Background Screening Moves Forward

Background Screening Moves Forward


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PreScreend helps clients check out others before meeting.

Dustin Abercrombie and Kerry Baker have always known how important personal security is. As law enforcement officers, the two spent years ensuring the public’s safety.

However, it was an incident with a good friend that motivated the duo—along with partner David McAllister—to create PreScreend, an online provider of background screening.

“Marti nearly lost her life at the hands of a contractor she hired to do some remodeling work,” Abercrombie said. “If Marti had had PreScreend, she would have known that her contractor had over 60 previous contacts with law enforcement officers and he was arrested for domestic violence on several occasions. It doesn’t mean she wouldn’t have hired him, but she would have been much more aware.”

PreScreend offers a complete suite of solutions that allows the user to mitigate risk and make a more informed decision. The platform allows individuals and businesses a way to authenticate and verify someone’s real identity through an opt-in process.

Abercrombie said unlike other services that provide public record information without someone’s permission, PreScreend focuses on first-party consent.

“This allows individuals to be the gatekeeper of their information and share their profile with other individuals as they see fit,” he said. “PreScreend’s model is a first of its kind, allowing users to proactively establish trust by adding a layer of personal safety and security.”

Abercrombie said the system allows the consumer a measure of safety before meeting a stranger for the first time. Its reports draw
on nearly a zettabyte of data that includes criminal, social and business records, along with other sources.

Currently, PreScreend is used by volunteers in more than 70 schools in Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas and Arizona.

PreScreend was recently approved for support from Digital Sandbox KC, which provides startups access to experts in technology, business and marketing and funding for early-stage market validation, prototyping and beta-testing services.

Abercrombie’s advice for other startup founders? Have a good support system, and remember to persevere.

“If it wasn’t for our wives allowing us to follow our dream, we would have never had the opportunity to take the gamble,” Abercrombie said. “One of my mentors (David Brain) said, before becoming a startup founder, you should really ask yourself if you’re Rocky or rickety. Can you take a punch? Because there’s a lot of them. If you can, then you have a great shot at success.”

Written by

Ruth Baum Bigus is a freelance writer based in Kansas City.

Categories: Company to Watch

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