November 2, 2021

Urban|Safe is one of the finalists in the HI Hub Incubator Program. Founders Anjie "Jeff" Dong, Alp Ozaman, and Burkay Alpyildiztells us more about the business

Urban|Safe: - An affordable platform offering minor injury protection to micro-mobility riders and other users.

What product or service does Urban Safe offer?
U|S (Urban|Safe) is the only minor injury protection platform in the U.S. -maybe even in the world-, specifically designed for the micro-mobility riders. We created a hassle-free minor injury protection platform where one can buy the necessary protection at a very affordable cost with just a few taps at the U|S app on their smartphone. In case of an accident, users will be able to use the covered services in a wide network of care provider locations throughout the city.

How did you come up with the idea for this business?
The creator of the idea, Burkay has been an intensive user of Citibike in NYC. During this time he witnessed many incidents with and without injuries. He first wanted to design a high-tech urban protective outfit for the riders. He then evolved the idea into creating a viable solution, addressing the safety concerns in micro mobility, which he saw as a roadblock to wider usage.

Why did you decide to participate in the HI Hub Incubator program?
We see the HI Hub Incubator program as one of the most prestigious and resourceful platforms of its kind. Since one of the co-founders of U|S is an NYU alum and our advisor is an adjunct professor at SPS, we realized the premise that the HI Hub Incubator held for our project in terms of giving our idea the visibility it needs with the potential investors. HI Hub connected us to six mentors, all of whom are experts in their respective areas and whose advice already transformed our idea into a more economically viable solution.

What do you enjoy most about creating your own startup business?
We believe that creating a start-up means contributing to the cumulative knowledge base of our civilization because the starting point is to make life easier for people. Since sustainability is our guiding philosophy, we think bringing this idea into life will create a real value for people, communities and ultimately for the environment. The satisfaction of doing good while creating value and laying a path to commercial success in a win-win case for all is probably the best part of creating a start-up.

What advice would you give to someone contemplating founding a startup?
Make sure you understand exactly what customer needs and wants you are trying to satisfy, base your road map on real data, not assumptions, and vigorously -and mercilessly- test your idea at every step before launching it.

What is something you learned through this process that you wish you’d known before you created your startup?
Since we knew we needed expert advice, we considered this process a necessary step in bringing our idea to fruition. Thus, we feel like we are at a good point to take advantage of that advice and put it into good use in a meaningful and timely manner.

What does the future of your startup look like in an ideal world?
Our vision is to take full advantage of this blue ocean idea, especially in terms of establishing a commanding market position when we launch the Urban|Safe app. Moreover, we hope to create strategic partnerships with the major players in the micro-mobility industry, further promoting Urban|Safe’s services as well as building our brand equity and cementing our position in the market. We hope to scale our business quickly to major metropolitan areas in the U.S. and worldwide by offering a unique product to protect micro-mobility riders.

Have you worked with any alumni or mentors on this project? If so, who and what was that experience like?
One of our co-founders is an alum of NYU. His insights and academic background have played a crucial role in putting the pieces together. We also had the opportunity to work with several mentors, thanks to the connections HI Hub Incubator program initiated. Each mentor comes from a different professional background, and we believe we have and will continue to benefit from their expertise and experience. They have been very supportive of our idea and generous with their time and advice.  

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