Sadiyo Hassan, a co-founder of Rising Tide Software, is using software solutions to benefit the Fargo-Moorhead community in collaboration with the West Fargo Police Department. Hassan’s team also won this year’s Fargo Startup Weekend.
The idea for Rising Tide goes back further than Startup Weekend, to a high school project of Hassan’s, in which the WFPD approached a class she was in about difficulties they were having with the Child Abduction Response Team, a multi-agency body that kicks into gear whenever a child is abducted in the area.
The team, abbreviated CART, mobilizes a variety of resources and personnel to solve abductions in the area as quickly as possible. Keeping track of those resources and personal can pose a challenge, and the WFPD were interested in the idea of a mobile application with an updating newsfeed that would allow them greater agility when working on cases of abduction.
No one else in Hassan’s class was as interested as she in tackling the project.
“I was the only one interested in software,” she said.
Hassan started working on the idea with Chris Garty, a project manager for Microsoft who also serves as a mentor for her high school robotics team. Competing in Startup Weekend, which they decided to do close to the last minute, was a suggestion of Garty’s.
“Chris told me Wednesday and I bought my ticket Thursday of that week,” Hassan said.
During Startup Weekend, participants work to put together a pitch for a product over the course of a weekend. They draw the personnel and expertise they require to start developing their ideas from the pool of attendees. The initial field of participants gets narrowed to five teams with five startup concepts, and those top few present their ideas to a panel of entrepreneurs. Before they pitch to the judging panel, however, the teams are also sent out into the community to speak to consumers about what they need in a product; in this way the audience for the work is always centered.
“Startup weekend was really transformational in my view,” Hassan said. She added that it provided an environment where “you can fail without having to necessarily feel any repercussion.”
The flagship software program Hassan and the rest of the Rising Tide team are working on is called Rapid Response Team.
Rapid Response Team will provide the WFPD with a mobile app including the updating newsfeed they desired, allowing coordinating personnel to push information out to all officers working on child abductions quickly and simultaneously, and thereby preventing information bottlenecks. The application will also allow coordinating personnel to keep track of where all involved officers are at a given time, which will make it easier to maneuver people from location to location intelligently and intuitively.
Rising Tide will be pilot testing their Rapid Response Team with the Child Abduction Response Team in the fall. Once it is in use by the CART, Hassan mentioned she and the rest of the team could see it being adopted by other, similar task forces.
The Rising Tide also intends to work on other software-oriented projects in the future.
“A lot of our focus is software that can change how communities run,” Hassan said.
Hassan sees her future in the work she’s started doing with Rising Tide, although she intends to go to college and get a degree first. She loves solving problems through technology and the business has simply cropped up as a good way for her to participate in doing that.
“I really like problem solving,” Hassan said. “I never knew that I was going to be an entrepreneur.”
In the meantime, while she finishes high school, Hassan is learning everything she can from the experts on Rising Tide’s team, both on the software side, helping out with testing, and on the marketing side.
“I thought I had kind of a good grasp on software and I learned I did not,” Hassan said. “A lot of what I’m doing is learning.”
Hear more from Sadiyo at One Million Cups on Wednesday, June 6, 2018.