South African security and medical response start-up AURA, which recently expanded into Kenya and the UK, is now eyeing possible expansions in Mexico and Nigeria.
AURA’s CEO Warren Myers believes that South African startups can compete with the best in the world thanks to a focus on smart innovations that answer real-world issues.
“The biggest problems in the world are starting to feel fixable for the first time in history. Many people are still unaware of just what will be achievable with hyperscale technology tools like AI, IoT, blockchain, and nanotechnology, among others,” notes Myers.
He adds that startups have a unique role to play in deploying technology to solve local problems that have real relevance on a global scale. “Although the severity and types of crime differ across the world, it is still an unfortunate reality almost everywhere. Technology is making it harder than ever to be a successful criminal which means we can make a meaningful difference wherever our technology is used.”
AURA’s technology platform enables anyone to access the closest vetted private security and medical response unit to their location, anywhere, anytime, using a connected device. A shared vision and dedication to continuously improving the safety of everyone has led to a successful partnership with Uber which added an emergency button, powered by AURA, to the Uber app in South Africa and Kenya.
Myers says that building a global business requires a skilled team together with the right culture and organisational practices to ensure a startup’s long-term sustainability. “Equally important is finding and nurturing the right partnerships. Our VC partner, HAVAÍC, understood and saw the potential of our business at an early stage and provided the strategic insight needed for us to expand at the right time and into the right locations.”
He adds that startups and technology entrepreneurs can be at the centre of creating real social good for the benefit of everyone, irrespective of their social status or geography.
“The biggest opportunities for startups are in areas of common human necessity. Necessity truly is the mother of invention. There are numerous other examples, including health and education, where startups can create and use innovative technologies that have the potential to go global,” he concludes.