High Alpha’s Anvl Teams with Cummins to Launch Work Safety Software

High Alpha, the Indianapolis “venture studio” that funds and incubates startups, has launched a new workplace safety software company called Anvl.

Anvl’s software allows for the capture and synthesis of environmental, sensor, and other data to “intervene at the point of risk” and guide workers in dangerous maintenance and service jobs to safety. The company is being led by CEO Robin Fleming, who most recently served as senior vice president of technology for Angie’s List.

“I’ve been working in technology for 30-plus years, but I’ve not been employee number one before,” Fleming says of her new gig. When High Alpha pitched the idea for Anvl to her, it made sense. She grew up in Arkansas, home to a heavy wood products industry.

“I worked at a wood plant in college, so it spoke to me,” Fleming says. “I knew people who got hurt [on the job], and it had a dramatic impact on their lives. For me, it’s the perfect intersection of a tech background and a passion to build a business around something honorable.”

Fleming says Anvl’s web app replaces paper processes and is “mobile-first and focused on workers in hazardous environments.” Workers carry a tablet loaded with Anvl’s software, which Fleming says delivers real-time, customized safety information about processes or procedures the worker is engaged in. Users can also take and store photos of the hazards they encounter and send them to management for further guidance, she adds.

“The idea is to intervene before accidents happen,” Fleming explains. “It’s about the workers themselves and the job’s workflow. We’re working toward providing real-time alerts and giving employees the ability to look through photos and ask questions.”

The idea for Anvl came to High Alpha from Cummins, the Columbus, IN-based manufacturer of engines, filtration, and power generation products. Cummins was in search of a more tech-enabled way to protect workers, and has partnered with Anvl on paid pilots of Anvl’s software system.

“We incubated the idea with Cummins,” Fleming says. “They’re very innovative in terms of safety. We had access to their technicians as we were designing the user interface and we tested it on their workers. We’ll continue to roll the software out to their user base.”

The six-person company “definitely has competitors,” Fleming notes—SiteDocs and SafetySync are among the better known environmental health and safety platforms. But she says Anvl is the only company “enabling safety processes and delivering custom content and a user interface targeted toward the worker, and tied in with the Internet of Things, devices, and sensors.”

In 2019, Fleming says Anvl plans to expand the number of pilot tests it’s running, and leverage wearables as well as automated coaching networks to optimize delivery of its safety content. “We’re not targeting any particular industry,” she continues. “We think our solution will resonate with utilities, industrial manufacturers, and the automotive and aerospace industries.”

Sarah Schmid Stevenson is the editor of Xconomy Detroit/Ann Arbor. You can reach her at 313-570-9823 or sschmid@xconomy.com. Follow @XconomyDET_AA

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