Bullying is a commonly dismissed issue within educational institutions and society. However, over 160,000 students miss school every day due to bullying. OutBully wants to make schools a safer place for people to learn and grow without fear. That is the main reason behind the foundation of OutBully.
It is an anonymous reporting app that partners with faculty and the use of student ID to follow up on incident reports in real-time. No longer should a child not feel welcome on their campus, and with real-time reporting officials can receive anonymous witness statements to prevent further dismissal of this pressing issue. Outbully is dedicated to helping students in schools around Canada and around the globe.
What inspired the formation of OutBully?
OutBully was founded in 2015. Founders of OutBully are Jaxon Stevens, Sienna Pagett, and Tristan Wiley. Jaxon Stevens, the co-founder grew up in a small town in Alberta Canada. Junior high was the start of it all; he started to get bullied for being different and for being interested in different things then what friends were into. Near the end of grade 8 and the last year of Junior high for his high school things really started to get worse. He was picked on almost every day. When he was in high school things didn’t get better and this was because most of the people he knew in Junior high also went to the same High School. It got so bad that his car was paintballed and damaged all for just not fitting in. He ended up changing high schools in his senior year because he couldn’t handle it anymore.
This experience made him realize that many of the students turn to negative and harmful choices that impact their life even more. Bullying is a global issue and has been an issue for hundreds of years. One day while he was walking to class and overheard someone talking about being bullied and not wanting to report it because they were worried they would get caught and it would get worse. This is when he thought of the Idea of OutBully.
Being Bullied? Standup, be heard
The OutBully platform allows students in high schools, colleges and Universities in Canada, the United States and around the globe to report incidents of bullying fast and safely. Teachers can also report bullying incidents as well. All the reports that are sent on the student's phone are sent to the main OutBully dashboard so that the school or school board can review the reported incidents every day and can even contact that individual if needed.
At OutBully, the team focuses on helping students who are being bullied and stand up for certain students who don't have the power themselves. They get in contact with the school board and local authorities to bring a case of bullying to the front line if the bullying persists and make sure that necessary steps are initiated to prevent bullying from occurring.
“Every step you take, every path you follow and every moment you miss changes your life, live life to the fullest every single day and take every chance you get”, says, Jaxon Stevens.
Fund Raising Endeavors
OutBully is still in the startup phase, however, within the last month their subscriber list has grown 50% and the website's traffic has gone up by 30%. The venture has recently tied up with new schools and expanding further.
Currently, OutBully has received donations from supporters of the platform and has started to receive more donations. They are going to start a funding campaign soon for OutBully and reach out to potential investors who want to be involved in the growth of OutBully.
The OutBully team has gone through many challenges, however, they have been able to overcome them. Some of these challenges include targeting the right demographics and school districts to be involved in their Public Beta. This has been challenging as lots of school districts in Canada and the United States have rules in place that prevent certain applications or software to be used by students within the district. They had to find schools that would allow them to operate which could bypass these rules.
Marketing Strategies & Future Plan
Their marketing strategy includes targeting people from the ages of 13 through 38 years old as these have been the most active visitors and contributors to their campaign and website this far. They generate Facebook and Google ads to target these individuals and also use Instagram and Twitter for free marketing and follow people aligned with similar motives as OutBully.
Future plans for OutBully includes releasing a public beta within the next two months and to have a public release of OutBully including the app and web-based platform ready for schools by the start of the 2016 school year for high schools, private schools, and Colleges / Universities.