You’re in your office when the hashtag #Earthquake hits your Twitter feed. You feel a tremor and one of your colleagues curses as his monitor falls over and cracks. The overhead lights flicker – and now you’re guiding yourself to the exit by the illumination of your smartphone. You’re not just an employee – you’re the boss of a 200-person organization. Is your disaster management plan ready for this – and will you and your people be able to use if a disaster knocks out your infrastructure?
That scenario goes to the heart ePACT’s mission and value offering. The Vancouver startup has won acclaim from the tech community for landing on Rocket Builders’ Ready to Rocket list of companies on the verge of big things. The company’s app makes it easier for personnel to stay informed, retain control and ensure safety and business continuity in the wake of a disaster. That’s something organizations seem to be paying more attention to these days – but since this is the second time they’ve rocked the list, what happened in between?
“The first time we got on the list, we’d just come out of beta and had a proven market fit with a freemium model,” said co-founder and COO Kirsten Koppang Telford. Kirsten had recognized the need for this service after sharing the anxiety of a friend separated from her two daughters in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that infamously hit Fukushima, Japan. Unfortunately, the ability of organizations to efficiently collect the data they needed to make a disaster management app more effective wasn’t quite there a few years back.
“Historically, we had seen a very fragmented process, with organizations trying to combine information from paper systems, various online programs and others,” Kirsten said. Fast forward to today, when schools, sports associations, private companies, and other organizations can more easily get the up-to-date data on personnel that they need to make these systems effective. “We bridge the gap.”
“We’ve also seen a chain of natural and man-made disasters that has made government and organizations more aware of the need for preparedness,” Kirsten continued, indicating that the adoption of ePACT within B.C. sports associations has fueled growth for the company.
To meet the expectations of the Ready to Rocket contingent, Kirsten says ePACT needs to keep focused on our growth path, continuing to prove the efficiency and effectiveness of their sales and marketing efforts – much like any startup that’s starting to get traction. “The biggest challenge is just moving fast enough, maintaining momentum.”