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Active Defender

Active Defender, James Boyte

Title / Role: Owner
Location: Carthage, North Carolina
My successes.

Though less than a year old, we are currently serving over 4000 teachers in 70+ schools in multiple states. We are adding new schools every week. Let us know if you would like a demo for the school where your child attends.  

What do you do?

Imagine you had a child or grandchild at a school where someone was planning an assault. Imagine one of the teachers sees the assailant coming across the campus. They need to do two things at the same time. (But until now it has been impossible to do both at the same time.) They need to call 911, and they need to alert all the other teachers of the exact location and type of threat. Suppose your child and their class are in the library or lunchroom. Your child’s teacher can only make good decisions to avoid the threat and get to safety if they know what the threat is and where the threat is. … But the teacher that has seen the threat will be on the phone with 911 for 5 to 6 minutes. …. WHAT DO WE DO?  We provide all the staff with the Active Defender app for their campus. The staff member that sees a problem can open the app and within seconds show all the teachers the nature of the threat and the exact location of the threat. This information is also instantly sent to first responders, and the app calls 911 for the reporting teacher.  Now your child’s teacher knows what the problem is and where the problem is. With this information, the class can avoid the threat and be led to safety. Also, the first responders can know exactly where on the campus the danger is coming from. The teachers can even send pictures.  The focal point of the picture is shown on the map.   This is true, instant situational awareness that gives our teachers confidence that they can make good decisions to protect our children. Remember, we make decisions based on what we know and where we are!

What inspired you to start your business?
  • While employed by our government at Fort Bragg as software research and development engineer, I would often donate time to help local schools improve their safety. While working with some of these schools, it became painfully apparent that there was no good way for a teacher that saw a threat to instantly communicate the location and nature of the danger to all the other teachers. I noticed that during the most critical minutes of crucial situations, teachers had no way of knowing the details they needed to know to make the best decisions that needed to make to lead their class to safety with assurance.
What's special about your business?

We are changing the world! We are providing teachers with confidence that they can instantly share the details that allow everyone to make good decisions with confidence! Right now, we are focused on schools, but we also have an upcoming app for hospitals and another for hotels, and yes, we have one for homeowners that you may want to help us beta test in the next few months.

What influenced you to seek help from SCORE?

A friend told me that there was an organization called SCORE, comprised of volunteers of businessmen and women.   These successful folks now wanted to give back by providing advice and mentorship. I thought, wow! This is an awesome source of help.  I need to see if there is a SCORE office in my area and I need to see if they can help me. One thing I do know is that I don’t know what I don’t know. So I contacted our local SCORE office, and I am really glad I did!   I wanted their help to help me see better and make better decisions.

How SCORE helped.

I learned about business plans and how to get the ideas for running the business out of my head and onto paper where I could get a team moving together in the same direction with cohesion. SCORE also helped me learn to organize my financials and put them together in a way to understand cash flow and evaluate profit and loss. They also helped me drill down and realize my unit costs.  I am very thankful for the wisdom, direction, and advice that the great folks at SCORE have provided.

What have you learned from your experiences as a business owner?

I have learned that in the counsel of many, there is wisdom. Be open to getting help from people that have gone before you. Learn from the wisdom of others. Listen close, ask questions, and be focused and passionate about what you do. Help others solve a problem and remember that they will always remember the way you make them feel.

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Active Defender Logo
Campus safety not optional
95 Cherokee Rd,
Pinehurst, NC 28374
(910) 420-0121

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Funded, in part, through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.

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