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Wednesday, October 21, 2020
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News Community Students form startup to push back against gun violence

Students form startup to push back against gun violence

In August of last year, four high school friends came together and decided enough was enough. 

Another shooting had occurred, this time at a high school football game in Alabama. 

“It hit us,” said Naman Singhal. “We felt we weren’t doing much about things that affected people. We wanted to use our position for good.” 

So Singhal and his friends Arjun Gupta, Ankit Lakkapragada, and Aayush Bandopadhyay came up with an idea. They decided to launch a startup called HorusML and develop an algorithm that would look at security camera footage and detect whether or not there were guns present within it. The customer can use it before deciding to contact authorities or shut down their school or other location. 

Over this past summer, the team hired eight interns to help develop this algorithm and take the whole model further. Bandopadhyay, who is also CEO of HorusML, worked to manage all the interns and the hiring process, among other responsibilities.  

“We are looking to implement this in title one schools,” said Singhal, who serves as Chief Managing Officer. “We’re trying to get into 50 schools by 2021.”

Since title one schools often don’t have the funding for cameras, Naman says they’re often the most at risk. 

The determined students started contacting various security camera manufacturers to see if they’d be interested in partnering. They received rejection after rejection—until one day, when Vivotek expressed interest. Vivotek, a leading brand in global security, was the only company that asked for a second call with them after the initial consultation. Now HorusML has formed a partnership with Vivotek, and is excited to be working with them.  

“We’re working with their systems, cameras, and footage, and we can integrate our security camera model into their platform,” said Singhal. 

He also added: “We made our products free for schools; it’s like a licensing thing. If they do decide to license, we give them our entire package, which parses through security camera data.”  

Both Singhal and Bandopadhyay recently started their senior year at Lynbrook High School in San Jose. They’re also involved with Next Generation Nations (NGN), a nonprofit organization based in Milpitas. NGN’s mission is to educate the next generation in helping to solve global issues. Signal and Bandopadhyay serve as International Youth Co-Chairmen.  

“At NGN, we work on expanding it internationally,” said Bandopadhyay. “The mission is to spread social entrepreneurship to youth and underrepresented areas.” 

He also added: “All four of us founders…we want to push that any middle schooler or high schooler or college student has the ability to pursue social entrepreneurship, and shouldn’t be daunted by their age or that they’re too young. We want to ensure that the next generation of students is confident enough to continue with their skills and ideas. And we just want to be leading examples.” 

 

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Rhoda Shapiro
Rhoda Shapiro works as a journalist and media consultant in the Bay Area. She has written for both the Tri-City Voice and the Mercury News, and is the founder of Chi Media Company, which works with nonprofit organizations to elevate their marketing and communication platforms. Rhoda is also an author; her first book will be published by Llewellyn Worldwide in mid-2019. Her YouTube channel, which features practices in yoga, meditation, and women’s empowerment, has amassed thousands of subscribers. Rhoda is The Milpitas Beat’s founder.

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