911: There’s an app for that

Anthony Guglielmo

GigTank entrepreneur Anthony Guglielmo has come a long way from his days as a cable repair technician. But the lessons he learned along the way are shaping the business plan he’s developing this summer.

“It might be a year after I had been in a customer’s house, and I could remember everything about it,” Guglielmo said. “I could help a lot of customers fix things over the phone because I could use my memory to guide them.”

His ability to “see” the space – and use that visualization to reduce operating costs such as sending people and equipment to a customer in need – has become a core component of his new business model, and set his career as an entrepreneur in motion. And ultimately, it’s the reason he left his pregnant wife and two dogs at home in Athens, Ga., to be part of CO.LAB’s GigTank for the summer.

Guglielmo is the founder and CEO of ThruView, which enables companies to visually interact with their customers using mobile video. He has applied that concept to his GigTank project, VIGIA, an app that aims to bring mobile video into the public safety arena.

“This can help emergency responders have a faster response time and a better use of resources because the operators will actually be able to see what’s going on. It’s adding a level of intelligence,” Guglielmo explained.

If implemented, VIGIA would enable operators to watch real-time video when a smart-phone user dials 911. The app would include a GPS feature, giving operators the exact location of a caller. Video content would be recorded to a private network that public safety officials could access as needed.

But implementation requires testing. And testing, Guglielmo says, requires the Gig.

“You have all these houses within 600 miles that are capable of high-speed video, capable of always-on connections – other cities don’t have this,” Guglielmo said. “The gig makes Chattanooga a valid test network for me. A regular network is going to take me years to work through.”

He plans to meet throughout the summer with city and county officials to identify their public safety needs and determine how VIGIA can help. So far, finding an audience hasn’t been difficult.

“Interaction with government here has been unparalleled,” Guglielmo said. “The GigTank gives me the legitimacy I need. I can get the big-picture people to listen.”

Be sure to check out the VIGIA team page and follow Guglielmo’s progress leading up to Demo Day.

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