Founder And Ceo, Baltimore, United States discussed on The Tech Blog Writer Podcast - Inspired Tech Startup Stories
My name is Jenny Thompson, and I am the founder and CEO of a company called safety pin technologies as the found of safety pin technologies. I think listeners unfamiliar with safety pin, and just hearing about you guys. For the first time, can you set the scene, and tell them more about the kind of problems that you so feel customers? But also, of course, what makes it unique from the solutions outlet. Absolutely. The company has developed a digital trust badge that lets people see at a glance who they can trust when they're using sharing and gig economy sites. And if you think about how often people are using a swipe or click to book a babysitter book, a dog Walker hire someone to take care of their elderly parents. We use it for almost everything. Now we know very little about that person. And we do know that a lot of the platforms, do their own background checks, but we. What's included in that necessarily or what their standards are? And so we've developed this peer to peer forward-facing trust badge that not only incorporates, a comprehensive criminal background check. But we've also developed a proprietary behavioral review, that we created with criminal profiler 's and clinical infringe psychologists. So even if somebody has a clean record, we can mitigate for people who have the type of behavior that may lead to them putting somebody at risk. I launched a new universe, which response Lisette colts safety pin will completely put you a moderate solution was straightaway approved by the full Mowatt, how secure chief and forensic, bro. Phone is like he told me about that. Sounds incredible story. Yeah. I was very fortunate. I reached out to my network, and I was looking for some people who had significant success in the law enforcement field. I don't come from law enforcement. I come as a as a corporate CEO. In the natural healthcare space. And so, I knew that I really needed people with DNA in that space, and I met a woman who introduced me to John Gill, who's the former chief security officer at the White House, and he also was in the secret service for twenty five years. And when I sat down and told them what we were doing and how we were combining the behavioral with the criminal history and mitigating. For the fact that so many crimes, go unreported and to be honest that a lot of people with criminal tendencies use these apps. In order to find people that they can scam. He he was onboard right away. You loved what we were doing. He wants to be part of it. He's been really supportive. He actually then connected me to Dr Nancy czars, who's the former lead forensic psychologist at Leavenworth maximum security, prison, and has studied the intersection of psychology and criminality her whole career, and she's one of the key people that helped us build out the actual questions that we use in the waiting and scoring method. -nology in order to eliminate people that caused concern on a few moments ago you did bunching up behavioral review, and I'm assuming that's incredibly curious. So you tell me more about how you say staife depend transforming filming the security level of the shown economy on also expanded a little bit more on that unique behavioral review, then having to do that. I won't give you any sample questions because we do try to keep them close to the chest. Reveal me is a song. Well, we're very careful to point out that we don't diagnose, and also, if you do, take the test, and don't meet our requirements. We don't have a negative indicator, so that's between us and you on our database in you. Really? And it's not information that we share with anybody. But the way that we see it is in the United States, forty percent of crimes going reported. And really one of the most shocking statistics is thirty percent of crimes where there's a weapon used or an injury. Still go unreported. And so the fact that somebody comes back with a clean criminal background. Check doesn't mean that they wouldn't put someone in danger and again, we're making very quick decisions on these apps. We're looking at somebody's profile. We're looking at ratings, which may be reliable, but also can be gamed or or can be overly a few sieve and also frequently have nothing to do with safety. So what we want to do is give people the option of adding a safety pin to their profile on whatever. Apper website. They're using to book jobs so that people can see at a glance, I've taken this extra step to get myself screened, so that, you know, I'm somebody you can trust. And with the behavioral review, does, is it looks for people who have the, the behavior characteristics of somebody who's on the scale of antisocial personality disorder or psychopathy and those sound much graver than they really are. There are eight to twelve percent of the US population falls under that umbrella and they are people who lack remorse, lack empathy are willing to victimize other people for their own benefit. And so we've developed the questionnaire with very specific goals in mind of not awarding a safety pin to people who present these characteristics or possibly present these characteristics. Huchon gin. To stop people from gaming the system and talking about, you, mentioned ways, lot, remorse and empathy. There's no way that people can game that system. And tell you what you want to hear a challenge to overcome any