Wiki-Safety is an online platform that aims to collect and share information on accident prevention and safety tips via crowdsourcing.
Every society possesses specific knowledge on safety issues. But, despite the spread of the internet this knowledge is not widely available. Wiki-Safety wants to bundle this knowledge and make it freely available to all people around the globe, across national borders, via internet and social media. Their goal is to educate and to inform people around the globe on how to avoid accidents and how to react properly. We increase the level of safety awareness on a global scale.
As a winner of Crowdsourcing Week’s startup challenge, Wiki-Safety is crowdfunding to improve the design and usability of the existing website and make the site available in 15 languages. Their campaign is LIVE!
We spoke to Wiki-Safety about their story and their journey so far. Read on.
Tell us a little bit about your startup and the founders.
Founders Machan and KenWiki-safety is about establishing a free crowdsourcing website which collects and shares safety and security related information. We want to educate people on preventable accidents. We collect information and best practice on accident prevention from all areas of life such as child safety, traffic safety, safety at home, natural disasters, etc. For this we need the crowd to participate. Users are asked to post, rate and to comment on articles. Postings with extensive positive feedback are translated into other languages and made available to a wider audience. Gradually a global, multilingual network that spreads knowledge on safety issues will be built up. That is our goal.
The founders are Machan and Ken. Machan grew up and lives in Fukui, Japan. He works as a programmer and has his own company. His free time he enjoys outdoors or riding his Harley. He is a real expert on the mountains and the sea of Fukui. Fukui, that´s where I got to know Machan. My name is Ken, I am half German, half Japanese and I was born and grew up in Hamburg. I went to Japan for 18 months as a Ph. D. student following my graduate studies. After coming back from Japan I worked for a multi-national company for several years and recently successfully defended my thesis. I like to travel and to eat. To keep balance I exercise and train for triathlon and marathon.
What is the problem that you are trying to solve?
Worldwide people get hurt in accidents. An estimated 1.2 million accidents have a fatal ending every year. The most common accidents are falls, followed by traffic accidents, sports injuries, burns, and cuts. In the majority of cases the accidents are caused by human error or failure, thus being preventable. Our aim is to prevent accidents and to keep the impact of damages as low as possible. The idea is to gradually create a global site which will lead to an increased safety awareness of the population. But wait, it´s not our intention to kill all the fun in life. Our point is to enjoy life the safe way
What are some of the challenges you have faced in your current market?
In our opinion there are two types of accidents. Preventable accidents and those, which can´t be prevented despite the utmost diligence. Nevertheless, the effects of totally unexpected events such as natural disasters or traffic accidents can be minimized. Preliminary action and knowledge of proper behavior play a central role in this. Despite the wide spread of internet this knowledge is not available to everybody. Knowledge and information on accident prevention and safety issues must not stop at national borders but must be shared with all people around the globe. The biggest challenge is to convince people of this idea and get their support to collect and spread information on how to improve safety. A lot of people do not see the added value of the project. Another problem is reaching people. This we will only do with a good product which we don´t have at this point. It seems to be a closed circle from which we need to break out!
What are the next steps for your startup?
As the current website is only an alpha version and does not adequately communicate the idea of the project, we will redesign and improve the site. Changes will include page layout, design, user guidance and functionality. Parallel to this, we will continue to build up our data base on safety tips. To the existing three languages, more will be added. The vision is to add the following languages (alphabetical order) within 3 years: Arabic, Bengali, French, Hindustani, Indonesian, Malay, Mandarin, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Tamil. Search engine optimization is another major issue.
What are some of the lessons you would like to share with other entrepreneurs?
Thanks to the people who believe in my project I am able to experience the challenges of a social entrepreneur. Pursuing the idea of Wiki-safety with its ups and downs is similar to a ride on a rollercoaster. At the same time it demands the endurance of running a marathon. Going on requires lots of passion and the ability to not think about opportunity cost. I am very much excited to see what the future will bring.