OUTLOOK 2023: Woman-owned tech development company, OhanaLink Technologies, forecasts growth in 2023

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Published by: The Herald

Headquartered in Hermitage, the tech development company OhanaLink Technologies has expanded its proprietary communication and support platform to include customizing mobile technology to address the social care market.

The woman-owned company first entered the market in 2019 launching OhanaLink, a mobile app that connects family and friends during healthcare events. Since then, the company has expanded its capabilities to include agencies and organizations providing support for victims facing domestic abuse, many of which have been historically underserved relative to technology.

“The need for technology was brought to our attention during COVID, when Lizette Olsen, executive director of Mercer County Aware, a community-based victim’s services organization, saw the value of what our technology was doing in other markets and asked if our platform could be adapted to help advocates and victims of domestic abuse,” said Kara Wasser, founder and CEO of OhanaLink Technologies.

Olsen quickly connected Wasser’s team with six additional agencies in Western Pennsylvania to understand the challenges facing advocates and victims of domestic violence and how the lack of safety and privacy in the existing technology can result in life and death situations for many victims of abuse.

“This entire process was eye opening for our team,” Wasser said. “Several who have had personal experiences with domestic abuse. For us, this presented a unique opportunity to take this from a development project to becoming our company’s mission.

“As a mission-oriented company, we became committed to designing a better way to support agencies and victims/survivors through the development of OhanaLink Purple,” she said.

OLT launched OhanaLink Purple in May 2022. It is first-in-the-market mobile technology that safely and privately connects domestic violence service providers such as agencies and/or shelters to the clients/victims they serve. The providers supply lifesaving resources, information and services through the use of a disguised access point on a victim’s cell phone and secure browser.

“We have learned a lot over the last year and a half and welcome the opportunity to continue to expand our portfolio of partnerships in our region and across the U.S. to help organizations to more effectively connect with their clients directly on smartphones,” Wasser said.

“It has been gratifying to help create this unique solution that enhances communication and support, as well as improves efficiencies and workflows for advocates.”

In addition to working with a number of business incubators including YBI in Ohio and LifeX in Pittsburgh to accelerate their market growth and expand potential investor opportunities, OLT is securing partnerships with nationally recognized organizations that provide information and resources to domestic violence programs and individuals in abusive situations seeking assistance.

In November, OLT announced its partnership with DomesticShelters.org to provide centralized resources for domestic violence victims and those agencies working to assist them through a direct link in the app. DomesticShelters.org offers a mobile searchable directory of domestic violence programs and shelters in the U.S. and Canada; OhanaLink Purple allows those using DomesticShelters.org resources to securely coordinate services and communications between domestic violence agencies, victims and their family members.

“By joining forces with organizations like DomesticShelters.org, we are centralizing valuable curated resources specifically related to domestic violence,” Wasser said.

OLT has agencies onboarded in three states with plans to continue outreach to national organizations, state coalitions and individual agencies across the U.S. Additionally, OLT launched a Corporate Partnership Program that will allow mission-driven organizations to advance their corporate social responsibility initiatives by pledging their financial support to partner with foundations who offer grant opportunities for community-based domestic violence programs.

“The need for technology funding is critical for domestic violence services providers to access a safe communication tool, to improve access to services, while helping provider programs to reach and assist more survivors in their own communities,” Wasser said. “Our partnership program is designed to help connect them to much needed alternative funding sources.”

“Meeting victims where they are – on their mobile devices – is absolutely critical,” Wasser said. “The data is shocking – one in three women and one in four men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner,” she said. “And, as the numbers increase, the need for safe technology also increases. OhanaLink Purple is changing traditional services delivery – providing a new level of safety and security that will ultimately get survivors and their families to safety.”

OhanaLink Technologies offers a unique menu of mobile technology solutions designed to offer a secure communication and support platform. The suite of mobile solutions is designed to enhance user experience by providing private, easy-to-use apps that directly connect their “ohana,” or community of loved ones.

For more information, visit www.ohanalink.com/purple, email info@ohanalink.tech or call 844-394-4398.

The Herald