Silje Vallestad promised to develop a mobile safety alarm for women with the $200,000 prize money she won when she was named Female Entrepreneur of the Year in March. The award and her efforts have resulted in the US launch of bSafe, a free mobile safety app.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice's National Crime Victimization Survey, the country's largest and most reliable crime study, there were 248,300 sexual assaults in 2007. That's more than 600 each day. Women age 24 and under suffer from the highest rates of sexual assaults. The Justice Department estimates that one in five women will experience rape or attempted rape during their college years.
Vallestad, a mother of three from Norway is the Founder of Bipper, a provider of mobile safety solutions. She is passionate about bSafe because it's an application designed to give women peace of mind. Vallestad has, as many other women, experienced uncomfortable and frightening situations and decided to develop a solution that made it easier to alert people if they felt threatened.
"We all carry cell phones, so it's only natural to make our phones into a safety device if needed. Most women already rely on their cell phone when feeling unsafe. Who hasn't had the phone ready in hand when walking alone at night? Or called someone to keep them company? Or even pretended to be speaking with someone to avoid getting approached by strangers", says Vallestad and continues, "I wanted to develop a solution that can quickly alert people about me having an emergency and also inform them about my location. It should be easy to use, intuitive and provide women with a sense of security".
By triggering the alarm, the user can with a single click on the SOS button initiate a call to a set of predefined contacts or "guardians". At the same time the solution automatically sends a text message to the guardians with a link to a map with the user's location.
bSafe also gives the user the ability to simulate an incoming call giving nearby strangers the impression that someone is calling. In addition, if the user has opened the app the phone will not lock up and this allows the user to alert their "guardians" with only one tap, saving valuable time in the process.
Vallestad has spent a lot of time in California and the Northeast in the last year and is now planning on moving the company headquarters to the US in order to focus her efforts on making this product and other mobile safety solutions available to all American families. "The United States is a diverse and exciting country with endless opportunities and I love the vibe, energy and the entrepreneurial spirit here", says Vallestad.
bSafe was just made available for Android, search bSafe in Android Market or send "bsafe" to 84145. iPhone and Blackberry will follow soon
Bipper is a young, innovative, award winning Norwegian based company developing mobile safety solutions for the international market. The company was founded by Silje Vallestad, a mother of three, who was motivated by "being safe while mobile".
Bipper is focused on providing solutions for both families and individuals. Our first product, MobileKids, is designed to help parents with concerns related to kids and mobile use. As an increasing number of children are getting phones at a younger age, issues such as sexting, bullying, contact with strangers, inappropriate content etc. have increased significantly. MobileKids put the parents back in the driver's seat when it comes to their children's mobile use.
Bipper bSafe is a personal safety alarm for those who want added security when walking alone. Especially young women have communicated a need for such a service and we have developed an application with features designed to provide both safety and security. bSafe allows you to create your own personal safety network of "Guardians" who easily can be notified in case of emergency or in situations where you feel unsafe.
Bipper er et selskap gründet av trebarnsmoren Silje Vallestad. Hun etablerte selskapet da hun fikk erfare at hennes seks år gamle datters venninner hadde mobiltelefon og ikke selv kunne finne noen trygg barnetilpasset mobilløsning på markedet som dekket hennes behov som forelder. Bipper ble utviklet og lansert i Norge og Bulgaria i partnerskap med operatørene Tele2 og VivaCom høsten 2010, og tilbyr foreldre mulighet til å sette grenser for hvordan barna kan bruke mobilen, lokalisere mobilen og utstyre barna med en egen trygghetsalarm. Bipper er igjen aktuelle med lanseringen av bSafe – en mobil trygghetsalarm for kvinner av alle aldre.
Bipper har tidligere bl.a. vunnet priser under 2010 Bully Award, 2010 Mobile Premier Award og SIMagine 2010, og gründer Silje Vallestad ble 8. mars i år kåret til Årets Gründerkvinne i Norge. Selskapet har hovedkontor i Bergen, med distriktskontor i New Jersey, USA og Kiev, Ukraina.