Due to her hefty course load and many extracurricular activities, Rajia Abdelaziz purchased a tube of pepper spray to give her some peace of mind during her frequent walks home late at night.
But when she told other women to do the same, they expressed fear that the spray might be used against them. And one day while at the Apple Store, someone did almost steal Abdelaziz’s pepper spray.
On a mission to find a solution, Abdelaziz founded invisaWear, a company that produces smart jewelry and accessories that will alert friends, family or the authorities when a person presses it twice.
The company on Monday launched a $20,000 Indiegogo campaign offering advanced orders to raise money and has nearly reached its goal in just a few days.
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Not only has the product caught on, but the police are finding it extremely useful in tracking down distressed people as well. Contrary to popular belief, police do not have your exact location when you dial 9-1-1.
InvisaWear’s proprietary, patent-pending technology is powered by RapidSOS and can share your name and location with any 9-1-1 dispatch center in the United States, even if you don’t know where you are.
“We live in a world where someone can lose their iPhone and find it in 10 seconds, but police are not able to find people in time,” Abdelaziz told The Buzz. “I wanted a device that wasn’t very bulky. I can’t even get my grandma to wear her own emergency alert [device] so how could I ask the same of women like myself?”
At first, Abdelaziz was only targeting college-age women, but then a number of industries began to approach her. People like nurses, who often walk to their cars at all hours of the night, and real estate agents, who show houses and apartments alone late at night took interest in the product.
The company, now five employees strong, has already had a great deal of success, winning over $15,000 in various business competitions, receiving a grant from the National Science Foundation in conjunction with the University of Massachusetts Lowell, where Abdelaziz attended, and raising a private round well over $100,000.
Additionally, invisaWear is looking to partner with retailers, team up with hospitals, universities, real estate agencies and other organizations with a similar mission, and begin a venture round in about a year. If interested in working with the company on any of the above, please email Rajia.Abdelaziz@invisawear.com.