– Our story starts with my daughter Charlen being raped by two men. In broad daylight. It ruined her life. She was broken for years. As a father I became depressed and terrified each day of walking into her bedroom to see if she was still alive, says Rich Larsen, the Norwegian founder and creator of the Bsafe app and the innovative dashboard, Bsafe Emergency Management System (BEMS).
– Some years later we sat down for a long conversation around the violent incident, and how it could have been prevented – she grew stronger. Today, a decade later, her thoughts, memories and ideas have evolved into several state of the art security features – seeds for a complicated new emergency dashboard with forefront technological functionalities and solutions that can truly change the world – by making individuals, families, work places, organizations and whole societies safer, more secure and in the end save both millions of lives and finances, Larsen says.
– Profit, people and planet are equally important for us. That said, our disruptive business models have global potential for high return on investments – and last but not least, we have an extremely committed and talented team of big time start-up investors, experienced army generals, humanitarian celebrities, world-class sales strategists, supreme court lawyers, MeToo-founders and rape survivours, says Rich Larsen.
– Let's hear what they have to say!
– BEMS is a solution more than a product, one that ticks all the boxes and has an achievable goal of becoming an Unicorn in the very near future, says advisory board member Steve Cottingham. He is an experienced sales - and marketing director and mentor within both the educational sector as well as the healthcare industry in North-America, Asia and Europe. The last ten years he has been an active IoT-investor.
– I'm very optimistic about Bsafe and there will be revenue in 2022, but within just two to three years I would definitely see Bsafe as a million dollar company, with possibilities of touching the billion dollar mark, says Steve Cottingham, also a former hospital administrator and vise chairman of the Alameda County Emergency Medical Care Committee with deep knowledge from crisis management.
– Because Bsafe is a total and exeptional dual security system for both individual rape prevention as well as an impactful safety system on the highest imaginable level of society as a whole, he says.
Cottingham knows that today, both first responders, hospitals and crisis management centers are not capable of having the complete and accurate view of the reality of even smaller emergency situations.
– In large part because no existing systems are able to track people on the scene of an earthquake, hurricane, school shooting, forest fire and so on. But with Bsafe you can easily mark – and save – yourself in addition to helping the whole emergency system being more effective and save both lives and expenses, says Cottingham who was present in San Francisco during the big earthquake in 1989 when the Bay Bridge and buildings collapsed on top of cars and people – Cottingham himself driving injured residents to the hospital.
– Natural disasters like that will happen again and be catastrophic.
Cottingham will be involved in the upcoming sales of the BEMS-system that is “badly needed” worldwide and why he believes it will be a “strong sale” and “guaranteed success” in the United States.
– By “success” I mean a high degree of sales and volume in creating a revenue stream that will significantly increase the company's value. So this is a unique investor opportunity, Cottingham says before adding he will start at the top, and approach regional level crisis networks in the US and specifically his home state California after the summer.
– The exceptional API building blocks of the BEMS-dashboard can easily be integrated into existing arrangements, on both regional and federal levels to operate parallel to and inside of emergency response systems like 911 and others. In that way everyone will be looking at the same information instead of communicating on a myriad of different levels.
– But in the end you can have a strong product and a weak team, and it won't work. Fortunately Bsafe has a very talented and committed team as well as great timing and is why I believe so strongly in its success, says Steve Cottingham.
– It's unbelievable how Bsafe Group continues to gather incredibly talented people with proven execution abilities, like crazy – on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. A team who has something unique between their hands. I´ve never seen anything like it, says big time tech-investor and former head of famous consulting company McKinsey, Trond Riiber Knudsen. He says the BEMS-technology will “solve a lot of big headaches” in society, and could become a Unicorn.
– No other company does what Bsafe does. But it's important to ask oneself as an investor: “Are we solving a burning, important global issue or would this new thing just be nice to have”. Vitamin or aspirin? I would call Bsafe “aspirin on steroids” and a huge opportunity about to take off, says angel investor Trond Riiber Knudsen, also a board member.
– It's easy to quickly understand all the incredible things Bsafe can do – for the whole of humankind. And that is a type of commercial-idealistic approach that I definitely would like to support, says board member Tor Rune Raabye – a former Army Major General, who amongst several high ranking positions in the Norwegian military, also served in Afghanistan.
– Bsafe is guaranteed to save lives, many lives all over the world. The BEMS-system will be helpful for everything from a robbery to any terror attack and even large scale war. Just imagine a free link being given to people in Ukraine. Inhabitants could not only get quick and trustworthy information from their government on which areas to avoid and where to go for shelter, but they could also help their nation by documenting war crime executed by the enemy or individual criminals who take advantage of women and children, says Raabye who strongly believes Bsafe´s state of the art functions and technology should be implemented by all democratic governments to better help themselves and their people.
