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Safebot success story: «We’ve devised a fundraising strategy, begun negotiations with donors, and are now revisiting product pricing as clients seem willing to pay more»

3 / 5 / 24

From March 11 to 22, SET University team with the support of the USAID Competitive Economy Program in Ukraine (USAID CEP)  held an intensive bootcamp for tech projects whose founders are women or whose core teams are 70% women. The bootcamp was called We. Brave and its goal was to provide participants with the necessary expertise and networking to successfully develop projects, create new jobs, and enter new markets. Twenty-five startup teams were selected for the bootcamp, including products from the following areas: EdTech, Recruitment & HRTech, Cybersecurity, Healthcare, Wellness, Self-development, AR/VR, and Service sector. The three winning teams received an additional budget of $6500 for consulting and mentoring to further develop their businesses.

 

In this article, we tell you about one of the participants of the bootcamp, Safebot, and share the impressions of its co-founder Anastasia Apetyk

Product Background

Safebot is a bot that scans files and links in messengers for the presence of malware (viruses) and phishing (a type of fraud where scammers try to obtain confidential information such as passwords, credit card numbers, or personal data). While using Safebot, users don’t need to download or open the file or link to check it; they can simply forward it to the bot. One of Safebot’s features is that, unlike its competitors, it works very quickly; it takes about 30 seconds to scan a file, while competitors take a minimum of 4 minutes for this process.

 

At present, Safebot’s technical solution is ready for the following messengers and platforms: WhatsApp, Slack, Telegram, and Discord. The team also has plans for integration with Facebook, Messenger, and Signal.

 

While initially targeting the B2C segment for product distribution, the Safebot team envisions its primary markets in B2B and B2G. The bot will prove especially valuable for teams and interactions with government entities, particularly in scenarios involving the transfer of numerous files and documents.

 

Currently, the Safebot team consists of 8 people, including co-founders Anastasiia Apetyk and Pavlo Mikush. «Pavlo conceived the idea for the bot during his time at university. Rather than simply completing a cybersecurity-related thesis as a formality, he was driven by a desire to develop a solution that could truly benefit society,» Anastasiia explains. «During this period, Pavlo reached out to me for advice and feedback, which marked the beginning of our collaboration on Safebot.»

 

Anastasiia has over 10 years of experience in the security field, both in the public and private sectors. She also has experience in establishing a non-profit educational organization called MINZMIN, which focuses on disseminating information and promoting the adoption of online safety culture. Notably, Anastasiia was honored with the UNICEF Youth Changemaker Award for her efforts in educating government officials on online safety and advocating for children’s data protection. She’s also been recognized in the Kyiv Post’s prestigious Top 30 under 30 list. On the other hand, Pavlo, who spearheads Safebot’s infrastructure division, brings over five years of expertise in security and technology from Ukraine’s leading IT firms.

 

When applying for the bootcamp, the Safebot team had a solid grasp on the technology but faced numerous uncertainties surrounding the business model, financial planning, and market rollout strategy. They found the answers to these questions through guidance from the bootcamp mentors.

Key takeaways from the bootcamp

«When I`m thinking about top insights from the bootcamp, I’d say that it’s crucial to be bold and promote your product to everyone, establish a personal brand closely tied to it, and broaden your horizons of thinking when it comes to opportunities. For instance, although we initially focused on creating our product for Ukrainians, we’ve come to realize its relevance to numerous other markets as well, and now we are also exploring them,» Anastasia shares to  the SET University team.

 

The co-founder of Safebot also highlights several mentors, whose workshops were particularly relevant to the team: Kyrylo Mazur, who conducted practical training on pitch deck preparation, fundraising strategies, and communication with investors; Max Moneta, whose insights were especially valuable as he shared his experience working on the first Ukrainian antivirus; and Anna Magiera, who fully addressed the team’s request for information on financial planning with her workshop.

 

During the bootcamp, the Safebot team optimized operational processes inspired by Jane Davidyuk’s workshop and developed a fundraising strategy. They submitted two grant applications and began negotiations with donors and potential B2B clients. Additionally, they were approached by a government agency with a collaboration offer. Furthermore, the team initiated the establishment of systematic cooperation with thought leaders to promote their product. 

 

Shortly after the bootcamp, Safebot started documenting all expenses related to product development, shifted their approach to resource procurement, and crafted a brand book. Among their upcoming plans is a review of pricing strategies, as feedback from potential clients indicated they were willing to pay more than anticipated. Additionally, they are currently in the process of patenting the Safebot technology solution.

Safebot`s co-founder Anastasia on their bootcamp experience

We.Brave is a fantastic platform for like-minded individuals, offering opportunities for community building and the exchange of ideas and thoughts. The bootcamp provided greater dynamism for our team, excellent mentorship support, and introduced us to new people who support and cheer for our project.

The USAID Competitive Economy Program in Ukraine (USAID CEP) supports Ukrainian businesses aiming to provide support for competitive industries and firms on Ukrainian and international markets, foster a better business enabling environment, and enabling Ukrainian companies to benefit from international trade.

 

SET University is a Ukrainian educational institution that provides higher education to future leaders of the technology industry. SET University combines a modern approach to education with a focus on technology and entrepreneurship, the name SET is an acronym for Science, Entrepreneurship, and Technology. SET offers Master’s degree and Micromaster’s programs, as well as accelerators and bootcamps to support startups.

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