May 14, 2018
Startups & Entrepreneurs

Hartford startup Countability helps manage school lockdowns

Photos | Contributed
Photos | Contributed
Countability's software gives administrators an overview of their school's status during an emergency.
Brad Chase, Marketing and Sales Vice President, Countability
Jon Bishop, Founder, Chairman and Chief Technology Officer, Countability
Glenn Bolduc, CEO, Countability
Matt Pilon

A Hartford-based tech startup has raised $200,000 that could help propel development of its emergency management software, company officials say.

Countability, which has offices at 67 Prospect Ave., raised the funds in March, according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing, and expects to notify the SEC of an additional amount of funding soon, company officials said.

"This is funding our go-to-market strategy," said Brad Chase, Countability's marketing and sales vice president.

Countability was founded by local web developer Jon Bishop, who is chairman and chief technology officer. Chase and CEO Glenn Bolduc both joined the company in the latter half of 2016.

Countability offers a communications and information management system that helps schools and first-responders quickly establish a common "operating picture" and account for students in the event of a school emergency, such as a shooting, bomb threat or weather event. The company hopes the concept can eventually be expanded into nursing homes or even prisons.

"Historically, of course, they'd get out the pencil and paper," Chase said. "With Countability, they can check in on their phone and account for all the students in under five minutes."

It's the first time the company, which has seven employees, has reported receiving funding. Bolduc says operations have been largely bootstrapped thus far.

"The people doing this have a strong passion for what we are doing," Bolduc said. "We are taking small salaries at this point."

He said several school systems in several states — including Connecticut — are testing the platform, and the company hopes to start earning revenue in the upcoming school year. Its pricing is based on a per-pupil structure.

Bolduc, a seasoned executive who has worked for a number of major Massachusetts companies, including Kronos and Implant Sciences, officially became Countability's CEO earlier this year when the company, formerly an LLC, incorporated in Delaware.

Bolduc said when he learned about the fledgling company, he perceived major potential.

"I said 'yeah, this is one I would really like to take a swing at,' " he said.

Countability has been doing beta testing for about a year, which has helped improve the software, said Chase, who previously worked for Bolduc at Implant Sciences, which has since been acquired for nearly $118 million.

Now, technology is no longer Countability's biggest hurdle to future growth. Selling a novel product to bureaucratic school systems is, Bolduc said.

"The good news is all of the schools recognize the need for something like this," he said. "Like most things, it's going to be about education."

Correction: The original version of this story gave an incorrect Hartford address for Countability. The company is based at 67 Prospect Ave.

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