Next Steps with Safe in Sound

Our third ‘next steps’ interview is with Chukwuma Ogbobie from Safe in Sound Media.

Safe in Sound’s goal is to market an app which will reduce unnecessary accidents and fatalities on the roads for school children. One of the main causes of deaths on British roads is children not concentrating on road safety on their way to school, often due to listening to music on their headphones. By using the latest geo-fencing technology, Safe in Sound will address this problem and they’re working hard to bring the concept, in the form of an app, to market as soon as possible.

Chukwuma, you’ve been exceptionally busy at the Catalyst Centre, haven’t you? Yes, I really threw myself into it. Official figures show that the death rate from road accidents has jumped by 40% so there’s clearly a real need for a product to help arrest this worrying trend. Even more worrying is that market research suggests that young kids just don’t care – it’s more important to be cool. My 15 year old son wears his headphones going to school and that motivates me more than ever!

How did the Catalyst Centre experience help you? I learnt a lot, like the fact that it’s great to have an idea but it’s even more important to let your market define your app. The team also stressed the importance of speed to market so I now have a developer who I liaise with daily. In terms of marketing I’m working on the concept of ‘Safe and Sound Saves Lives’ and looking at posters and a reward platform which will create a revenue stream through an app wall. It will feature, for example, games, cinema, events, trainers – things that are important to the young people I’m targeting.

Sounds like there’s lots to work on so what are your next steps? More research, app development and securing funding in the first instance. Within twelve months I hope to have created awareness of the app in all schools and to have begun rolling it out, probably via strategic partnerships. It will be important to create a following that will help the app to sell so we’ve talked about using a celebrity to help launch it, and I am engaged in talks with an agency. Transport for London has given their backing to the project and I hope that they will play a really important role in launching it effectively too. After that, I see opportunities with secondary markets like joggers and cyclists and also through working with the music industry.

What did the Catalyst Centre judges say to you on graduation? Well, one judge offered investment on the spot! (I won’t say who!) However, it was stressed that I need to get a few aspects of the app sorted. Everyone was in agreement that it’s a fast moving marketplace which I need to be mindful of and get it to market as soon as possible.

Once fully developed, they advised me to package it up well and go straight to the big players – the likes of Android, Apple and Beats. Basically, it was all very positive – just a feeling of ‘make it happen!’.

Peter Birkett, CEO of Southampton Science Park and Catalyst Centre judge added: “All of the judges were inspired by the hard work and effort Chukwuma has put in during his time here. We all agree that the concept is destined to make a real impact and are confident that Safe in Sound will be a huge success.”

Don’t forget, if you want to be where Chukwuma is now, make sure you apply to the Catalyst Centre 2015 now!