Ena Kontic and Youssef Salah, students of the Social & Digital Entrepreneurship track of the Bachelor in Management program at TBS Education in Barcelona, have achieved the third position in the prestigious BABSON Global Student Challenge.

Among 1,217 participants from 25 different universities in 17 different countries, the project stood out as an original, innovative, and highly practical idea, as it is an application that, based on different risk factors, builds citizen safety maps so that users can return home with peace of mind, avoiding conflictive streets, with poor lighting or where complaints of theft, harassment or intimidation accumulate.

How did you come up with the SALVUS idea?

The idea came (unfortunately) from personal experience. Initially, we were a team of 6 who are very international and had a lot of experience living in different cities worldwide. What we noticed was that some of us don’t feel safe when walking alone in Barcelona during the night. After conducting interviews, we realized that there are many like us and that the problem of safety is a global issue. We then collectively came up with the idea of SALVUS.

Where did you get the name?

SALVUS stands for safety. Our targets are not solely locals, but also ex-pats and tourists coming to Spain. We decided to go with a name in a language that would be internationally accepted and is the universal language of western civilization. It was important for us to keep the name short, effective, and easily memorable. 

How’s been the process of the BABSON CHALLENGE?

There were 1217 entries, 356 projects coming from 17 different countries participating in the BABSON Challenge. It is an absolute honor to make the podium of this prestigious challenge. A lot of time and effort was put into SALVUS.

In order to be objective, the judges use a rubric and assign you points accordingly. The most challenging part was fitting our business concept in under 5 minutes. When you don’t have much time, it is crucial to define what is important and what could be excluded; choose the right wording; having the right intonation and pictures/videos in the background to help the audience feel and visualize what you are saying.

Another challenge we faced was that by the end of the challenge there were only two of us working on the project. Some of the team members were looking at SALVUS only as a uni project and once the mandatory assignments were delivered, they lost motivation and stopped contributing to its development. 

Did you get any help from TBS Education? How?

We were lucky that we were in contact with Joanna Pousset, Vik Murty, and Xavier Gasso. It is as much their success as it is ours. They helped us in shaping the idea, constructing a proper revenue model, and pitching it the right way. We would like to take this opportunity and thank them one more time for their tremendous help and continuous support.

What are the next steps for SALVUS?

We are planning on starting SALVUS in the near future. The first step is finding investors. Having won third place in the challenge organized by the n.1 university for entrepreneurship in the world, we believe it will significantly help us. Our mission is to make people feel safe when walking by creating a community that is willing to help. 

What would you recommend to other fellow students that would like to participate in BABSON?

We would strongly encourage students to participate in this global challenge. It is a great opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and test your venture. Don’t be scared and take the opportunity! As a runner-up, you will receive a personal consultation with a Babson faculty member, their feedback, and the opportunity to be featured in a Babson article that reaches a global audience. 

Congratulations, once again!

And many thanks to professor Yancy Vaillaint for his support too!

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