Arts / Hardware / Public safety / Technology / Women in tech

Yasmine Mustafa’s ROAR for Good raises $150K

It's the first round of funding for Mustafa's wearable-tech startup focused on women's safety.

Yasmine Mustafa speaks at TEDxPhiladelphia, June 2015. (Photo by Jason Sherman)

Yasmine Mustafa’s wearable tech startup has raised its first round of funding from all local investors.
The startup, called ROAR for Good, raised just over $150,000 following its graduation from DreamIt Ventures. (That number includes the $25,000 DreamIt investment for 6 percent equity.) Investors include the Untours Foundation and Ben Franklin Technology Partners. The funding raised was all convertible debt, except for DreamIt, said Mustafa.
Mustafa actually met one investor, who asked not to be named, at Philly Startup Leaders’ Entrepreneur Expo during Philly Tech Week 2015 presented by Comcast.
Mustafa, 33, is perhaps best known in the Philly tech scene for starting the local chapter of Girl Develop It in 2011. She also sold her WordPress plugin 123LinkIt to NetLine in 2011 for an undisclosed amount.
ROAR is building a wearable tech device and mobile app that aims to protect women from sexual assault. Its first product is, as Fast Company recently described it, like a “high tech rape whistle.” Named Athena, it’s a medallion that can be worn on a necklace or attached to a keychain. Women can press it to activate an alarm and flashing lights if they’re in danger. The companion mobile app will alert police and loved ones.

roar for good necklace

A model wears Athena, ROAR for Good’s first product. (Courtesy photo)

The mobile app will also feature a tech-enabled version of the “Text me when you get home” that your friends might say to you after a late night. It’ll use the Google Maps API and allow loved ones to track you on your route home, if you choose to let them. (Not quite as romantic as “Text me when you get home,” but hey.)
ROAR is prototyping with New York City-based 3D-printing company Shapeways. Mustafa also worked with Philadelphia University professor and industrial designer Christina Kazakia to develop the initial prototypes, while local design firm Interactive Mechanics and Wayne dev shop SparkNet are building the app. ROAR plans to launch a crowdfunding campaign later this summer, where people can place pre-orders.
The company also won $20,000 in Temple’s Be Your Own Boss Bowl (they skipped DreamIt’s demo day to compete in the entrepreneurship challenge). Mustafa graduated from Temple’s Fox School of Business in 2006.
Mustafa, her cofounder, Anthony Gold, 49, and the company’s first hire, Temple grad Charlotte Wells, work out of the Innovation Center@3401, right across from their old DreamIt stomping grounds.

Companies: Ben Franklin Technology Partners / DreamIt Ventures

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