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Next Billion Dollar Startups 2016: How Mark43’s Scott Crouch, 25, Built Software To Help Police Departments Keep Cops On The Street

19 October 2016   •   2 minute read

When he was a student at Harvard, Scott Crouch started Mark43 with a few college buddies to help police departments run more efficiently and effectively with software and data analytics. The New York-based company helps cops enter arrest and incident reports faster and gives them critical information about whether a suspect is likely to be armed and dangerous or not.

While it’s not easy getting police departments to change, Mark43 signed on the Washington, D.C. metropolitan police department last year, and more recently added those in Camden, N.J. and Jersey City, N.J. In June, Mark43 won a bid for five departments in Los Angeles County over more established competitors. “We knocked them out on the first RFP we bid on,” says Crouch, 25 and a member of the 2015 class of Forbes 30 Under 30. Mark43 is now releasing its emergency-response system that offers a new way to dispatch fire, EMT and police to get help to people who need it faster.

After coming up with the idea during college, Crouch and his friends, Matthew Polega and Florian Mayr, spent time riding around with police officers to understand what they needed. “We found an overall, amazing lack of modern police technology,” Crouch says. One result of the aging technology: Hours spent filing arrest reports and other paperwork that could have been spent keeping neighborhoods safe. “What we’ve seen is we can bring down the amount of time to do an arrest by 50%, and that’s just on the efficiency side of things,” Crouch says. “Deploying the platform in D.C. is like hiring 110 more patrol officers.”
While revenues estimated at upwards of $15 million for 2017 are small, with 75 employees and $41 million in equity raised from General Catalyst Partners, Spark Capital and others, Mark43 has big plans. There are around 18,000 police departments in the United States, and Crouch hopes to sign on dozens of new customers next years, and bring on thousands eventually. He sees additional opportunities in building software for courts, jails, and related institutions. “We are seeing a turning point,”  he says, “where departments are so unhappy about what they’ve got.”