Rapid Response was born from a very bad trauma experience Marlize Holtzhausen and her family had to face, after a brutal attack on her sister in 2010. The trauma they went through as well as praying for solutions, inspired her to start thinking about a way in which crime and the emergency reaction on crime can be handled better. At the same time Gerrit Cloete worked on a yacht in Mississippi USA and gave his heart to the Lord. He prayed for direction in his life and wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. He came up with the same business idea and thoughts. He made contact with Marlize through mutual friends, not knowing her before, and soon the idea became a business plan for Rapid Response.
Marlize, a third year student in UFS Business School’s Bachelor in Management Leadership Programme (BML), wrote a business plan for the business idea and concept of Rapid Response, and was announced as a First Place winner in the International Labour Organization’s first PRIZE Job Creation challenge. The business idea was regarded as most innovative in the ICT category and resulted in her winning this award.
Part of the prize was also enrolment in Microsoft’s Biz Spark Programme. Microsoft runs this programme to enable software developers with innovative business applications to use Microsoft technologies and cloud architecture for a period of three years.
The development of Rapid Response has been seen as world-class. It is using both “near field communication” (NFC) and manual functionalities to send alerts to selected recipients to respond to emergency calls, whether on the road in a car or at home.
The application is ideal for the South African environment and can really address serious emergencies that all of us from time to time have to deal with in some way. Although specific services are available from Rapid Response, the application can be customised to fit a specific corporate environment and their needs.