Seedfunders-backed gunfire detection product gets ready to hit the streets

Safe Zone Technologies Inc. expects to ship its first gunfire detection units to customers Feb. 24.

The products can help save lives by reducing the time it takes for authorities to find an active shooter, said David Chitester, CEO of Seedfunders, which has invested in Safe Zone.

A Safe Zone gunfire detector

Safe Zone Technologies, formerly AVidea Group and headquartered in Melbourne, developed the gunfire detectors, which are small triangular devices that can be attached in the corners of rooms or hallways in schools, offices or other buildings. The detectors capture infrared and acoustic signatures which get analyzed in the cloud. If a gun is fired, an app will display the location and number of the shots – even analysis of the type of weapon being used – then offer to call 911.

The technology has been in development for at least a couple of years, and “they’ve got literally millions of dollars in purchase orders,” Chitester said.

Safe Zone Technologies is raising $1 million in its fourth round of funding. The current round is being led by Mike Lally, Safe Zone’s CEO, and a Safe Zone board member.

Seedfunders, a St. Petersburg-based investment group, has invested in all four rounds, and for this round, Seedfunders in St. Petersburg is teaming up with Seedfunders Orlando on the investment.

It’s the first time they’ve co-invested since the Orlando organization launched last June. While the two Seedfunders are separate organizations, Chitester chairs the board of Seedfunders Orlando, and Irv Cohen, a former Wall Street banker who co-founded Seedfunders in St. Petersburg, also is a manager at the Orlando group.

“The need to invest in pre-revenue companies is tremendous,” Chitester said. “We realized there are deals around the state we might not see because they are local deals. We started Seedfunders Orlando to see more of those deals. This opens up a lot more statewide possibilities for investors to get involved.”

NOTE: Joe Hamilton, St. Pete Catalyst publisher, is a partner in Seedfunders.

Margie Manning

Margie started her journalism career as a radio news reporter in St. Louis, before putting down her microphone and picking up a pen to work at the St. Louis Business Journal. Unable to resist the call of warm weather and beaches, Margie took an entrepreneurial detour to run an ice cream shop in Treasure Island with her husband. Before joining the Catalyst, Margie spent 14 years at the Tampa Bay Business Journal where she wrote about business successes, failures and the exciting world of innovation and start-ups. Her writing coaches are Bonnie the Dog and Coffee the Cat, joined recently by a new edition, Jack the Cat. Margie can be contacted at

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