– The BEMS-system should also most definitely be implemented for emergency services like police, fire departments and ambulances. There is a strong and urgent need for improvement in the existing systems that are – to say it mildly – not very advanced, says Tor Rune Raabye, also a well known leader with 35 years experience in emergency and crisis management, and former head of the Norwegian National Guard.
He believes a modernisation is not just necessary in Norway, but needed in all nations all over the world on a local, regional and national level to improve safety and reduce costs.
– Bsafes way of alerting and documenting would be immensely helpful for everyone from aid organizations to hostage situations…the potentials are almost unimaginable and are bound to save societies huge amounts of money, says Tor Rune Raabye.
– I´ve seen Rich step up for his daughter in an inspiring way, says rape survivor Victoria Valentino, one of the main accusers in the infamous Bill Cosby-case and a forefront figure in the MeToo-movement.
– Together they have made incredible pieces of technology that can tackle a variety of different facets of any situation that might occur, says Valentino. Back in 1969 in an apartment in The Hollywood Hills the former Playboy model says she was drugged and raped by the famous tv-personality Bill Cosby. She was 26 years old.
– If you have had access to help from Bsafes systems back then, could it have changed your story?
– Oh my gosh…well, I was already grieving the loss of my son, but in terms of feeling less suicidal, less depressed, all the agony that comes with the “life sentence” for a rape survivor would hopefully not have been a part of my life, says Valentino.
– After centuries of women having been victimized, blamed and filled with shame instead of all those negative notions being put on the offender – women are now in a place where we feel entitled to be safe – as we should be. So if everyone of us, young men and children included, used Bsafes game changing and revolutionary systems we could cut down the amount of rapes and domestic abuse because we would feel – and be – stronger. We would never be alone, says Valentino.
– I definitely have the app installed. I added my parents and friends as guardians and I've told all my girlfriends to do the same, says advisory board member Juliane Snekkestad, international model and actor, and a big supporter of women's rights to feel safe.
– In my business I've seen first hand other women experience harassment and heard many stories of sexual abuse. This needs to come to a full stop. And in that area the Bsafe app can be of tremendous help, she says.
– I've always had an SOS-alarm with me as I've traveled a lot since I was very young, but it can't even be compared to Bsafe where your own network also gets an alarm and immediately can help. Bsafe is next level, and I hope it will be a common household name all over the world, says Snekkestad.
The most well-known Supreme Court lawyer in Norway, John Chr. Elden has invested in Bsafe and believes the documentation features of the app would be a deal breaker in court – a place where many rape victims have not been properly heard.
– I both hope and believe Bsafes solutions will be a deterrent for potential perpetrators, and definitely can contribute to clarify the relationship when two statements get into conflict, says defense lawyer Elden at The Supreme Court of Norway.
– A recording presented in court will give key insight to circumstances that will make it easier to achieve a conviction.
– I am very engaged in the app itself, but the whole “data package” so to speak, all the important functions that can support a larger societal infrastructure is very exciting, says board member Johann Olav Koss, world champion and multiple Olympic Gold-medalist in speed skating, UNICEF ambassador and trained doctor.
– The goal for Bsafe as a company is to create a safer society which is very ambitious and great. And as a father of four children, both boys and girls who will grow up in an unstable world, I will feel calmer with Bsafe around, says Koss.
– But the more we control where everyone is at all times, the less freedom we have as humans, so there are lots of moral and ethical questions to be discussed moving forward and I'd like to be part of that conversation.
Johann Olav Koss is a founder of the international non-profit organization Right To Play and receiver of The Royal Norwegian Order of Merit for his humanitarian work.
– The two-way communication system and support is 100 percent needed within international humanitarian work. There is a huge demand for collecting and structuring what's going on in the world of aid and care with focus on violence and psychological needs. To get an overview is super important, Koss says.
– The story of Rich and Charlen is compelling, the solutions are essential and the overall concept is terrific, says security specialist Erik Ronningen who is a board member of Bsafe USA and a former Captain in the American army.
– Preventing violence, rape, mugging for both women and men will be a huge step forward. But also protecting ourselves from dangerous individuals in airports and where large crowds gather have been of great interest for security managers in the States. Post 9/11 I developed a security program that attracted the attention of the FBI, says Ronningen, an established safety professional known to both DHS and TSA who also delivered security systems for seaports, bridges and airports in New York.
– What BEMS can add to the existing life-safety management profession is a high level of confidence for one’s own safety and of significant benefit to passengers, students, travelers, elderly and employees everywhere. The market is endless, says Ronningen, who was the last person to escape the South Tower of the World Trade Center during 9/11 before it collapsed.
– Bsafes system of solutions would have alerted friends and family so they would know where I was after walking into the lobby on my way to the basement of the tower to help my friend, the Director of Security. But hearing the moaning of the towers impending collapse above me, I was being pushed out into the street with a crowd of panicked people. I protected myself behind a hotel column as I saw the towers in flames, Ronningen says before taking a break.
– Bsafe would have been a significant benefit to many of our loved ones that day, it really would.