The competition is closed and the jury panel is now working really fast to get select the nominees for the 2018 prizes. The CERprize 2018 Award Ceremony will be in Paris on October 9th! We will be releasing the top short list shortly, so stay tuned.
This MONTHLY FEATURE is an interview with CERprize Winner of 2016 - Hanan Lipskin
Hanan Lipskin and Doron Yakobi are Co-Founders of Keepers App, an app that tracks suspicious & abusive content messages on children's smartphones and social media platforms (Facebook, WhatsApp, SnapChat, Instagram, etc..), alerting parents in real-time if their child is being threatened. Keepers developed an NLP algorithm to detect emotion from texts to protect children from cyberbullying and pedophilia, helping parents protect their children from direct and undetected threats. Keepers is concealed from the child while identifying malicious text messages. The information is sent directly to the parents.
Where was your company when you got nominated for the CERprize and what has happened since?
Doron and I had just gotten rejected from a promising investment into Keepers after long negotiations and the next day the CERprize announced the top three nominees for the prize money and Keepers was on that list. It gave us such a mental boost, breathing air, we didn’t have to close up shop. It felt like a call from God.
Since we won the CERprize competition, we have raised over $1.3 million in Israel and currently, have 10 full-time employees in Jerusalem. Bezeq International licensed Keepers into their CyberKid program and offer the app to anyone in Israel with a smartphone. The CERprize saved us and we have no words!
Can you share a story of how your app is benefiting society? Our app helped catch a pedophile in Petach Tikva because he was using the Musical.ly app to target and message a young girl who was innocently showcasing her talents. He asked her personal questions like “When does your mother come home?”, “How old are you?” The parents got notified of the situation via a Keepers feature and were waiting for the sick man when the meetup between the two was set. I cannot share any more information, because this incident is still undergoing investigation.
Franciska's closing remarks:
Keepers does not only help deal with and prevent cyber-bullying, it catches cases of violence, abuse, anorexia & bulimia, sexting, and racism.
Keepers data shows that the negative messaging and content decreases significantly (200 to 50 bad messages from the first month to second) while installed on a kid’s smartphone. It helps improve online behavior in addition to helping prevent terrible things from happening as described in the Petach Tikva story.
Tell us about the new deal you closed recently. We won the European Commision in Horizon 2020. They give grants to the top 3% of startups in the Europe Commission. The prize led to a deal with Vodafone Italy that launched Keepers in Italy first with the promise to launch in other European countries.
I heard about some quite progressive activities you partake in at the office, can you please expand on these rumors? Indeed, it is quite progressive, haha... Doron and I go to couples therapy just like any other couple, because we are like a family. As leaders of the Keepers family, our relationship has many depending on us, our users and full-time employees. So we need to learn how to communicate well in stressful situations, how to deal with the emotional component of the work that we do and be a strong partnership for our team. Since we have started therapy, the communication and corporate culture has improved greatly within the entire company and has shown positive results.
What are your future goals? To pay our employees from Keepers revenue and we are definitely on the way.
It’s really amazing how you take your work so seriously and how you improve on your own behaviors and manage self-mental health and care with such responsibility. We are so excited for you and honored to be a part of Keepers journey in helping children around the world improve their online social behavior, prevent violence, abuse and other terrible risks the internet brings into our world today.
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