Silicon Valley investors work to make guns safer

Anyone who can come up with an idea on how to make guns safer will be given $1 million.
November 6, 2013 9:28:43 PM PST
A group of angel investors in the Silicon Valley has just launched a competition -- anyone who can come up with an idea on how to make guns safer will be given $1 million. The idea is in response to last year's mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

What happened in Newtown, Conn. last Dec. 14 had a profound effect on Silicon Valley entrepreneurs 3,000 miles away. More than 40 of them are ready to invest millions to build smarter, safer guns.

"We want to hear all the ideas and that's what we're here to do, to see which ideas come through, fund them and then let the free market determine which ones are the most viable," entrepreneur Jim Pitkow said.

The competition was announced at an event put on by fast company - a magazine which focuses on technology and business.

Knowing the current gun control laws and policies have done little to solve the problem, the parents of the 20 children shot and killed sought out unlikely allies. Well-known angel investor Ron Conway flew to Sandy Hook to meet with some of the parents. They told him technology could play a role in solving the gun epidemic.

Since then Silicon Valley has once again assumed the role of ultimate problem solver. The latest million dollar challenge was created by the Smart Tech Foundation, which fosters innovation to reduce gun violence.

"We will continue to grieve for the rest of our lives but it's not about the inaction but about what do you do through this to make something positive happen," Sandy Hook parent Nicole Hockley said.

Hockley says she wants Sandy Hook to be remembered as the place where real change began.


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