An interview with Co-founder Kirk Ryan
Busby founder on the app that alerts your family if you have an accident
I spoke to Kirk Ryan, joint founder of Busby, about building an app that’s ripe for use by runners and cyclists.
How and when did the business start?
The business started six years ago when my friend and co-founder, Barry Green, was knocked off his bike whilst out on a training ride. We decided to investigate if technology could be used to detect cycling or sports related incidents and if so, could a response be automated to emergency contacts. Fast forward six years and BUSBY is now an award-winning innovative outdoor sports safety app with a mix of consumer and corporate customers.
How does it work?
It couldn’t be simpler. You simply download the BUSBY app from your app store. This transforms your phone into an intelligent incident detector that runs in the background and can automatically protect you every time you leave your house. If you are unfortunate enough to experience an incident such as a fall, the app will ask if you are ok. If you are totally unresponsive the timer will elapse and your location is sent to your emergency contacts immediately, so that they can get you the help you need.
How has Covid-19 affected the business?
We’ve been well equipped as an organisation for mobile working, so it hasn’t affected us from a day to day perspective, however, it has had a significant secondary impact. Commuter numbers fell significantly, whilst recreational users grew rapidly. It was clear that there was a big change in our user base behaviors.
Are you optimistic for 2021?
Absolutely! Adapting to remote working has allowed us to maintain our innovation. We have also prospered by many of our users being more receptive to virtual communities and groups that have provided valuable feedback and ideas for future development.
We know there is a long path ahead, but with many people focused on outdoor activities and the recent boom in cycling, we are well placed to ensure that these new users are protected at all times, whilst providing peace of mind to their loved ones. We hope we have experienced our final lockdown at this scale, but we are prepared in the event of any future developments.
Do you think the increased uptake in cycling, running etc. during the pandemic will last beyond lockdown?
It certainly looks that way. Healthy living is on the rise and all the indicators show that people are investing in sports equipment. As a society, we are generally starting to be more health conscious which is great for both for our physical and mental health. As the summer months approach, we’ll also see more people enjoy outdoor sports activities such as cycling too.
We hope that our safety app will also encourage people to feel safer partaking in outdoor sports too.