Veiligebuurt is first Term Winner of Social Voting

June 28, 2017

Last Wednesday, the first Social Voting Term Winner was announced: Veiligebuurt. The startup in Enschede collected 695 votes in two weeks. Veiligebuurt brings safety to society. Tim van Belkom – CEO of Veiligebuurt – talks about their campaign.

At Veiligebuurt, they believe no one should feel unsafe. That’s why they offer a platform where neighborhood residents can secure their neighborhood together. The concept was founded in 2015 by friends and colleagues Yves Verschueren, Olivier Kerkchoff and Tim van Belkom. Today, Veiligebuurt has over 30.000 users and is still growing. The app decreases the number of burglaries by 30%.

social voting winner term 1

You are the first Term Winner! How did you take the news?
“We were really happy of course. It ended up to be a neck-to-neck race with MirrorMirror, so it was a relief quite frankly to find out we won!”

 

So, how did you campaign?
“During our campaign, we were supported by De Jamfabriek and Symbid but mostly our loyal app users and personal network. Even right before the deadline we asked them if they casted their vote already and if not, to please help us secure the win. I would like to take this opportunity to apologize for our enthusiastic spam and simultaneously thank everybody. Every effort helped, we won!”

 

What is it that made Veiligebuurt win?
“Veiligebuurt understands best that success, especially in the security business, needs co-operation. Connecting the right people, technology and security authorities is very powerfull and is our undeniable strength. Our network and our users understand that you need commitment in order to succeed. I like to believe that our users are as committed to us as we are to them.”

 

What is Veiligebuurt about?
“The founders – Yves Verschueren, Olivier Kerkchoff and I – were surprised that civilians in the Netherlands felt unsafe as statistics show that the number of ‘high impact’ crimes – like burglaries – decreases. We discovered that a feeling of insecurity is mostly caused by a decreasing connection with neighbors, and therefore a lack of trust. The contact with neighbors diminishes because social life moves from offline to online, while research shows that good contact with fellow neighborhood residents helps bring a safe feeling in the neighborhood. In addition, civilians often feel like they cannot count on the police when they need them in their neighborhoods.”

 

How can Veiligebuurt help with this problem?
“Although the police regularly do have significant information to help but simply cannot use it without additional intelligence. Veiligebuurt is convinced that they can ensure safety and improve sense of safety in neighborhoods by uniting residents and providing them with the right information. By adding a connection with the police and technology (e.g. alarm systems) we can ensure even more safety. Civilians help each other and can even help the police when needed. And imagine what we can do with all the connected data. We can eventually predict suspicious activities and thus prevent even more high impact crimes.”

 

What does the revenue model look like?
“Right now, the app is free. When it turns out to be a hit in the Netherlands, we already made plans to expand abroad. Then it will also be interesting for a revenue model. The app will always stay free for the users, but it might be, for example, interesting for insurance companies to co-operate. Because 30% less burglaries also means 30% less insurance claims. We also use investments, such as the half a million euros investment from Innogy earlier this year.”

 

How will you convince the Accenture Innovation Awards jury of your concept?
“With our conviction that we all are responsible for the safety in our neighborhoods. Working together is most successful when there is an intelligent connection between residents, security authorities and modern technology; Veiligebuurt. We aim to make the neighborhoods safer but also improve the sense of safety with civilians as it currently does not align with the hard facts. We do so by increasing the self-reliance among civilians in an innovative manner. And with all the data we collect we can even predict, thus prevent even more high impact crimes.”

 

What are your plans with the winnings, if you win the Public Prize?
“Our first goal was to become a Term Winner. Next, the pitching spot at the summit will be a unique way to present Veiligebuurt. If we should win the overall prize, we can benefit a lot from the media attention and advice, when making new connections and improving the application.

Interested in joining Veiligebuurt in competing in the Accenture Innovation Awards? Register now!

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