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Guardly Personal Safety App Coming to BlackBerry Next Week

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Guardly CEO Josh Sookman demos the app for iPhone.

Guardly will be launching its mobile personal safety app for BlackBerry next week. The app turns a BlackBerry into a next-generation mobile personal safety service and has been available for iPhone since April. The app is geared towards students, young professionals, travelers, seniors living alone, or anyone who frequently walks alone at night, and people who may find themselves in abusive relationships or faced with medical conditions. Friends and family can also use Guardly to watch over each other during natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, fires, floods and tornadoes.

The app provides 1-tap connection to a trusted safety network via conference call, email, text message, the web and real-time location tracking. Guardly can even auto-dial 911, campus security or other first responders as part of the alert. The app includes a free basic alerting service and a premium version that includes powerful collaboration features.

Interestingly, the founder and CEO, Josh Sookman, is ex-BlackBerry Partners Fund so he clearly knows how to raise money for the startup.

Stay tuned to guardly.com for the app announcement.

RIM’s Management Changes Are For the Best

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RIM corporate

It seems that every time the blogosphere catches wind of a management change, either the post is written as “another nail in the coffin for RIM” or the post follows a series of “bye bye RIM” comments. There doesn’t seem to be much talk around the fact that management changes are a) normal in a large company b) most likely motivated by career advancement and not company stock price and c) good for bringing new blood to the company. Here are some RIM management change stories that have been coming up:

Did RIM lose its BlackBerry software boss just ahead of QNX transition? – Yes, it makes sense that a company transitioning to an entirely new platform would lose its VP of Handheld Software. The handheld software is what everyone has been complaining about so it’s not such a bad thing that the VP is out.

RIM loses BlackBerry PlayBook product manager to Samsung – The PlayBook was announced early, delayed and eventually came out lacking features that garnered it pretty harsh initial reviews. Is losing the PlayBook’s product manager therefore a bad thing? Probably not.

RIM Marketer Joins a Rival and RIM CMO Out on Eve of Playbook Tablet Launch – RIM’s marketing team is constantly getting criticized because they couldn’t convey the right messages about the BlackBerry Platform. To this day, you still find people who own a BlackBerry and have no idea it runs apps. We should be happy the marketing team is getting new leadership.

Research In Motion Announces Retirement of Don Morrison – The COO has probably made a lot of money in his years at RIM and would rather spend his time in the Muskokas.

Research In Motion Provides Management Update and Details On Cost Optimization Program – The only troubling thing here is that it seems like the same old guys are just moving up a rank or expanding their duties. It doesn’t seem like much has changed really.
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Startup Showcase: Eliminate Car Purchasing Headaches With Unhaggle #startupfest

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Watch this intro video for Unhaggle.com.

Unhaggle is a cool startup that aims to make the car purchasing process much easier. The traditional way of buying a car involved figuring out what car you want, researching typical costs of said car, and then physically going to dealerships to find a good deal. The process took a long time and if you’re approached by some pushy car salesmen, you could walk off the lot with a different car than the one you wanted. Unhaggle.com flips the marketplace around and aims to make the dealers compete for your business. According to the site:

Unhaggle was built to empower car buyers. We take the mystery out of getting the best deal while you enjoy exceptional customer service (satisfaction guaranteed). We work with progressive and reputable dealers who share the same beliefs. Your identity and information is always protected throughout our secured online process.

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Startup Showcase: Discover Art Around the World With Art Sumo #startupfest

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art sumo

Anyone who has traveled a lot knows that the developing world is a fascinating place to discover art. Each culture has a unique style and since developing countries don’t have the same media infrastructure, you probably will never hear about some of the incredible artists coming out of places like India. Art Sumo aims to help connect potential art buyers with works of art from both the developed and developing world via a newsletter. According to the founder:

At Art Sumo, we give you the opportunity to virtually travel the world just by checking your email each day. We scour the globe to provide you with access to one handcrafted, one-of-a-kind painting from an undiscovered artist daily, at exclusive, members-only pricing. Think of us as a daily round-trip ticket to the art bazaars of Thailand, India, or even Southern France..

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