October 17, 2016
CampusSafe, known as TigerSafe at RIT, originally started out as a need from RIT's Public Safety department to modernize their offerings and take advantage of being a tech school. They also saw an opportunity to better connect with the deaf and hard-of-hearing students who sometimes can't effectively utilize the telephone in an emergency situation.
At the time, Eric Irish was getting his undergraduate degree in Information Sciences & Technology. Eric was also a resident advisor (RA) on campus, and was referred to Public Safety by one of his fellow RAs as someone who might be able to help with an app. He met with Public Safety, and then did a little ideation and prototyping. Eric was able to utilize some of the resources at the Simone Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship for his ideation process. He went back to Public Safety with a concept of what forms the basis of TigerSafe and his Inform, Report, Assist motto.
From there, Eric began working closely with the good folks at RIT Public Safety. He needed to understand how they worked, what would make their jobs easier, and how they divided up their attention. Eric also researched the student aspect of safety on campus through friends, fellow RAs, and other technologists. After a summer of development, he realized that if this app concept that allows the reporting of critical and non-priority reports can work at RIT, why not elsewhere?
Eric did some work on the business model to outline a future where each school could deploy a version of the app labeled with their customized mascot, colors, and details. This was CampusSafe, the parent company of TigerSafe. He took this model and plan to the RIT Tiger Tank Competition, held by the Simone Center for Innovation, and won first place! This competition came with a cash prize of $2,000, which was then reinvested into the business by purchasing a mac to enable development for the iPhone. After that, Eric brought on his friend Zach Potter, who was a Computer Science major at RIT. Over the summer, they worked on and built CampusSafe 1.0, with their first deployment being TigerSafe at RIT.
TigerSafe launched at RIT in the fall of 2013. They received a ton of local press coverage, and exhibited for two years at Imagine RIT. TigerSafe has been running for 3 years now, and has seen much usage and helped out in situations both dire and trivial. After graduation, Eric begin marketing the product to other colleges and universities. They are now headquartered in Austin, Texas and have recently brought on additional partners to push CampusSafe towards a bright future. Check out their websites at http://tigersafe.campussafeapp.com and campussafe.com.
The Simone Center is so proud of Eric and the CampusSafe team! Congratulations on all of your hard work and success!
Stay tuned for next week's Innovation Spotlight Story on LiftForce.
To see the full article written on CampusSafe click here!