Movers & Shakers Interview with Wayne Citron, Founder & VP Sales - SelfSafePublished Date: 1/22/2021
Wayne is an entrepreneur and founding partner of SelfSafe. He has worked from prototype conception through every part of the process and is now Vice President of Sales. He began his career in the investment industry, spending decades as an independent trader affiliated with the Chicago Board of Trade and Chicago Mercantile Exchange. During that time, he ventured into various projects as a teacher and mentor within the financial field, traveling the United States, Europe and Southeast Asia. Through his extensive travels, Wayne realized how vulnerable he could be, in the event of an emergency, when out of touch with his vital information. That was a lightbulb moment when the idea for SelfSafe was born.
Wayne has an interesting background so here are a few more personalized points:
- He opened Central Avenue Fitness, the first Spin and personal training gym in Highland Park, IL in 1998.
- He’s always been in the sales/investment business, but on a personal level he works with The Night Ministry in Chicago feeding the homeless population.
Vishal Sapru (VS), Co-Founder, Cognitio Research Inc. had an opportunity to conduct a Movers & Shakers interview with Wyane Citron (WC), Founder & VP Sales, SelfSafe
VS: Can you provide a brief overview of the company including the vision behind its formation?
WC: Envisioned by a professional team led by business, technology and design pros and avid travelers, Ed Jacobson, Wayne Citron, Gary Gorson, and Claudia Grosz, Chicago-based SelfSafe allows for the user to input and maintain comprehensive records in a safe and secure manner, anywhere, anytime.
For Wayne Citron, Partner and VP of Sales for SelfSafe, the idea for starting SelfSafe was a no brainer. “My travels as a teacher and mentor within the financial field across the United States, Europe and Southeast Asia made me realize how vulnerable I am if there is an emergency. On one of my trips abroad, I wondered ‘What if I lose my passport or wallet? And there is horrible phone service and internet. What if I get very sick and end up in the hospital? ’ That was a light bulb moment and the idea for SelfSafe was born.”
And, in early November 2020 after major surgery, Citron suffered a minor stroke four days later. “Now after having this life experience, I am a true walking testimonial as the true importance of this product,” says Citron. Because a SelfSafe bracelet allows for all important health information (medications, past surgeries, insurance info and more) to be accessible to the hospital staff if and when something like this should happen, it can be life saving.
VS: What is SelfSafe? How does SelfSafe? What is the unique value proposition and key competitive differentiators of your product?
WC: SelfSafe is a first of a kind, stylish and sporty USB emergency I.D. bracelet that’s password-protected and encrypted. It is designed to protect the person wearing it, as well as their family, property and belongings as it’s encrypted and password-protected. No internet is needed to access the data that is stored on the device and personal information is not stored in the cloud, which is constantly hacked. The SelfSafe device can be plugged into the USB port of any PC.
VS: What are some of the likely challenges SelfSafe is expecting to face in the market and what strategy do you have in place to overcome it?
WC: Gaining traction and name recognition (one of the main reasons we attended CES). We want to keep moving forward with PR and digital marketing and keep plugging away!
VS: What is your strategy in regards to offering best value to customers for the price, compared to similar offerings from competitors? if any?
WC: SelfSafe retails for $29.95.
We haven’t seen any that come in at the same price. I’ve been challenged with people saying “why wouldn’t I just buy a flash drive?” I say “well if you want to buy a flash drive go ahead that is an option but it doesn’t have the software to walk you through uploading process. A SelfSafe also maintains order with files, saving you a lot of time.” It’s a very clear process.
There are companies out there that offer password storage for a fee. That is a monthly fee. You can store your passwords via SelfSafe. It’s a great value for storing multiple things including passwords, financial documents, medical information, travel documents, and more.
Additionally, this must-have wearable can be fully customized for businesses and embossed with their logo.
(2000 units minimum), one color silkscreened logo (500 units), and the bracelet is available in a variety of colors including yellow, white, red, blue. The turnaround time is 40 days.
VS: What do you want the company to accomplish in next 2 to 3 years and how will you define success for SelfSafe?
WC: We want to become a household name and for people to realize this great product for safety, well being and storage of important information. We’d love to have name recognition like LifeAlert, the company famous for the “I’ve fallen and can’t get up!” tagline!
We aren’t just a “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” product though. We are a lot of things that span multiple uses and markets. We’d love to also partner up with someone i.e. ADT Home Security. They protect the home but SelfSafe protects you when you’re out of the home.
VS: How do you ensure the security of the information stored on the device? Also, in order to access the content on the device you would need a device (PC/MAC)?
WC: SelfSafe is currently compatible via PC’s. You need a password to access the info on the SelfSafe and your info is not stored in the cloud.
VS: Could you elaborate on the acceptance or adoption of your product in the marketplace and are there any client testimonials that can be shared with us? Also, do you foresee the acceptance of your product to have influence (trend setter) on the overall direction of the market?
WC: I would like to see everyone leaving the country purchase one of these and cruise lines giving them away to clients. They’re also perfect for Independent retirement homes, people aging in place in their homes with or without professional caregivers, home security firms and more.
VS: Are there any unique features of your product that address unmet customer needs and competitors are unable to replicate and replace?
WC: For the moment, to the best of our knowledge we are the most comprehensive product that can hold personal, medical, emergency, financial, etc information all on your wrist. It’s comprehensive storage. It’s very akin to leaving your home with your desk on your wrist.
VS: What are your marketing and product positioning strategies? Do you plan to form any strategic alliances and/or partnerships? How do you plan to build and strengthen the brand?
WC: We’ve retained a PR firm to launch our product into the marketplace, spanning several industries and target markets. We are actively sending product to test.
We are always open to partnerships.
VS: Are you using any specific channel to market you product or are you selling direct to consumers?
WC: We are currently selling direct to consumers: https://selfsafe.net/product/selfsafe-usb-bracelet/
VS: As a general conclusion, what do you think the future holds for your product?
are the most comprehensive product for the best price and once further
launched, consumers will view SelfSafe as a must-have product for many reasons!
VS: Any other information you may want to share with our readers that may be important and we missed asking?
WC: I’m happy to stress my personal story- Wayne as Partner/VP of Sales and quite literally a walking testimonial to the product due to my recent stroke and subsequent treatments/medical needs.