Start-up in line for HSBC award

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Two Cornwall entrepreneurs who run a safety service for lone workers and diabetics have outperformed thousands of entrepreneurs to reach the semi-final phase of the 2009 HSBC Start-Up Stars Awards.

The national contest, now in its ninth year, recognises, supports and celebrates the initiative and dedication shown by new business in the UK.

Andrew Searle and John Yandell, who started SafetyInNumbersUK a year ago, are now hoping to scoop the top title and a cheque for £25k courtesy of HSBC.

SafetyInNumbersUK is a fully-automated interactive service designed to monitor the UK’s 4 million plus lone workers, in particular those vulnerable to the risk of injury or duress.

Its operating method is a simple one. A text message is sent at specified periods to each lone worker’s mobile phone, containing a code number which requires a specific response within a predetermined time period. The response confirms their status and triggers a covert alarm if any individual is deemed to be at risk.

The service is based on the Best Buddy monitoring system as recommended by personal safety specialists The Suzy Lamplugh Trust, which was also commissioned to undertake an independent review of the product. They concluded that SafetyInNumbersUK provided a useful alternative to existing tracing systems that is reliable and simple to operate. The service is also featured on the Trust’s website.

The overall winner will be revealed at a black-tie gala dinner at London’s InterContinental Hotel on November 23.

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