In line with the Sandy Hook Promise Mission to turn tragedy into transformation and to make our communities and nation a safer place, we announced the formation of the Sandy Hook Promise Innovation Initiative on March 14, 2013.
While legislative efforts are very important and we continue to support those efforts, we also believe that the solution cannot be passing new laws alone and that there are other effective solutions that don't involve Washington. We each have a role to play in making our families and communities safer.
How the Sandy Hook Promise Innovation Initiative Works
The Sandy Hook Promise Innovation Initiative is a "call for ideas" to prevent gun violence coupled with a commitment by leading venture capitalists and angel investors to fund promising innovations in gun safety, mental health research and related new technologies.
Sandy Hook Promise has partnered with the nation's leading technologists and venture capitalists, who formed the Technical Committee to Reduce Gun Violence (TCRGV) in the months following December 14th, to oversee this initiative. While Sandy Hook Promise does not directly fund new technologies, we have inspired the work of The Technical Committee to Reduce Gun Violence to find and vet ideas that promise to equip Americans and their communities with the tools they need to create healthier and safer places to live. Examples of focus areas include, but are not limited to:
- Gun safety technologies (e.g. electronic firing pins, RFID, GPS, biometrics, and enhanced software systems)
- Background check processing (for public and private sector sales)
- School safety technologies (including emergency response systems)
- Mental health applications
- Shot and gun detection systems
- Big data analytics
The Sandy Hook Promise Innovation Initiative is intended to dove-tail with the government's efforts around smart gun technology and to expand the scope to areas that are beyond what will be included in the government's efforts. We feel that this will result in more rapid and thorough exploration of promising new technologies.
There are two distinct aspects to the program:
- The Sandy Hook Promise Funding Solicitation: A nationwide call for entrepreneurs and companies to submit their ideas in the above referenced focus areas for venture capital funding. A subcommittee of The Technical Committee to Reduce Gun Violence along with a group of Venture Capitalists and Angel Investors will vet the ideas and fund the most promising proposals. Sandy Hook Promise does not directly fund any initiatives. Interested parties can send their proposals to firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration. This is an on-going process and there are no deadlines for submissions at this time.
- The Sandy Hook Promise Innovation Challenge: A nation-wide call for proposals for the best ideas and prototypes in the focus areas. Our goal is to take ideas and match them with teams for development, with an incentive 'prize' awarded for the most promising innovations. This initiative launched in October 2013 and interested parties can send their contact information to email@example.com and will be contacted once more details are available. Alternatively, please check back here where details will be posted once available.
The Challenge is intended to compliment the solicitation for funding. Interested parties can participate in both, however they would be required to submit separately.
These two Sandy Hook Promise Innovation Initiatives are an example of how the private sector can foster innovation and help shepherd emerging technologies into viable commercial companies and products.