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A middle-aged man walking down the stairs in his apartment has a heart-attack. Alone and gasping for air, he pulls out his mobile phone and with one button is able to notify friends and family in a predefined “safety network” to receive help. This is the vision of Guardly, a startup launching at DEMO that wants to decrease the amount of time it takes for responders to arrive at an emergency.

Guardly’s application allows smartphone users who find themselves in an emergency situation to alert, connect, and then collaborate with their personal safety network and authorities with one tap. Guardly also provides instant messaging, photo sharing and real-time location tracking capabilities. Users build up their personal safety networks by adding contacts from their phone address books. Guardly also recommends people to add.

When recipients are notified of an emergency by email and text, they are brought to a webpage to communicate with one another in real-time and to coordinate response plans. Founder Josh Sookman used an example of how a mother, with knowledge of a medical condition that her college daughter has, would be able to communicate with her daughter’s friend in an emergency.

Other companies in the mobile safety space include Life360, a service used to track young children, which is backed by the Founders Fund, and Rave Mobile, a mobile safety company founded in 2004 that, like Guardly, lets users alert the authorities with one touch. RaveMobile, whose investors include Bain Capital Ventures, Sigma Partners, and RRE Ventures, has focused specifically on the university market to date.

Guardly is launching its beta test at DEMO and its next milestone is a formal product launch on Apple iOS devices followed by releases on BlackBerry and Android.

Guardly has a freemium business model, providing a location-based alert system for free and charging a monthly subscription for its premium real-time collaboration service.

Headquartered in Toronto, Guardly was founded in 2010 and has 4 employees. The company was started by Josh Sookman, who prior to Guardly worked at the BlackBerry Partners Fund and RBC Venture Partners.

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