CHICAGO AREA NATIVE AWARDED PRIZE FOR GUN SAFETY DEVICE
PRIZE FOR GUN
BY TIA CAROL JONES
when she was 12 years old. Seven years later, Austin has been awarded a cash prize for the gun safety device by Pharrell
William’s Black Ambition.
My Gun’s Been Moved was a project Austin created while participating in the NAACP’s Junior ACT-SO. Through doing research, she learned that a large portion of shootings involving
children happened using parent’s guns. She realized parents needed a way to monitor their weapons. With her parent’s encouragement, at 13, she began going through the patent
from the pad, the app alerts the user. It allows the user to call the local law enforcement or an emergency contact. “This is something that people can put on a shelf or in a drawer or even in a safe, if they want that extra protection,” Austin said.
how to turn her idea into a business model after taking Marketing for Startups. Austin followed Black Ambition, created a prototype for her product and applied for the award this summer.
semifinalist, she was given a mentor who helped her with the marketing and business aspect, as part of the Black Ambition Young Futurist Program. In November, she found out she was one of 25 people to be awarded the cash prize.
program,” Austin said.
what she is passionate about. Because of her participation in Black Ambition, she learned how to block out time for
all the things she needed to get done. Leading up to the day she pitched her product, she worked on her pitch twice
a day with a coach. She has been able to find balance within herself.
with school districts and host community forums. The aim is to start a conversation amongst families and parents about what they can do in their homes to prevent gun violence. The target to manufacture the product is $100,000.
tears. She felt like she won at that point. Being a finalist, was an exciting moment for her.
ecosystem is also something I’m honored to be a part of,” Austin said.
and get it into the market. Austin is planning to attend the Eureka Park at CES in Las Vegas in January. She wants to events in the Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia Area to build the network and community there.
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