Carolyn Parent, a mobile technology veteran, has been named the company’s president and chief executive effective immediately. She most recently served as co-founder of Gravy, a Leesburg-based mobile software start-up. Before that, Parent was an executive vice president and general manager at Deltek, the Herndon-based software provider for government contractors. She succeeds Jenny Abramson, a former Washington Post executive, who stepped down as chief executive of LiveSafe in June.
“Safety and risk-prevention are a growing concern for everyone,” Parent said in an interview. “We want to be able to empower people, whether they’re students or employees, to participate in their safety and to feel like they are in control of it.”
The company’s clients include nearly 100 universities in North America, including Yale and Virginia Tech, as well as 15 corporations, including Cox Communications and the 49ers’ Levi’s stadium. More than half of college students in Virginia have access to the app.
The LiveSafe app, which is customized for each university or corporation, allows users to alert local authorities with safety-related concerns. Many of the reported incidents include facility-related concerns — an unlocked door or vandalized bicycle, for instance — as well as noise complaints, harassment and sexual assaults.
With the app, users can “alert without necessarily getting involved,” Parent said,. “There’s not an easy way for people to share their concerns without calling 9-1-1 or filing a report, which people are very apprehensive about taking that step. We’re really trying hard to make it easy for people to participate at the level that they feel comfortable with.”
Next, the company plans to expand its corporate reach so users can easily report harassment, theft and assault in the workplace.
“Maintaining safety of employees, and security for company assets, is a growing imperative for businesses and a rapidly growing field,” Scott English, managing director of Hearst Ventures, said in a statement. “We are investing in LiveSafe because we recognize them as a leader in providing that security in smart new ways.”
LiveSafe has 31 employees. Annual revenue, which is in the millions, is expected to double next year, Parent said.