Entrepreneurs in Emerge accelerator are solving harder problems in public safety

Entrepreneurs are naturally drawn to solve the problems they see and experience firsthand. It should come as no surprise, then, that dating apps flow out of Silicon Valley in excess — their creators are predominantly young, single males seeking to address the issue of scarcity head on. The difficulties of dating notwithstanding, entrepreneurs need harder problems to solve. The ventures in this year’s Emerge accelerator have developed ideas to serve needs beyond their own. With first responders often deployed on the front lines in the most challenging environments, these entrepreneurs have created innovative solutions to keep communities and first responders safe.

Several of the Emerge startups originated at the intersection of the founder’s personal experience and a greater need. When Lumenus founder Jeremy Wall nearly collided with a vehicle while cycling in college, he took action. Wall was lucky: 47,000 pedestrians were killed between 2003 and 2012, 16 times more than those who were killed in natural disasters. The Lumenus mission is to make the world and streets safer by seamlessly integrating LED “smart lighting” technology into gear for cyclists, runners, construction workers and first responders. Through Emerge, Wall and his team will have important discussions with first responders and innovators within Exelon to continue exploring the ways in which their connected garments can fit public safety and industrial uses.

LuminAID founders Anna Stork and Andrea Sreshta were moved to action to assist relief efforts in the immediate aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Stork and Sreshta saw beyond the most basic human needs of food, water, and shelter, and addressed another critical need: light. LuminAID’s inflatable solar lanterns have been used across the world for disaster relief aid, severe power outages, and outdoor recreation. Through the accelerator, they hope to bring their solar lanterns to light additional areas of critical need across the world.

HAAS Alert Co-Founder Cory Hohs realized that sirens alone are not always effective in warning other drivers of oncoming emergency vehicles. Newer vehicles are increasingly sound insular, and drivers are progressively more distracted by mobile and other connected devices. With this in mind, HAAS Alert set out to develop a “smart siren” to literally put emergency responders on the map by integrating directly into vehicle dash displays. This technology is currently being piloted across multiple U.S. cities, connecting emergency response vehicles and personal automobiles in novel ways to reduce the 60,000 emergency response vehicle collisions that occur every year in the U.S.

Developing solutions to problems faced by entire communities adds another layer of challenge to an entrepreneur’s already complicated endeavor. Yet there is no better place for entrepreneurs to focus on than public safety and helping first responders stay safe while they serve the needs of the broader community. In bringing together future end-users, corporate partners like Exelon, DHS S&T, and CIT, TechNexus is providing entrepreneurs with invaluable resources to expedite the path to market for new technology. To learn more about TechNexus, smarter venture development, and our next-stage acceleration model, visit http://emerge.technexus.com/