Peoria Illinois - October 5, 2015 - Virtual Halo, a user safety app which provides notification services for people and their trusted friends and loved ones, has won the KeyStart Pitch Competition from StartupPeoria. The ongoing competition pitted multiple promising startups together with the final four squaring off on September 29. Virtual Halo came out on top, earning a high distinction alongside a $5000 investment.

A grassroots movement focused in Central Illinois, StartupPeoria emphasizes innovation and community within the startup marketplace. The organization champions new companies with ideas that are designed to bring major changes within their respective industries. The company identifies talent across the development field – from designers and programmers all the way to entrepreneurs. From there, they connect them with other professionals to transform their ideas into practical services and viable business models.

An event several months in the making, the KeyStart pitch startup competition celebrates innovation and promise within a startup company's development. Ongoing qualifying rounds brought together countless developers and innovators all hoping to clench the award. Over the past several months, the competition has continued to identify the most promising candidates down to the final decision. The September 29 competition brought together the four finalists within the ongoing competition, showcasing the best and the brightest within the region.

By clenching the victory, Virtual Halo not only took home the $5000 seed funding to help with the app’s ongoing development. They also brought the confirmation and acknowledgment from the community of all the potential their app has to offer customers.

“We’re absolutely thrilled Virtual Halo won the KeyStart Pitch Competition,” according to company Founder Josh Swank. “Our team has put in countless hours making our app stand out. And when you’re facing competition like the other finalists, winning this award is a real honor for all of us.”

Designed around providing personal safety without infringing on user privacy, Virtual Halo offers users a wealth of options to ensure ongoing safety. The app is designed for anyone from adventurers to school children and parents who want a fast and accessible way to alert loved ones when they are in danger.

The app features the primary SOS option which adds simple integration for users to send a notification to their trusted friends and loved ones – alongside coordinates showing their location. Additional modules will also be included that add even more safety benefits both to users. The I'm OK module sends random requests to ensure users are safe with a notification when they fail to respond. The Check-In module also allows users to send out notices alongside optional coordinates to confirm their safety and well-being. Finally, the Sport module allows users to set up a notification of the activity they're pursuing such as jogging or cycling. Users set a specified length of time, and trusted friends are notified if users have not returned within that timeframe.

As Founder Josh Swank continued, the best part about the app is the peace of mind it gives to a user’s loved ones. “In many cases the trusted friends and loved ones are the people who really benefit from the app,” he mentioned. “We give users the freedom to go out and do whatever it is they love without causing unnecessary concerns or anxiety from the people they care about.”

Virtual Halo begins beta testing this month with an anticipated launch in December 2015. To learn more about what the app offers – or to apply to become a beta tester – users can head to the company website at


A personal safety app designed to improve peace of mind, Virtual Halo delivers a convenient solution to the ongoing communication between users and their trusted friends and loved ones. Designed for adventurers, hikers, thrill-seekers, and even parents and children, the app provides a variety of modules and features which improve the safety of users while providing a tool to ease the worries and anxiety of parents, friends and other loved ones. With a sharp focus on non-invasive safety with a robust set of user benefits, Virtual Halo brings together the convenience and accessibility of mobile without interfering with user privacy.

Virtual Halo, LLC 

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