Interview by Marija Butkovic @MarijaButkovic
Natalie Price is founder and Director of Proximity Care, using the latest technology to help keep those living with dementia safer. As well as running Proximity Care, she is also a Creative Producer at HeyHuman - an international integrated agency focused on brand, content, social and experiential.
What is the idea behind Proximity Care and how did you come up with it?
The idea for the Proximity Button stemmed from my mother - she's been a dementia carer for the past 20 years and so I've always known of the problems a carer can face on a daily basis. One of the biggest worries a dementia carer will face is the person in their care simply wandering off. Products to help with this problem are archaic and expensive - I wanted to change this.
When did it all start and do you have other members in your team?
It started in November 2014 when the digital marketing agency I work for held their own business incubation programme. They would invest time and money into a business idea that they believed in. I won that and this allowed me to get to proof of concept. I then secured further funding a year later. And then last summer I ran a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo which raised enough money to get to market. The Button went to market in December 2016.
How long did it take you to be where you are now?
Almost 3 years.
What was the biggest obstacle?
There were a lot of learnings. I come from a marketing background so didn't know the first thing about product design and manufacture - I've had to learn a lot and quickly.
What are your biggest achievements to date?
Taking the Button to market. Being able to sell something that could really help people is an amazing feeling. We also recently teamed up with a company in Denmark to use the Button with their unique door system within care homes - it's great to see the product being used in more ways than I had originally thought of.
What are the challenges of being an entrepreneur in the niche you are in? How about being a female founder / entrepreneur?
It's hard being an entrepreneur. You can have great people and mentors around you but ultimately it's down to you to keep it moving and keep yourself motivated, this can be tough. But perseverance definitely pays off.
Is #WomenInTech movement important to you and if yes, why?
Yes - i think it's great that we're starting to see more awareness of women in tech. It's important to support each other and hopefully it will continue to grow.
What is the most important piece of advice you can give to all female founders and female entrepreneurs out there?
Try to network and chat to as many people as possible. Whilst I've been doing this, no conversation I've had hasn't proved unimportant or led me to something else. The more friends you can make in this business the better!
What will be the key trends in the wearable tech and IoT industry in the next 5 years and where do you see it heading?
I think there will be a lot in the health and ageing market - we live in an ageing population. I believe there will be a range of industries looking to disrupt the ageing market.
Facebook: Proximity Care
LinkedIn: Natalie Price
This interview was conducted by Marija Butkovic, Digital Marketing and PR strategist, founder and CEO of Women of Wearables and Kisha Smart Umbrella. She regularly writes and speaks on topics of wearable tech, fashion tech, IoT, entrepreneurship and diversity. Visit marijabutkovic.co.uk or follow Marija on Twitter @MarijaButkovic @Women_Wearables @GetKisha.