EscortMe wants to offer a simple solution to a common problem. Does walking alone at night make you nervous? Do you feel unsafe if you get caught out after dark? Then don’t walk alone, just pick up the ExcortMe app. Use the app to request a guardian to escort you safely to your destination.
Michael Kassahun Beyene
The Problem Being Solved
In 2012, 38% of people in the US reported that they were afraid to walk alone at night.
We’ve all heard the advice- “Be aware of your surroundings,” “Let friends and family know where you are,” “Don’t wander off when drinking,” – but dangers still exist. It can still be nerve-wracking walking down a dark street after a dinner, or grocery shopping or simply coming back from class. Jong and Michael wanted a more proactive solution when approaching this common problem.
EscortMe wants people to feel safe and secure when walking in their own neighborhoods. Through their app and guardian companions, they can offer that.
Where the Idea Came From
While walking home along a dark street one night, Jong found himself worrying about his parents and others walking along similar streets. He checked online and realized he wasn’t the only one.
When he reached out to the public, he found that 56% of people would be interested in walking with a trusted companion. He decided to build an application that could offer that.
TheEscort me crew is a little worried about their guardians gaining the trust of the users. To combat this, the guardians will be required to undergo an education program, a background check and be required to have lived in their current city for at least three years.
EscortMe is hoping to reach a market of thousands in each city they target considering that there are a lot of groups that would benefit from the app, including; students, individuals with disabilities, young adults and the elderly.
Escort Me’s biggest challenge has occurred in the development stage. “We have completed all the preparations including the graphic designs but we are not equipped with the programmer to develop the application.” They are currently seeking funding that will allow them to invest in a developer or programmer.
Because he’s lived in East Lansing, a relatively safe community, for so long, Jong was surprised to find out just how many people are concerned about walking alone at night. There is already a market for an app like this and the need for it is much larger than they originally expected.
In order to get the funding they need for development, EscortMe is participating in pitch competitions and are preparing their pitch deck to send to potential investors.
Within the next year, they hope to launch the application and the escorting service. While the app is in development they will utilize Facebook to begin offering escorts.
In the initial phases, they will focus on covering shorter distances (1.5 miles) but within five years they would like to utilize cars, buses, subways and other transportation in order to cover larger areas. They also hope that within five years, the application will be used in other countries, such as Korea.
Even though they are new entrepreneurs, they would like to urge others to challenge everything. “Grow your business by challenging all your results.”