Philly Startup Roar For Good Has Created Athena Safety Jewelry
The Roar For Good story is actually a pretty amazing one. Combing through the archives of any of our sites and of course combing through the Googles you’ll find a handful of personal safety beacon devices. So when we came across Roar For Good, at the South By Southwest Trade Show, we were cautiously optimistic.
Roar For Good was part of the Philadelphia startup constituency that made the 1700 mile trek to South By Southwest. When we arrived in the aisle of brotherly love we got a rundown of the Philly startups from Philly Startup Leaders Program Director Lindsay Tsai. I think she felt my ambivalence about a safety beacon device, but when our conversation switched to that of, rockstar women founders, Roar For Good had to be our first stop.
Pressed for time at the end of a long day we went seeking Yasmine Mustafa, the founder of Roar For Good. She was standing there talking to a passerby while I was conversing with Tsai caddy corner from their booth. When I turned around she was gone. Luckily their marketing person, Hunter Vargas was there for our video interview.
The nuts and bolts of Roar’s first product Athena, are that it’s a personal safety beacon. Roar has taken extreme care in making sure that Athena looks like jewelry and not a panic button. The modular design can be worn with anything. From the outside it looks like just another accessory.
The Roar team has made the pattern on the front of the device in such a a way that someone in distress could easily find it in a panicked situation. They also made the reset button easy to find as well, in the event that there was a false alarm.
Athena syncs with the users phone and app which has emergency numbers stored in it, in case the device is activated. It has two modes, an inaudible mode and a crazy loud GTFO mode. That mode, emits a 95 decibel siren, enough to thwart a would be attacker and let everyone else know there’s a problem.
Mustafa is an entrepreneur that can’t sit still. She sits at the helm of efforts in the Philadelphia area to teach coding to kids. She’s also an active member of the startup community.
Right before she created Roar, she went on a six month soul searching journey across six countries in South America. While it was a life changing positive experience, she couldn’t stop thinking about how so many women are objectified, victimized, tormented and attacked. She also thought about how those women barely had a voice.
With her wheels turning to do something to help women that are in danger, when she arrived back home there was a brutal rape just feet away from her apartment. At that time she knew she had to create something.
Mustafa joined forces with co-founder Anthony Gold and they went to work on Roar and Athena. Too many women who suffer through an assault feel it was their fault for some reason or another, this further victimizes them. They also don’t like and are fearful of self defense tools like tasers and handguns. They worry, as many do, that they could be over powered and then the defense tool could be used against them.
The Athena device can help anyone in trouble, instantly summon help.
The name of the company came from the Katy Perry song Roar, an empowering song in itself. The “for good” part comes from the company’s giving back philosophy. A portion of their proceeds are invested in educational programs that have been shown to increase empathy and reduce violence. Ten percent of the proceeds from their successful crowdfunding campaign went towards raising awareness about the warning signs of abuse and helping end relationship violence.