Tended create simple-to-use, intelligent and low-cost personal safety wearables
Please introduce yourself and your Startup Tended to our readers!
Tended is a personal safety tech start-up based in Lincolnshire. I founded the company in 2017 to change how personal safety is perceived and create simple-to-use, intelligent and low-cost personal safety wearables and monitoring systems that are available for everyone.
Our first product, the Tended Protect, is the world’s first intelligent personal safety device. It is a wrist-wearable device that combines advanced sensor technology and artificial intelligence to analyse trends in a user’s movements and detects any abnormalities that would indicate a potential accident.
If a potential accident has been detected, the Tended Protect will prompt the wearer to check in through haptic feedback. When the band vibrates, the wearer just needs to tap the band to mark themselves as safe. If they fail to do so, the app will enter emergency mode and send an alert to the user’s pre-set emergency contacts, containing important information, including activity information, health data and GPS location.
It’s an innovative product that will enable people to focus on their own tasks at hand and know that their safety is being monitored virtually.
How did you get the idea for Tended?
The idea came after a personal experience in Nepal during the 2015 earthquakes. At the time I was involved in the management of a small charity working in some of the poorest communities in Nepal. Following the earthquakes I was required to be on the ground for months, but due to some of the extreme conditions we faced such as aftershocks, landslides and even ambushes I began to search for something which could keep my friends, family or colleagues updated on my safety and whereabouts during the aid missions.
At the time of one of my trips I received the news that my mum had fallen off a ladder in the UK. Although not seriously injured, it could have been far worse and no-one would have known for some time as she lives alone. I created the Tended Protect to provide peace of mind for both me and my mum, knowing that we would know straight away if one of us had been in an accident.
How difficult was the start and what challenges you had to overcome?
Running a start-up which is developing at quite a quick rate (we’ve grown from a team of 1 to 10 in 8 months) is never going to be easy. We’ve had funding rounds fall through and ran out of money on a few occasions. We’ve also run into development issues which have taken months to fix. However, we’ve overcome all of these issues by pulling together as a team, working into the early hours of the morning and constantly innovating and taking risks to enable us to stay agile and continue growing so rapidly!
Who is your target audience?
The Tended Protect can ultimately benefit all demographic profiles. We envisage that the individuals who will benefit most will be those who take part in solitary activities, including outdoor sports enthusiasts and people who undertake day-to-day activities which may pose higher safety risks, such as chain sawing, rural driving and agricultural workers.
We also expect that our products will be hugely beneficial for lone workers, especially as an average of 150 lone workers are attacked verbally or physically every day in the UK alone. Although some lone workers operate in areas with regular contact with the general public, others work in remote or isolated locations for long time periods, potentially compromising their safety if an incident occurred. Our products can help better respond to those incidents by requesting help straight away.
What is the USP of your Startup?
From a consumer standpoint, we’ve created the world’s first intelligent personal safety device which is packed full of safety monitoring features, whilst being small, attractive and still allowing users to track their fitness and receive notifications to their wrist. From a business perspective, we’re offering the most advanced lone worker solution on the market which, as we initially designed our products for consumers, it has one of the best user experiences for a safety solution.
Can you describe a typical workday of you?
No two days are the same for me really. One day I could be in the office for eighteen hours straight closing off a list of accumulated jobs. The next I could be the other side of the country (or world in some instances) meeting with potential clients, investors or partners. The only correlation between my workdays is, lots of time spent on the phone, replying to emails and milling over ideas, problems and solutions with the team.
Where do you see yourself and your Startup Tended in five years?
I guess there’s a few outcomes for Tended in 5 years. Either we’ll have been acquired and I’m working for the purchasing company or in the stages of starting a new exciting journey. Or we’re going strong with a whole product line focused around improving the safety of both consumers and businesses. Which of these outcomes I’m hoping for I wouldn’t be able to tell you until we’re actually there!
Ultimately, I have one vision and that’s for Tended to be the go to solution for personal safety, enabling millions around the world to confidently take part in their daily activities, safe in the knowledge that their safety is being monitored.
I’m excited for the advancement of technology and how we can utilise it to create more efficient safety solutions, such as using LPWA to enhance device connectivity or advancing our AI and datasets to analyse trends in users’ movements, potentially allowing us to predict accidents before they happen.
Finally, I would love to see our products contributing to the personal safety of those in third-world countries and disaster zones.
What 3 tips would you give other Start-up founders on the way?
Speak to as many people as possible – some of the most useful information and contacts I have gained has been through talking to people in different industries and backgrounds – I actually met one of our most important contacts in an Uber pool! Networking is one of the most valuable (and free) tool for any start up.
Don’t ponder – make informed decisions fast and don’t be afraid to take risks.
Grow your team as quickly as possible – this creates momentum and energy which is arguably the most important aspect within a start-up (apart from a great product of course)!
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