The Newest Innovation In Women's Safety Is Here
Being a single female in Los Angeles can sometimes be frightening. I live alone and have street parking which means I sometimes have to walk blocks to my apartment in the dark. Walking to and from my apartment, I always make sure to have my pepper spray and to be hyperaware of my surroundings. In the 6 years I have been in the City of Angels, both my car and my apartment have been broken into. Not the most fun for a slightly paranoid girl from small town NC.
I know I am not alone in my fears. So many females I have spoken with in Los Angeles and beyond worry about their safety. It's hard to be independent when you have the looming fear of an assault. Revolar understands these concerns. Founder and CEO Jacqueline Ros created Revolar out of love for her little sister who was assaulted as a teenager. Jacqueline found herself wishing her sister had been able to simply press a button to call for help, so that’s exactly what she built. Jacqueline and her team are a dedicated group of allies and survivors, who are all committed to building safety technology to empower people to keep themselves and those they love safe.
The Revolar button is a discrete, wearable device that uses Bluetooth Smart (aka Bluetooth Low Energy) to signal a personal emergency alert to your loved ones via a text message and/or email message. These alert notifications are relayed by the user’s smartphone to Revolar’s redundant, high reliability cloud service. Emergency contacts are provided with a web link that provides them with alert severity level (yellow or red), up-to-date location information, and path traversed since the alert was triggered. Both iOS and Android smartphones are supported.
I had the chance to speak with Jacqueline recently as I was extremely intrigued by not only her company but her being a woman in business.
First up, I'd love a little background on you Jacqueline!
I went to the University of Florida and double majored in International Studies and Spanish. It was a little before graduation that I came up with the original idea for what is now Revolar. I accepted a job with Teach For America in Colorado and used my graduation money to pay for patent fees. I used my lucrative career in teaching to bootstrap for two years. After teaching, I worked for Leadership for Educational Equity (part-time). This was a great job in which I got the opportunity to help train political candidates on fundraising, which helped me prepare for fundraising and I did oppositional research for the candidates. In all my roles my strength has been my patience in research. I may not always know the answer, but I can find it!
The technology that Revolar provides is much needed! Do you plan on partnering with campus’s/sororities in the future to make sure that young women have access to your product?
That plan is in the works! After we’ve been out in the market for a few months, we are planning a tour of schools and sororities, visiting our alumni schools during homecoming. While i was in college, I saw so many friends be stalked or raped and that was partially the impetus that brought forth Revolar.
What should we expect from Revolar within the next year?
Big things! We are going to be in retail Q2 this year. From there, we will be partnering with local and national domestic violence shelters and organizations to help get our product into the hands of people who need it most. Our biggest goal is to be able to give back, which is why we offer the buy one, give one option on our website. For a little extra money, customers can purchase a device for themselves and then we give one to a victim of domestic violence at one of the shelters or organizations we’re working with.
Being a woman business owner can be difficult, much less in the technology industry. How has the journey been for you thus far?
It’s taken a lot of perseverance. Having to play in a male-dominated sphere definitely takes a lot of navigation and gusto. And passion. If you are not passionate about what you are doing, you will fail. That being said, some of my biggest supporters have been men. Vulnerability is a human emotion and not gendered.
Any advice for empowered women who want to make their dreams a reality?
Never give up. Be authentic. Learn to hear “no,” and say thank you and ask “why?”. That way you learn something and you didn’t have your time wasted! If you believe in yourself and your product, you will eventually find the right fit. I have learned to present people with an opportunity instead of an ask. An investment in me and my product is an opportunity, not a handout!
I don't know about you guys but I am extremely inspired by Jacqueline and I cannot wait to see what this year holds for Revolar. You can pre-order Revolar here for $99.