March 24, 2019
Business Concept

Investor Deck

Executive Summary

Pain Point

Sexual assault happens more often than we think, and it’s usually behind closed doors when victims are most vulnerable.  College universities recognize this problem and try to make their campuses safer by installing infrastructure like help buttons, blue lights, and more police patrolling.  Unfortunately, this does nothing to help the people who are inside and get separated from their trusted friends.


Ping! is an app designed to sit comfortably and discreetly on peoples’ phones, ready to send distress signals if a situation turns dire.  Its interface is simple, yet powerful enough to send custom messages to trusted contacts discreetly and swiftly.  Even if someone is feeling mildly uncomfortable, they can take comfort in knowing that their friends can bail them out, one discreet action away.

Intellectual Property

The intellectual property developed and owned by Ping! includes its name, logo, and other branding materials which are subject to trademark and copyright protection.  The app’s underlying code base is also subject to copyright but likely not patents unless we determine any one of our processes are innovative enough to warrant one.

Competitive Advantage

There are a small number of apps already existing that seek to solve the same problem as Ping!.  These apps are all ultimately ineffective by being too clunky, having a steep learning curve, or not being discreet enough.  We can differentiate ourselves from the competition due to our simple and powerful alerting system.

Development Status

Feature discovery is currently underway, where we are conducting interviews and performing extensive analysis on the industry to determine the highest-value feature sets.

Next Steps

BETA LAUNCH: Conclude this stage of development, we will immediately begin building a beta application with bare bone features for students to start testing.

PUBLIC LAUNCH: With the beta version completed by the end of this summer, we plan to launch publicly at the start of the fall 2019 semester.

EXIT STRATEGY: Position Ping! as an acquisition target for big companies in the safety industry.

Report for the Holloway Championship

1. Problem: According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 1 in 6 men have experienced some form of sexual violence in their lifetime. Further, 1 in 5 transgender, genderqueer, or non-conforming college students have also gotten sexually assaulted on campus; and 1 in 4 young women will get raped during their time at college. Far too often college students find themselves in potentially dangerous situations with their friends nowhere in sight and entirely unaware of their physical and psychological danger. Universities across the country spend tens of thousands of dollars annually to build and maintain the blue emergency lights that can be seen all over UNH campus. However, when was the last time a student ran from a pursuer on a college campus? This number probably does not correlate with the statistics above. The unfortunate reality is that sexual assault on college campuses doesn’t happen like a chase scene in an action movie. It occurs inside, behind closed doors, and in the victim’s most vulnerable state.

2. Solution: Our iOS and Android app suite allows you to input their friend/group's contact information before going out. If you find yourself in a distressing or dangerous situation, pressing the big red button on the app will seamlessly and instantly send your location and a customizable alert (think “I am not okay, please come help me ASAP”) to all the members of your pre-assigned group and other emergency contacts. This app provides a seamless connection between you and your friends on a night out. No more unintelligible drunk texts, mumbling phone calls, or worries!

3. Competitor Analysis:

USafeUS: Features include: Time to Leave: Triggers a fake call or text. Expect Me: Alerts friends if I am not home by a set time. Angel Drink: Pulls up a screen that asks the bartender for help. Find Help: Provides resources for after the crisis has already occurred. What’s Next: Calls Emergency Services. Helpful Answers: Answers to questions about sexual assault. Less is more, especially in a crisis. USafeUS’s interface is clunky, difficult to understand, and impractical to use in a dire situation. User friendliness aside, the biggest flaw is the total absence of any way to notify your friends about your situation or to provide your location. To its merit, the app is discrete, but our solution prioritizes safety over discretion and does so swiftly and efficiently.

Circle of 6: Features include: Location: “Need help getting home safely. Location is [here]. Sent thru circleof6”. Text: “I need to talk. Sent thru circleof6”. Call: “Call me and pretend you need me. I need an interruption. Sent thru circleof6”. Though this app utilizes location services, there are still many drawbacks. The app will only function with 3 or more contacts, limiting the usefulness of the service. The app also makes a group chat with recipients where default messages are vague and cannot be changed. While Circle of 6 has far more utility than USafeUS, its efficiency is dwarfed by our solution’s customizability, ease-of-access, and simple, user-friendly design.

