Safety solutions startup wins ‘radical generosity’ funding
Security solutions provider for lone and remote workers Guardian Angel Security has won a share of up to $500,000 for a five-year interest-free loan from global female entrepreneur network SheEO.
The company was one of five New Zealand businesses selected by 500 women (SheEO Activators) who contributed $1100 each to support early-stage female entrepreneurs.
This is the second year SheEO New Zealand, led by businesswoman Theresa Gattung, has backed ventures via their unique ‘Act of Radical Generosity’ crowdfunding model.
The win continues a successful run for Guardian’s Angel Security’s founder and CEO Petra Hakansson who, in February, was selected through a competitive application process for the Sprint Global programme run by ecentre, the business incubator hosted at Massey University, to help startup founders accelerate their garage-to-global journey.
Hakansson set up Guardian Angel Security in 2014 to deliver solutions that deliver safety and protection for lone and remote workers, after seeing a gap in the market for technology solutions that provided 100% connectivity with immediate response and support for this growing group of workers.
“We take our guardian role very seriously and bridge the gap between people and technology to keep them safe,” says Hakansson.
“We were first to market with complete technology, training and monitoring solutions for lone and remote workers in New Zealand, and the success with ecentre and now SheEO provides important validation for our business.”
The fast-growing lone worker market is estimated at around 500,000 in New Zealand and 1.9 million in Australia.
Recent Health and Safety law changes have put the onus on companies to protect high-risk workers with panic button pendants – if staff spend time out of cell cover an alternate means to communicate must be provided.
Guardian Angel Security solutions integrate personal GPS panic button solutions from around the world with signals that link directly to their response software in New Zealand to ensure fast reliable delivery of the SOS, with 24/7 monitoring.
Solutions circumvent the 111 process to speed up an emergency response and to ensure connectivity even when cell coverage is unavailable.
“We’re going after a really big market with enormous potential – from transport operators and manufacturing to Local Government and District Health Boards,” says Hakansson.
“Our solutions make a dramatic difference to people in vulnerable situations. Recently one of our animal control officer clients went to uplift an aggressive dog and became trapped.
“He was able to push the panic button he was wearing which automatically dialled into an emergency line into our control room. Our operator quickly dispatched the appropriate emergency backup support and was able to stay connected to our client until help had arrived.”
ecentre CEO Jackie Young says, “Guardian Angel Security really stood out as a high growth potential business when we were selecting businesses for our Sprint Global programme.
“By keeping pace with rapidly changing communication and monitoring technologies, Guardian Angel is delivering robust and innovative end-to-end safety solutions to meet the changing needs of remote and mobile workers, and to meet the legislative requirements of employers.
“By clearly identifying a niche and achieving a market leader position Guardian Angel Security is on a high growth path.”
Hakansson says the timing could not be better for our business to have secured support and mentoring from the ecentre and the funding, mentoring and ongoing Activator support from SheEO.
“It’s extremely powerful being able to tap into the accumulated wisdom and experiences of others who have built businesses before.
“It gives a whole new level of confidence when it comes to making growth decisions for my company.”