Two years after its launch, campus safety app bthere is being backed by It’s On Us, the social movement created by Barack Obama White House Council on Women and Girls to fight against sexual assault at colleges.
The location-sharing platform, which was created by Austin entrepreneur Ben Johanson and design agency Handsome, allows friends to stay in contact and be accountable for one another on nights out. It also rewards users for every minute they spend with their peers in person, offering incentives such as tickets to Coachella, discounts to Asos, cash and more.
To develop the app, Handsome conducted research around college campus safety, making dorm visits and interviewing students. The research revealed the need for a product that focuses on positive exploration, community and community when it comes to addressing the sensitive subject of sexual assault. Handsome works with the likes of FedEx, Audi and Nickelodeon.
"As soon as I had my first sit-down with Handsome, I knew they were the right fit," said Johanson in a statement. "I was drawn to their strong emphasis on human-centered design. They stressed the importance of basing every product decision on a sense of empathy with the user, and I knew they'd be a perfect partner in bringing the idea to life."
Bthere originally launched at the University of Texas and has since rolled out at Alabama, USC and Ole Miss, with more in the pipeline.
"The bthere app was born out of a desire to spark conversations about what it means to be there for one another and empower men and women to take real, tangible action to stand against sexual assault," added Johanson in the statement. "We want to truly develop a preventative network that educates people, encourages transparency, prevents the harm before it occurs and takes a community approach to ending sexual assault on campus."