Sentinel Alert, a groundbreaking startup based in St. John’s, is closing down.
Founder and CEO Sarah Murphy posted on Facebook on Wednesday that the company will be ceasing operations.
“The last two-plus years have been the wildest journey of my life,” said Murphy. “This was undoubtedly one of the hardest decisions I've ever made, and over the coming weeks I will reflect and share more about what led to this outcome.”
Sentinel was working on software that could detect when a worker has had an accident or may soon have one. From the outset in 2014, the idea had been that a smartphone or mobile device can detect when someone has fallen and hit the ground, and the phone should be able to alert the company that an accident has taken place.
The company described its solution as being like “a FitBit for worker safer” that uses advanced mathematics to detect and prevent worker accidents in manufacturing, forestry and construction environments.
The company came out of the first Startup Weekend in St. John's, and was the first company from Newfoundland and Labrador to enroll in a Propel ICT accelerator. Murphy moved to Fredericton for four months to attend the program as it was not yet being offered in St. John’s.
The high point of Sentinel Alert came in 2015, when was accepted in the Women’s Entrepreneur Bootcamp (now called the Fierce Founders Bootcamp) at Communitech in Kitchener. Murphy won the pitching competition, taking home the $35,000 first prize.
In late 2015 and early 2016, Sentinel Alert raised $525,000 in equity investment from the Killick Group, Venture NL (managed by Pelorus Venture Capital) and a private angel investor.
Murphy was unavailable for comment Wednesday , but her Facebook post effusively thanked her teammates, backers and mentors.
“Although I'm not sure what's next just yet, one thing is for certain,” she said. “I will remain an active part of the startup community whether that be joining a new team or launching my next venture. More updates to come soon.”