4 Questions 4: Herbert Hellemann (Buddyguard.io)

This time on 4Q4: Herbert Hellemann, a Berlin-based founder of Buddyguard.io that has been around for a while.

1) You previously worked at ReBuy, an E-Commerce startup that buys up used goods from consumers and sells them again. What is that market like and how have things changed, over your time there?
I had the impression people were not so open to buying used stuff in the beginning, mainly because they thought the quality was not good enough. We really tried to work hard on that and I think people got the point. They started seeing used stuff as still useful and were open to the idea to buy things that were pre-owned.

2) How does the product of your current startup Buddyguard differentiate from an ordinary alarm system?
It takes away the focus from the user, meaning that the system is capable of taking decisions by its own. It’s not about informing users on their smartphones as much as it is about the system understanding its environment and taking decisions, automatically.
3) What can you do to avoid “false positives” from such a system? Do you think this is something most potential users are concerned about?
Yes that is a big concern. If there are many false alarms people will stop believing in the system, so that is one of the points we invest the most time in. We counter that in two ways, with an array of sensors, not just one, that work together, and with smart algorithms that leverage on artificial intelligence. Mainly things like facial- recognition, object-recognition, etc. It’s not only a movement sensor, but we try to understand what the situation is. This allows us to reduce the number of false alarms dramatically!
4) Which next steps are coming for Buddyguard? Where do you see the company in a year?
We are planing a Kickstarter campaign which should go live beginning of June, that is our most immediate goal. After that we will focus on finishing the development and growing some sales channels, so that we can start delivering devices in around 10 months and have the channels to do so.

Thanks to Herbert for these insights!