Roar for good athena yasmina mustafa

Interview with Yasmine Mustafa From ROAR for Good Athena

Athena – ROAR for Good

1 in 4 women on a college campus will be a victim of sexual assault. 1 in 5 women have been a victim of rape or attempted rape. Those stats are horrific, and ROAR was founded to make a dent in the universe of assaults against women. With fashionable jewelry that can emit a loud alarm and send text messages to emergency contacts, we developed a device that can save lives. But our goal is that devices like these are no longer necessary. That’s why we are taking a percentage of proceeds from each unit sold and investing them in nonprofits that are teaching empathy, respect, and healthy relationships to youth – programs shown to reduce violence into adulthood.

Roar for good logo

Tell us a bit about yourself. Who are you and what do you do?
I’m the CEO and co-founder of ROAR for Good. I’ve been a champion of empowering women for as long as I remember. While building my first startup and struggling to find a comfortable environment for learning how to code, I started the Philadelphia chapter of Girl Develop It. That chapter has gone on to touch the lives of thousands of women – many of whom have successfully transitioned into a tech career. Before that, I helped at TechGirlz, a non-profit aimed at providing fun, hands-on tech experience to middle-school girls. I also sit on the board of Coded By Kids to better serve underprivileged youth by teaching them technical skills.

ROAR for good, yasmina mustafa

I’m in the Guinness Book of Records. To find out for what, you’ll have to do your own research 🙂

What does a typical day in your life look like?
A typical day is hard to come by. Rarely does it go according to plan. Mostly it’s adapting to the priorities that arise for the day. I could be pulled into meeting after meeting, call after call or answering emails or speaking at events.

ROAR for good athena

Tell us something that most people don’t know about you
I’m in the Guinness Book of Records. To find out for what, you’ll have to do your own research 🙂
How did you come up with the idea for your product and what made you “go for it?”
Our company started when I came back from a six month solo-trek across South America with a sad realization – violence against women was a worldwide problem, and it touched the lives of countless of women I met, both locals and travelers alike. And just one week after I returned to Philadelphia, a woman was out feeding her parking meter when she was grabbed from behind, dragged into an alley, severely beaten, and brutally raped. I approached our co-founder Anthony Gold immediately, and we made a commitment to leverage our skills, resources, and energy to make a difference. And it was at that moment ROAR for Good was born.

What made you decide to go with crowdfunding (or venture capital)?
We had been receiving great feedback from our community as we were testing the concept and our prototypes but we wanted real validation that people will put their money where their mouth is – and crowdfunding did that for us.
What is the best decision you’ve ever made with your product (financial, emotional, educational) that led to the product we’re experiencing today?
The 14-months of user testing – hosting focus groups, sending surveys, conducting self-defense classes to test our prototypes – all of these led to the intentional function and purpose for Athena and we feel confident it allowed us to build a product that will truly revolutionize safety.

ROAR for good athena on a bag

Where do you see your company or your company’s focus in 1-2 years?
Creating various safety products specifically focus for certain demographics. For example, one for senior citizens, another for kids and so on.
If you could time travel back to day one of your start­up and have 15min with your former self to communicate any lessons you’ve acquired with the intention of saving yourself mistakes and heartache, what would you tell yourself?
Trying to do too much myself, not delegating enough, and not having enough of the right people to make everything happen – it’s an easy road to go down where you end up putting too much on your own plate and not the right supporting cast. With very little cash in the beginning of a venture you’re more susceptible to not balancing the ability to hire the great talent you need, and ending up finding yourself overwhelmed and overworked.

ROAR for good, yasmina mustafa

Using aspects of Lean Startup, particularly leveraging MVPs (minimum viable products) to ensure early market acceptance has been key to our success.

Any tips for aspiring entrepreneurs on how to facilitate a successful financing campaign?
There’s a right time and a wrong time to raise capital – as well as the right types of people from whom to seek investment. Learning the subtleties has helped me immensely. Using aspects of Lean Startup, particularly leveraging MVPs (minimum viable products) to ensure early market acceptance has been key to our success.

Thank you for your time, Yasmine!

Wrapping it up

If you’d like to support Yasmine Mustafa and the Athene, check out roarforgood.com, the Indiegogo campaign and follow them on:
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