positive activations and has resulted in REALRIDER® becoming the first app to be 999-certfied.
ME: Can you explain the three main ingredients of your recipe for success?
ZF: There’s no guarenteed recipe for success, but what has worked for Realsafe Technologies to date is first of all, a persistent storytelling. The business has had to raise significant funding and being able to sell the story to key stakeholders, investors, VC’s, fund managers (and basically anyone prepared to listen) is crucial. Second, it is always important to plan and progress. At every stage of the journey to date, the management team has delivered, even if it hasn’t gone exactly as planned. Better to make a decision, even if it’s based on limited facts, than to make no decision at all. Last but not least, perseverance is crucial as well. And most importantly, when things haven’t gone to plan, the team hasn’t given-up. Even decisions made that didn’t pan out as anticipated meant a valuable lessson was learnt.
ME: What do you expect from the ESNC? How did the competition and its network help you to kick-start your business case?
ZF: Realsafe Technologies were the UK regional winners of the ESNC in 2015, coming overall second runner-up in the competition. The PR generated was hugely beneficial, especially in generating a broader global reach. The team of the regional organiser, the Satellite Applicatons Catapult, were also very supportive, recognising that the business was already quite advanced and tailoring high-level business support to suit. Our company continues to take advantage of opportunities extended by the Satellite Applicatons Catapult to speak at events. This extremely helps to continue raise the profile of the business and exploit new opportunities that emerge from new connections made.
ME: Let’s reach for the stars – what is going to happen in your company’s future?
ZF: Overseas markets present huge potential growth for the company and are already being realised. REALRIDER® has launched in Canada in April 2017 following successful integration into 9-1-1 in less than six months. A route to securing 9-1-1 integration across the whole of North America is being pursued ahead of a planned US launch in 2018. Discussions are also progressing with Southeast Asia partners to launch a 3-phase territory roll out plan starting in Malaysia.
The vision for the business is to further develop the crash detection technology for other sectors as well.
AZO: Anything else you want to share with us?
About the European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC)
The ESNC’s annual search for new services, products, and business innovations is designed to encourage the use of satellite navigation in everyday life. Over more than 10 years, it has evolved into the leading innovation competition comprising partner regions worldwide, the largest space-related incubation network and the most relevant European GNSS stakeholders. The ESNC’s newest feature is Europe’s largest E-GNSS Accelerator, providing more prizes, services and three further business incubations. Sign up now until 30 June at www.esnc.eu.