Young women using technology to take a stand against domestic violence




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Originally from South Africa, students Erin Merritt and Eryn Swann undertook the entrepreneurial Australian eChallenge course at The University of Adelaide. Heralding from vastly different academic backgrounds in Commerce and Engineering respectively, both brought a broad range of ideas to the eChallenge, and cohesively developed an innovative solution that promotes safety and assurance to people living with domestic violence.

As young women, both are aware of the dangers present to themselves in today’s society. This led them to expand on their own personal experiences to develop their business, Swift. Swift is dedicated to focussing on the prevalent social issue of domestic violence and aims to provide comfort and peace of mind to millions of people across Australia through the use of their innovative safety devices.

These devices are currently in the initial prototype phase, and will feature a discreet design, including a silent call capability allowing an individual to call for immediate help with minimal disturbance. Swift enables domestic violence victims to discreetly contact law enforcement, with emergency response tracking that promotes the safety of individuals living with an abusive and controlling partner.

Swift has recently earned notable recognition after receiving multiple awards at the Australian eChallenge Awards Night held in December 2022. The event showcased innovative ideas from other finalists and allowed students to connect with industry experts and potential investors. Swift received the undergraduate third prize featuring a package from the University start up hub, Thinclab, along with the People’s choice award; voted upon on the night by attendees and finally, the Innovation Award from Lot Fourteen based Stone and Chalk. This recognition further highlights the level of interest and acknowledgement of the need for Swift’s product in today’s society.

Erin and Eryn are now in the initial development phase, as the two young entrepreneurs take up residency at Thinclab with assistance from Stone & Chalk, and source funding from potential investors for prototyping. They are working closely with a national domestic violence not-for-profit organisation, Friends with Dignity, and are focussing on co-designing the product with key stakeholders within the industry. They are planning on having a functioning prototype ready for user testing within the next twelve months. Erin and Eryn are motivated to provide hope and a safer environment for those who suffer in silence.

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