I'd be naive. If I said, there's no way, but I would say that we've really carefully balanced it with a combination of extremely carefully worded questions. I will share the story that we had somebody who was actually in the mail. Order bride importing business, who wanted to use our product and we chose not to work with them. And he's said, well, I'm just going to Google translate your questions, and I said you can do that. It's not gonna help. There's such nuance in the individual word choice between Ken and would and will and might and the way that it's weighted and scored so people may try to figure out what we're doing. We have some anti gaming technology deals in where if you answer this question one way you can't answer this question the same way because it would be a logical. We have control. Built in and we update the questions regularly, it's also impossible for somebody to change their answers. I'm curious what's the story behind safety pin and actually put you on this journey? I took a vacation after I, I left my last job. I mentioned I had been a CEO in the natural medicine field. And I left that job and was trying to figure out what I was going to do next. And when I returned from vacation, I found out that my dog sitter had not stayed with my dogs as she was supposed to. And when I let her go and told her that she had to pay me back the money that I had prepaid her for my next trip, she faked her own death instead of pay me back one hundred fifty dollars. Extra. Apparently she doesn't know about the block this caller feature on her phone. Yeah. And so, so I realized through the way everything had unfolded that she exhibited a lot of these traits. And I tried to figure out what could I have done differently to avoid the situation and as I got to speak with these experts and speak with John and doctors ours? And learn more about what tools there are two. I hate to use the word predict 'cause it's a little bit too strong here. I, I don't want to again diagnose anybody, but to potentially identify someone that would do these kinds of things, and it would have this pathological behavior. They're, they're actually pretty accessible tools for us. And so we were able to build the algorithm with that included. It's the founder of psych depend technologies which if we zoom out a woman owned startup in Baltimore of curious, what kind of challenges you encountered, as a woman in tech is building a stall took outside of Silicon Valley. Early after been any challenges, you've got to overcome that. And they've been any challenges how much time do we have for this interview? And I, I'll say, I think that women in tech is is true, and it's a misnomer because I'm not a developer. I'm not an engineer. So the company is attacked company, but I'm not someone who knows how to write code or how to build software, and I have an amazing CTO that does that for me. I think if you look at this, it's very clear that women get a lot less funding. We are asked questions. How are we going to avoid disaster? Instead of how are we going to create wins? And I'm someone who spent most of my career working with people who have what I refer to as kind of a gentle sexism, and so I'm very used to it, and it always been able to allow for it and, and to mitigate against it, and it's been very different. And I'm not one to to cry. Sexism, very lightly. And I, I think it's more those unconscious biases that absolutely result in people. And interestingly in men and women treating women differently. I, I think when you look at the statistics women unless they have funds that are expressly investing in women. They are not actually doing that much better of a job than the males are. And then being in Baltimore I spent a lot of time in New York because the networking opportunities and getting to meet investors assume greater but being in Baltimore to very small ecosystem, it, obviously, has a reputation through the TV show the wire and the actual news. And so some people love that because they love the idea of, of helping a city rebuild itself, and some people don't feel comfortable knowing the market, it very much limits your abilities to, to get partners into get funding. When people tend to be. More focused on silicone valley, or silicone, alley bushland country spices that you mentioned, are you saying them improving or are they still the I think they are still there in very real way. And I actually had I was talking to investor and he said, I'm just, I'm just gathering some information for research. How old are you in? Do you have children? And I thought they would never ask a male founder that question. It certainly not the second part. But I don't think the first part, either at the same time I am very cautious not to ascribe everything to sexism, or to be on the east coast. I think I have this fantasy that if I were a guy on the west coast, my, my startup would be fully funded, and we would be off to the races at, at extreme levels, and I and I don't know that that's true. But I think that there is absolutely. A, a small town bias. And if E mail bias both of which. I think are somewhat unconscious, but still very, very present. People listening, you're curious about safety pin technologies and everything that you've created he can you just maybe walk them through how to apply for a pain how it works. And how to get verified. Absolutely said. The website is get a safety pin dot com and you go there and click apply..