4. How It Works: The core feature is customizable buttons with different colors and alert settings, depending on the situation at hand. We want our app to be “set it and forget it,” allowing our users full customization and reliability in desperate times. After developing this critical functionality, we would explore other discrete features like the ones seen in USafeUS. Software is typically tricky to patent, so the intellectual property relating to this solution would primarily be in the form of the logo and company name trademarks as well as copyrighting written and promotional material. As the features are more fleshed out, there could be an opportunity in patenting a new alerting process.

6. Market: We are targeting universities, specifically local ones in the USNH, then branching out. We plan to license directly to the university, and then leave it up to them to market and promote the solution to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their students. We will supplement these license deals with our supplemental marketing, as well. Unfortunately, we predict we will have a growing market, as instances of sexual harassment are on the rise. We hope the use of our tool will limit these problems. As our target market begins to shrink, we will pursue other avenues to keep safe. We could feasibly predict moving from college campuses to cities by marketing to individuals concerned with their safety. It is vital for us to start building a good reputation and rapport at colleges first.

7. Revenue Model: We do not want such a critical app being ad-supported, so we plan to license it to universities at a cost structure per student: this way, our revenue scales as the university scales. Any student downloading the app in the university’s geofenced area will receive unlimited access to our application.

8. Sales: To land the licensing agreements, we plan to market directly to colleges and universities, targeting USNH, UMaine, UMass, and the Greater Boston Area as our early-adopters. As a brand ambassador for a BarstoolSports-esque company, RJ owns and operates an Instagram page with a sizable following of college-aged New Hampshire residents, giving him both direct and indirect access to several major social media influencers and brand ambassadors around the country – all boasting a vast following of college students. Our strategic marketing campaign will be what makes every college campus the safe environment they always deserved to be.

9. Team:

RJ Harrington is a sophomore business administration student with options in entrepreneurial studies and marketing. He has over two years of social media marketing experience and is a brand ambassador for I’mshmacked LLC. RJ has a deep connection to this problem that stemmed from a personal experience that occurred Halloween 2018 at UNH. The event has been and will continue to be his primary driving force to ensure that both the people he loves and the people he has never even met can walk and live confidently and safely. RJ’s role is business strategy.

Dylan Wheeler is a junior information technology and philosophy student with a focus in business administration. He has been programming for over nine years and owns his own software company. He is a three-time Holloway Competition participant: in 2017 as a freshman with Loggit that has since become profitable, in 2018 with PassCrypt which finished second place overall, and now this year with Ping! His role is to oversee technical development.

10. Context: An online survey built through PollEverywhere is currently gathering data from UNH students, with focus on the use of safety apps and where on campus they feel the most vulnerable. We carefully and meticulously worded the questions with the help of a rape survivor and close friend of RJ’s. With help from SHARPP (Sexual Assault And Rape Prevention Program) we were able to locate and make use of some secondary sources as well (i.e. AAU Climate Survey on Sexual Assault & Sexual Misconduct, American College Health Assessment, UNH PD Clery Report/Survey, The Pew Research Group, US Census).

11. Go-To-Market: Looking outside of UNH, Suffolk University will likely be our most desired client, as they are a relatively small school.  RJ’s uncle (Jack Harrington) is also on the board of trustees at Suffolk and has relayed to us their current need for a safety application. He will be speaking with the police chief on 4/1/2019 and to the board of trustees the following days.  Following these meetings, we plan to stay looped into the communications regarding the specific feature requests and price points. In addition to pursuing Suffolk, we plan to enter several more social innovation competitions around the east coast to raise awareness for our startup including Accelerate NH, TechOut, Social Venture Innovation Challenge, Maurice Prize for Innovation, and the Summer Seed Grant.

12. Scaling: Scaling our venture will be a careful balance of marketing, building relationships with universities, and utilizing the resources on Amazon Web Services.  For marketing, we plan to use our social media channels to get students aware of our new product.  We suspect the early users will be close friends and beta testers until our app can proliferate itself into the mainstream.  We will tailor our marketing to different populations over time depending on what our platform needs.  While marketing to consumers, we will build relationships with universities directly, too.  Starting with local schools and branching out strategically, we seek to win over support from universities for a few reasons: they will handle the marketing and distribution channels to their students, they are apt to benefit the most from our tool, and we can cover our target market faster through wholesale deals.  From the technical side of our application, we will create our infrastructure utilizing AWS.  By building on the cloud, we can fully take advantage of enterprise security and scalability—ensuring over 99% uptime and responsiveness no matter how many users are on the platform.

