Persephone is near and dear to my heart. It came to be out of an obvious necessity that I experienced after cobbling together existing functions to meet the same need. It is a simple solution, to a complex issue. People in active abuse are in crisis - they are surviving. It is a big ask to also stay organized and remain focused on the big picture needs, like what is truly useful after you exit and may need the help of the legal system.

What it does

Persephone protects those experiencing and exiting active abuse through a suite of products. The MVP is a hidden app that allows for the secure storage of notes, texts, audio and video files, along with transcribing and translating where useful. The output is a pdf report that can be shared with identified safe people for the user, the police, or entered as evidence in court as contemporaneous notes. Beyond the MVP, Persephone will offer body cam telematics jewelry, relationship insurance, and sexual assault insurance.

How we built it

The Persephone MVP is currently being built for launch with Apple and Android, alongside website access. The app is being developed with Flutter. The screen designs began as hand drawn sketches, a business plan, and a strong passion for the why. I have no doubt that our users will bring many valuable feature ideas into future iterations.

Challenges we ran into

Persephone is all about trust. How do we build a brand that our users can trust with their most vulnerable experiences? A step beyond that, how do we make sure the data is secure, that the existence of Persephone is worth the risk, and that we can protect our users with technology? There are all sorts of interesting things to consider. Measuring a market that often does not speak up. Collecting payment from people who may have no access to money, or that access is closely monitored. Marketing a product that you need those impacted to know about, while also shielding the knowledge of Persephone from the abusers. Is it morally acceptable for AI to make recommendations to our users based on existing industry standards and other user's experiences of success and failure? Will we uncover bias in court proceedings through the data we hold? These are all challenges that have been carefully considered in the development of Persephone.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are pretty proud to be a finalist in this competition. Honored, really. Being a part of this pitch competition is all about gaining momentum for Persephone and inspiring people that there are real, immediate, and tangible ways to make a difference for our users. With this in mind, being a finalist is already a win for the Persephone cause.

What's next for

We go live!

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