Every year for the past five years Jason Calacanis, internet entrepreneur and blogger, hosts and event called LAUNCH. He connects entrepreneurs with great ideas to big investors. Earlier this month, Brigette Kidd, co-founder of That’s Suspicious Behavior (TSB), won best presentation and received a $50,000 investment to further develop her phone app. After presenting a prototype, Kidd’s team now has the chance to take the app nationwide and add many other features that they are excited to embark on.
That’s Suspicious Behavior acts as a neighborhood watch app for the iPhone. It’s is a safety awareness application that helps users monitor a community virtually and easily. When the app is first opened, you have the option to either view what is going on around you, or report suspicious behavior to members of the That’s Suspicious Behavior community.
If you choose to report suspicious behavior via the app, your options for tagging surrounding activity are: “aggressive begging,” “vandal,” “creepy person,” “fight,” and “possible theft.” The app allows for community members to be aware of what is going on around them and give them a chance to avoid it. “It was something that I really wanted to do for my community and other communities like it…You really want to know what’s going on and how you can change it.” Kidd said.
The difference between Kidd’s app and other similar applications is that reporters of suspicious behavior are anonymous. For now, most of the other apps available online are connected directly to emergency services. That Suspicious Behavior is about neighborhoods protecting themselves through awareness.
The members of That’s Suspicious Behavior are not to become vigilantes. “It’s about caring for each other. That shouldn’t go away with technology. We should take all of it together. It’s about helping each other easily.”
Her master’s degree was in Communication Management, with a specialty in Online Communities at the University of Southern California . She chose that program because “Things have changed really really fast. It was almost a fear. It was more of face your fears. I wanted to be on the cutting edge.”
Kidd has been a tutor for many years and she wanted to inspire the children within the community that they can do the same thing. She signed up to go to many events such as LAUNCH, and was turned down until finally, she was given the opportunity and advises other tech inspired black entrepreneurs to stay in the circle of people in the know. The people who talk about tech and continue trying.
The TSB team is focused on making social change and helping people be more civically engaged. This is just the beginning. Next year they want to have That’s Suspicious Behavior go nationwide and have communities have access so that they can be proactive and preventive in real time. They’re also throwing around ideas for other social causes that apps can be helpful with.
“There are a lot of people who want to do good things. A lot of people who really want to make changes sometimes they just don’t know how.”