By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA
Former Knoxville Chief of Police Phil Keith has agreed to serve as an advisor to Avrio Analytics as the Knoxville-headquartered start-up moves more aggressively into the first responder sector and prepares for a new capital raise.
That’s the word from Alicia Caputo, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, about the well-respected law enforcement leader of a national basis. During his 16-year tenure in Knoxville and later, Keith served in a senior advisory role to the Department of Homeland Security for nine years, was a Project Director for six years with the Major Cities Chiefs Association, Program Director at Fox Valley Technical College, and consultant to several other groups. He is currently serving as the Interim Executive Director of the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police.
Keith’s connections, knowledge of law enforcement needs, and proven commitment to innovation are assets that will serve Avrio Analytics very well as continues to develop and sell its flagship product that is described as “the only fully immersive augmented training software platform designed for high-risk, low occurrence scenarios.”
Currently, Avrio offers two Software-as-a-Service products in the first responder sector – Watchword and FORGE. The former is designed for law enforcement dealing with situations like an active shooter – think Buffalo a few weeks ago, hostage scenarios, mental illness, crisis communications, and situations calling for de-escalation tactics. FORGE is targeted at another group of first responders – firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and paramedics.
In a teknovation.biz article we first published 13 months ago when Caputo told us about the company’s new area of emphasis, she explained the advantages of augmented reality (AR). “AR can provide more immersive versions of typical scenarios that increase engagement and retention. AR can support the delivery of meaningful, engaging remote training across classroom learning, tabletop exercises, and live-action drills.” Then, about seven months later, we provided an update in this teknovation.biz article when FORGE was launched.
“The past couple of months since our last update have been all about growing users and capturing market,” Caputo wrote in a recent email. “Mik (Bertolli, Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer), the sales team and I have been on the road, hitting trade shows and cities around the country. We’ve maintained that momentum we had coming into Q1 and enhanced it with key partnership developments.”
Her update also noted these highlights.
- Avrio’s booth at the March conference and expo of the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association “was the busiest in the hall, getting recognized by both buyers and vendors.” Caputo also added, “We have police and fire departments actively telling their colleagues about our product, driving sales through word-of-mouth.”
- In order to support rapid expansion into the first responder market, Avrio has focused on reducing hardware costs and refocusing the sale on our recurring software subscriptions. “We’ve achieved a substantial reduction in upfront purchase price, allowing us to focus sales on a recurring software model,” Caputo wrote. “We did this without losing margin by negotiating a substantial reduction in our per-unit acquisition cost for hardware and refining some of our backend infrastructure to drastically reduce operational expenses.”
She concluded the update with a note that Avrio will be in the Santa Clara/San Jose/Valley in early June for AWE, and “we would love to share our story with any investors there.”