Swooping in at the last minute – Safe ‘n’ Sound join the Catalyst Centre!

Now, we don’t usually do this, but when we received an application from Safe ‘n’ Sound Media a few weeks ago, we couldn’t resist asking founder Chukwuma Ogbobie in for a chat. We were so impressed by his business proposition, we asked him to jump straight in to the Catalyst Centre programme rather than wait until next year! We sat down with him to ask a few questions that got right to heart of what Safe ‘n’ Sound Media is all about.

Whats the idea behind Safe nSound Media?  

Safe NSound is a new safety app designed for school children using the latest geo-fencing technology. One of the biggest casualties of deaths on the roads is children crossing on the way to school, and one of the main causes is the method and volume of the music they listen to; through headphones. I have a young son who, unfortunately, has friends that have been involved in road accidents as a result of not concentrating whilst crossing roads, which is terrifying for all involved. Every day, I witness young people not paying attention when crossing and nearly getting knocked down, so this year, I decided to do something about it. Safe ‘n’ Sound Media aims to reduce child road death statistics by developing a mobile app. The app will alert young people at crossings to concentrate and hopefully, it will cut down on these accidents.

I am fortunate enough to have a very diverse business background which includes expertise in both the areas of technology and marketing – having spent the last six years working on developing apps and websites. This experience and knowledge has come in useful since creating my own tech start-up. I’ve always been entrepreneurial, in fact I started early – at school I sold sandwiches to other kids at lunchtime, and also developed a website throughout my university career that’s still running today (www.tha-one.com).

What stage is the business at currently?

I’ve been working hard on the idea since February and it’s already been getting a lot of interest. I have been concentrating on the website, PR and investment proposals in the mean time. The wireframe for the App is developed and I’ve begun some market research with four schools, with a few more also keen to get involved. We have two national endorsers and even Transport for London are already giving their support, which is incredible given that it’s so soon. The signs are really good, proving that there is a definite need. I’m also aware that this app needs to appeal to a young audience as well as staying focused on safety, so I’m excited to start looking for celebrity endorsements to help encourage interest! 

Why did you decide to apply for the Catalyst Centre?

I recognised that the potential success of the business is enhanced by being part of a dedicated incubator and I also know how important it will be to grow the business organically along with other companies at the same stage. 

I chose the University of Southampton Science Park specifically because of its science and technology focus – others that I looked at just don’t have the technical background that I wanted. When I came to meet with the judges the advice they gave me proved that they had the knowledge and expertise to help me take my business further. I was extremely impressed, and it made me feel my business would flourish in this environment. Being away from London was important to me too – it’s given me a really great opportunity to pick some really useful brains, get help with some research and develop partnerships as a result of the amazing contacts that the Catalyst Centre team has. 

What do you hope to achieve in your time at the Catalyst Centre?

I’m looking to structure the business and fine-tune all the work I’ve done to date into a proposition that I can pitch successfully to investors. I’m confident that Catalyst Centre support and contacts will help me to do this. The first target is schools of course, but I know there’s a great deal of potential to develop the technology further to appeal other markets – even drivers! Ultimately, I want to create a native app – something that everyone has as part of their lifestyle and get a network of people using it as soon as possible.