Why is it that women express a wish to have an assault alarm, when the product already exists on the market? Why don’t they already have one? These were questions which Michaela Holtz, CEO and founder of Zeifie, asked herself when she began practising self-defence. Based on her own analyses of already existing products, she created a new type of assault alarm. The result is Zeifie, a unique app for personal safety.
WHAT IS ZEIFIE?
– Zeifie is a platform where separate individuals can help each other in emergency situations. So far we have developed an app for personal safety which can be connected to a Bluetooth button. The Bluetooth button is designed so that you can wear it around your neck, arm or attach it to your clothes. When you press the button, the app is activated and sends out a push message to people who are nearby. Soon, we will also be launching our second app on the platform: Zeifie Sea. This is an app which enables boat owners to help each other out if they end up in an emergency situation at sea. It works the same way as the personal safety app, with some additional features. You can, for example, add a personal message where you specify what type of help you need.
HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE IDEA?
– The idea began taking shape when I started practising self-defence. I was talking with other women about safety and they said that they would like to have an assault alarm. I began thinking about why they didn’t have one, since assault alarms have been on the market for a long time. When I realised that the products don’t reach the clients, I began analysing why. I found four errors and in short you could say that the product is for women but made by men, which doesn’t always work. The product has been developed as a tech-product and that doesn’t appeal to women. That’s why I created Zeifie!
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO ESTABLISH ZEIFIE IN VÄRMLAND AND KARLSTAD?
– As a digital company, it can be a good idea to locate operations outside of the big cities. When I met Melinda From at Business Värmland I felt that there were great opportunities to reach developers and board members in Värmland. The close proximity to Norway has also been an important factor. Business Värmland has been a great support for us to build a local network of contacts. This is something which we would never have had access to in Stockholm. I try to convince everyone I know to establish their companies in Värmland!
WHAT WERE THE SUCCESS FACTORS DURING THE ESTABLISHMENT PROCESS?
– Access to highly competent people! Värmland is a very entrepreneurial region – there are business clusters focusing on development as well as clusters for startups. You can find many successful entrepreneurs in Värmland and people with experience from running and managing businesses. When you have this type of experience, you will also have access to the competence needed for startups.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS IMPORTANT TO ENCOURAGE MORE BUSINESS IN VÄRMLAND?
– Support the establishment of startups, regardless of where they are, creating networks and a functioning infrastructure. A structure where entrepreneurs can get in contact with each other, learn from each other, have access to capital and experience. There is a very open attitude between entrepreneurs in Värmland, which makes for a good foundation to create a bigger startup cluster. There are also big advantages with the geographical position; Värmland has such a fantastic location with good communications with Norway, Gothenburg and Stockholm.
VISION AN IDEAS FOR THE FUTURE? WHAT DOES THE GROWTH POTENTIAL LOOK LIKE?
– As I mentioned earlier, we are launching our second product now, Zeifie Sea, and are expecting to launch more products shortly. Right now, we are working on our first major collaboration with a bigger partner and we also have a couple of other joint projects coming up. After that we need to face the challenging decision of which market we should venture into next. Sweden is not our only market since safety is a universal need. We don’t know which market we will choose yet, but we will make our decision very carefully!