Tell us about your business in 100 words
Pick Protection is a Glasgow based technology start up company bringing to market the Personal Guardian. The Personal Guardian is a monitored personal attack and lone worker alarm. When the wearable alarm is activated it sends a level 1 priority police response to your location, sends a text to pre-determined phone contacts and, via a recording, gathers evidence that can be used in court to assist in gaining conviction.
How would you describe your business to your grandma?
Pick Protection is going to make the world a safer place! We offer a personal attack alarm and an alarm for employers to provide to their lone working or at risk employees to keep them safe at work.
What inspired you to start up?
A neighbour was attacked and nobody came to help. It made me think we should all carry something on us all the time that we knew if we activated it we would get a police response. I knew when a house’s intruder alarm was activated it produced a police response so I thought we should be able to adapt it - instead of monitoring a building, we could monitor a person. I did a lot of market research and this led me to progress the business.
What did you do before you started this business?
I graduated with a business degree from the University of Strathclyde Business School in June 2015 and went straight into Pick Protection full time.
Where do you get advice, support or help?
I have received a lot of support - the Strathclyde Entrepreneurial Network at Strathclyde University has been very helpful in providing free office space and access to different networks. My non-executive director has so much experience and I have learnt a great deal from him, he is a great source of advice and support.
Finance is one of the most common barriers to starting up. How did you access the finance you needed?
In the beginning I applied to a lot of different start up competitions and this was a great way to win the money to allow me to begin to take the idea forward. I then pitched at an angel investment syndicate (Gabriel Investments) and that was incredible as it allowed me to raise enough money to develop the product. Having a product developed and being able to show customer demand and traction with the companies we had talked to along the way allowed us to pitch for a larger round of investment which is now going to help Pick Protection to scale.
What has been your biggest achievement so far?
For me it was raising the last round of investment. It was a number I didn’t think was possible at the start of the journey. It was a long and stressful process but it was the best feeling when it finally completed and the money was in the bank!
How do you differentiate your business from others?
Our product the Personal Guardian will be the only readily available monitored (police response) personal attack alarm for consumers to buy. As for employers with a duty of care to their at-risk and lone workers, the Personal Guardian will be the smallest, lightest alarm on the market with an industry leading battery life and it will also be very cost effective.
What’s it like to be your own boss?
I love it! I think I would really struggle to go back to working for somebody else. I like the freedom that comes with being my own boss and I like the control I have over major decisions.
Where do you see your business in 5 years time?
I see Pick Protection being the market leader in personal protection and lone worker solutions across Europe!
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
My advice would be to surround yourself with the right people. It’s difficult to know who to trust so never rush into any big decisions.
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