To feel safe is a basic need of human beings. Unfortunately, in today’s world security issues are present in everyone’s lives. But, how can we prevent something from threatening our security?
Gustavo Caleffi believes the answer relies on bonding community connections and making people aware of the dangers, so they can avoid being harmed. And this is the basis of BeOn.
In the 19th episode of The Traction Stage Podcast, Gustavo will tell us about BeOn story and what was important to start generating traction for the platform.
What exactly the problem that you are solving is? And what is the solution that BeOn is offering to its users?
First of all, we need to integrate the community to exchange information about security in the same place. A big problem that we have when we talk about security is that nobody knows what’s happening around their houses and offices.
We want to integrate information on everything that’s happening about security, health, environment, traffic and fire problems, so people can see what is happening around their places and also to help public staffs.
With this integration, we provide a lot of good timing to all these staffs to work with security and this problem in any place.
BETTER THAN RADIO
How did the idea come to your mind?
We worked for a long time with security—almost 20 years. Here in Brazil, the security problems were growing and we had a lot of places that we wanted to work together to have more safety in their neighbourhoods.
First, we worked with radio communication—one condominium talked with another condominium by radio. But it has costs.
So, we started thinking about how we could make these people exchange information with no costs. We thought about an app, and this app is BeOn. We’ve been working in this solution since 2016.
GETTING AN EXPERT
What were the first steps you took after having the idea?
First of all, we made a big project with everything that we could develop in this platform—the best ways and the best platform we could have.
For sure, we didn’t have enough money to put everything working. So, we looked for someone that is an expert in technology, and we started working together with this expert. After that, we made a project to develop the MVP.
And how did you contact him and how did you make him to jump on board?
We looked around all Brazil to find somebody to develop with us this project. And we found that guy very near us. He lives in São Leopoldo—a city very near Porto Alegre. Actually, it’s a company called Mura. This company looked at our project and wanted to be inside the project with us. So, we paid them some money and they came to be our partners in the project.
MONEY TO START
Were these “friends and family” funds or did you have to raise the money from someone else?
No, only friends and family. And after two days we launched the platform in the market, a friend—CEO of a bank—wanted to put money in the business.
You’ve mentioned about the beginning of the idea in 2016. How long did it take for you to release the MVP?
Well, we worked hard. We draw all the features that we needed in almost four months. We talked too much and we planned too much the features that we needed in BeOn in the first MVP. After that, we had almost six months developing the app until we could put it in the market.
How was this first version like? What features did it have?
The features were almost the same that we have today. We’ve just changed the way they appear. We are from the market and we know what people need. This is the difference to have one MVP that you’re really giving people need. Because of that, we didn’t make big changes.
What were the best strategies or marketing strategies that you use to get users coming to your platform?
Well, everybody needs our app. We were talking with Google, two weeks ago, about Waze. People that use Waze are people that need to go in their own cars. BeOn is used by everyone—an old woman or a child. They need to have information about security. So, it is very important for people.
And when we put BeOn in the market, all the newspapers and TV programs, wanted to use BeOn to explain that people can use technology to have more security. So, we had 32 exposures in Brazilian newspapers and TV programs. It helped us a lot to show people what BeOn is.
We also had a lot of influencers that helped us—on the radio, on the newspapers and on social— to explain people about BeOn.
All these things together helped us to explain people what BeOn is and make them download it.
How do you deal with users’ data security?
This is a very good question for us, because we don’t have any data about the user. The only information that we have is the number of the telephone; Nothing else. You can put your name or not, but we don’t show the name—and we don’t know if the name is real or not. For us, it doesn’t make a difference.
However, if somebody starts to put information that is not true, we can show the phone number for justice or for the police, and they can start to make an investigation. But we don’t show this information on the platform.
A piece of advice you would give to startup entrepreneurs…
To start a project is not an adventure; It’s hard work. People really need to know very deeply what they are doing.
Sometimes, you have an idea and you think your idea is the best thing in the world; And you start working. But you really need to know about the market.
An idea can be good, but the difference is how you work on your idea, put that idea in a project and how you work to somebody see value in your idea.
For me, it’s important to have a lot of knowledge about what you are doing and about what people need, to have success in your project.
Hey, did you like this episode? Check other startup stories here.
MORE ABOUT THE FOUNDER
Gustavo Caleffi (LinkedIn) – Fundador e Sócio diretor da Squadra Gestão de Riscos; Fundador e CEO APP Be On Segurança Colaborativa; Administrador de empresas, com MBA em Direccion de Seguridad en Empresas pela Universidade de Comillas (Espanha); Certificado pela Universidade Israelense ICT (International Institute for Counter Terrorism) em “Segurança Global e Certificado pela empresa israelense ISDS em “ Advanced VIP Protection Course; Especialista em Gestão de Riscos Estratégicos e Segurança; Autor do livro “Caos Social A Violenta Realidade Brasileira”; Atua no segmento de segurança há mais de 20 anos; Inúmeros artigos publicados em diversos veículos de comunicação; Instrutor de lutas há mais de 20 anos; Palestrante em eventos nacionais e internacionais sobre o tema Prevenção em Segurança, Gestão de Riscos Corporativos e Gestão de Segurança de Grandes Eventos; Responsável técnico por projetos em inúmeras empresas multinacionais e nacionais e também em grandes eventos como Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), Lolapalooza, Paul McCartney, Rolling Stones, Planeta Atlântida, Circuito Banco do Brasil de Música; Reconhecido pela Brigada Militar do RS com as medalhas “Brigada Militar”, Serviços Distintos” e “Serviços Relevantes a Ordem Pública” e medalha “Tiradentes” pela Polícia Civil do RS.
MORE ABOUT BEON
BeOn (Website; Facebook; Instagram; Youtube) is the solution that have the purpouse to save the world, from a free Community Security APP that communicate and integrate community, public staff (police, fire department, transit department), public managers and private security staff. The APP treats security, fire, traffic, health and environment emergency communication.
Gains For security: Prevent information about suspects acts and suspect people; Help to reduce the response time of state and county security mechanisms.
Gains For Fire Fighting: Rapid community communication, promoting greater agility in a first fire fighting, minimizing the risk of major fire; Easy way and agility for fire Fighters identify the geolocation of emergency call.
Gains For Health: Enables professionals in the area (doctors, nurses, firefighters) to assist the victim until the ambulance arrives; Anticipation of situation reporting to emergency call centers, including photo, streamlining understanding of state agents’ need; Preservation of lives by the possibility of first aid care before the arrival of ambulance.
Gains For traffic: Roadblocking information for community rerouting in the region; 911 call location geolocation facility; Anticipation of the situation report for emergency call centers, including a photo, speeding up the understanding of the need by state agents, especially speeding up cases in which firefighters’ support is needed for cutting tools
Gains For Environment: Community information in case of lost child or animal, facilitating and speeding up the identification of those responsible; Natural Disaster Communication Agility in Micro Regions; Form of utility reports for the entire user base, such as road flood closure, landslide