At home on shifting ground: Student entrepreneur finds her identity in uncertainty

Abby Titcomb, E’18, created the safety app Knightly after being inspired by an end of class project required in “Innovation!” a crash course in rapid innovation, design and development taught by Professor Tucker Marion of the D’Amore-McKim School of Business.

Published

January 18, 2018

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Abby Titcomb, E'18. Photo by Adam Glanzman

Abby Titcomb, E’18, created Knightly, a safety app for campus police and students, as a final project for the class “Innovation!” taught by D’Amore-McKim School of Business Professor Tucker Marion.

Titcomb was empowered to design Knightly through the help of many Northeastern University donor-funded programs including her academic scholarship and a six-month co-op at Northeastern’s Sherman Center for Engineering Entrepreneurship. The center pays students a salary to work full time on their own startups.

Titcomb was also awarded two $10,000 IDEA seed grants and received coaching from the McCarthy(s) Venture Mentoring Network.

“I didn’t have to give away part of my company to get funding. That’s what makes IDEA so amazing,” said Titcomb.

IDEA helped Titcomb apply her vision for Knightly while keeping user needs and market realities in mind. The app transformed from a hardware concept to a software application focus, concentrating on analytics. The newest version of the app collects and analyzes safety data for both students and police.

Students download the app during orientation, and can use it to access safety resources, as well as track their own movements to ensure a safe commute to and throughout campus. University police can then use the anonymous tracking in the app to deploy resources more strategically and study the data.

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