13. Potential Scale: Since we are first targeting college students, we will estimate our potential scale starting with the metric found on a US Census report that there are about 16 million students enrolled in college across the United States. Trends set in college have the tendency to rub off on aspiring high schoolers, allowing our safety app to penetrate into high school students’ phones, too. According to www.pewresearch.org, Millennials (born 1981-1996) are expected to overtake Boomers in population by the end of 2019 as their numbers swell to 73 million. The generation that holds the key to our future success is Gen-Z (born 1997-2012), currently sitting at roughly 63 million. By 2020, Generation Z will account for 40 percent of all consumers in the U.S. If by that time we’ve captured the interest of Millennials, we will be looking at momentous growth potential via the younger generation.

14. Fixed Expenses: The fixed expenses of our venture will be mostly salaries for our team.  At full scale, we plan to have a CEO, CTO, COO, CSO, CMO, Senior Accountant, Administrative Assistant, backend and frontend developers, three sales reps, and customer engagement.  The only other potential fixed expense is an office space, which we estimate will total $40,000 annually at full scale.  We also plan to have a consistent budget for marketing and travel expenses.  These expenses could scale but will likely remain fixed given that we want to prioritize building a safe and practical application.

15. Financial Resources: We realize that raising capital for our venture will be difficult, so we plan to get creative and use all the resources UNH provides.  We are applying to the Holloway Competition to kick-start our growth and traction within the ecosystem.  We will then apply to every other prize competition at UNH including the Social Venture Innovation Challenge in the fall, the Maurice Prize for Innovation in the spring next year, and the Summer Seed Grant at the UNH ECenter.  This non-dilutive funding will be crucial for us as we begin taking our early steps as a company.  Once we’ve hit the ground running, we plan to seek small investments from friends and family.  Our team is connected to many high net-worth individuals in the area who could be interested in investing.  Of these people are Robert Hale Jr. (CEO and president of Granite Telecommunications and owner of Black Rock Properties), Dennis Mahoney (CEO and owner of Lynnwell Associates), and Jack Harrington (CEO and co-owner of New Boston Strategies).  Lastly, thinking outside of UNH, we hope to take advantage of the NH High Tech council’s resources and mentoring by applying to their startup accelerator programs and pitch competitions like TechOut.  Our promise to all our investors is that by getting in early for our seed round, they should see immediate returns within 18 months which can stand to multiply as we gain traction and raise subsequent rounds of funding.

16. Top Risks:

Liability: Given the nature of the issue we are combating, it would be safe to assume that liability is the clearest and most readily-apparent danger. As with any product or service offering, there is always the likelihood of malfunction. If our app fails to sufficiently do its job and someone gets hurt, there is a good to decent chance that one of those unfortunate individuals are going to seek reparations. Our contingency for this will be a terms and conditions agreement drafted for us by our lawyer absolving us of any and all legal responsibility in the event of a malfunction.

Stigma: The stigma surrounding the issue of sexual assault presents both an obstacle as well as an opportunity. To combat the stigma and grow our user base, it is paramount that we, through a meticulous and strategic marketing plan, take the necessary steps to emphasize the importance of staying connected to friends while destigmatizing the subject of sexual assault and rape on college campuses. The subject has been taboo for a long time and many universities are hesitant to admit there is a problem, as doing so would prove harmful to their reputation. This situation presents both the challenge of marketing in a way that doesn’t hide the issue without also scaring away potential users, as well as the opportunity to be the invisible hand that universities need right now to get in the mud and do the work they can’t—or won’t—do.

User Adoption: User adoption will prove to be an obstacle as we gain traction. College students are often hesitant when it comes to adding new things to their phone, even if it’s their good friend recommending it. Thankfully, we’ve composed a way to mitigate this. The first iteration of our app will allow one default SOS button, enabling the user to notify their friends and/or local authorities by means of a group SMS text including both a customizable message and a link to the user’s location via Apple or Google Maps. Our app will provide an optional location tracking feature to those recipients who have the app as well, allowing them to see any changes in the victim’s location. Those who are receiving the alert but do not have the app themselves will receive only the target’s location from the time that it was sent. This circumstance is due to a technological limitation in iPhone hardware, which in itself provides us with the opportunity to use this to our advantage. The fact that location tracking (plus additional features) will be available exclusively to those who have our app installed means that a user’s friends will be much more likely to download as well.

Income Statements Years 1-5


Logos and Iconography