Shark Tank winner’s app will help keep campus safe

Student SpotlightEric Irish, third-year information science and technology

Jeremiah Sjoberg

Eric Irish, third-year information science and technology, won first place at RIT’s 4th annual Shark Tank Competition for his creation of CampusSafe, a mobile app that helps users easily report on-campus incidents.

Eric Irish had an idea for a mobile application that ties campus safety features with an “anywhere blue-light” to increase the safety of a university campus. The phone app will help users easily report on-campus incidents. He pitched his idea at RIT’s 4th annual Shark Tank Competition and won for his presentation of CampusSafe. Irish is $2,000 richer and looking to expand on his app.

Question: Where are you from?
Answer: I’m from the little town of Trumansburg—near Ithaca, N.Y.


Q: Why did you decide to come to RIT?
A: I like RIT’s wholesome view of technology as both a psychology and a science.

Q: What is the coolest thing you have ever done?
A: Two summers ago I bought a red 1975 T-top Corvette. A 36-year-old car inherently has many quirks that sometimes prove to be tough to deal with. But hearing 350 cubic inches of horsepower out of dual pipes is something I would never trade.

Q: What is something that most people wouldn’t know about you when they first meet you?
A: Most people probably wouldn’t take me for the country boy that I am.

Q: What types of things are you involved in around campus?
A: I have been a resident advisor for two years and I’m an active member at the Center for Student Innovation. I also sing in Proof of Purchase, RIT’s only co-ed a cappella group.

Q: How did you get involved in the 4th annual RIT Shark Tank Competition?
A: I have seen a few in the past, since they are tied with the Center for Student Innovation. This year I knew I had an idea that would be a good fit.

Q: For those that have never been part of the RIT Shark Tank Competition, how would you describe it in one sentence?
A: You have five minutes to explain a business idea after which venture capitalists—or sharks—“ravenously” critique it.

Q: What is your favorite part about it?
A: I enjoy cutting down the idea to its bare bones for a concise, coherent presentation.

Q: What will you do with the winnings?
A: Part of it will pay for a Mac I just purchased for iPhone development and the rest will go to people who helped me along the way.

Q: Where will the idea go from here?
A: I have worked closely with RIT Public Safety and we plan to launch TigerSafe in the near future. I plan to hire a few employees to aid in refining the product into a saleable entity. Then we’ll hit the pavement to sell at other colleges.

Q: Any advice you would give to other RIT students?
A: It’s important to experience a gamut of things in college. It keeps your social scene fresh and your mind curious and creative.

Scott Bureau covers student affairs for University News. Contact him at with “Student Spotlight” suggestions.

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