Alicia Carr isn’t your typical tech founder. Having discovered her love for coding later in life, she’s using her newfound talent for a good cause. Her app, The Purple PocketBook, was established as an effort to empower women experiencing domestic violence with the essential tools required to develop a safe, secure exit plan. As someone who’s had family and friends fall victim to domestic violence, Carr wants her app to help the millions suffering from abuse across the country. We recently connected with Alicia to get the scoop on her and her app.
What’s your current role?
Executive Director – The Purple Pocketbook Foundation Inc.
CEO – Mac IT Enterprise LLC
What startup/tech projects have you worked on?
In 2012, I decided I wanted to be a app developer after meeting a young man who was 16 years old. I asked how he got the funds to get the first version of the iPad and he told me he was a millionaire after developing the app. I said to myself, “I want to do that.” A friend of mine got me started by learning Objective C. After many books and online courses, I started working on the Purple Pocketbook in January 2014 and finished the first version in March 2014. After a month of submitting the app to Apple, it finally got approved on May 2, 2014.
The app’s main features are:
-Secrecy: the app provides a discreet, untraceable platform for women to review their available resources, including local shelter contact information.
-Education: Questionnaire designed to confirm what type of domestic violence you may be experiencing.
-Safe, secure escape options: the women can finally see relief from this awful situation.
-Legal information (State of GA ONLY)
-Offered in 6 different languages: English, Korean, Spanish, Arabic, Urdu and Hindi
Screenshots of the Purple PocketBook App
What tech/tools are essential to you?
My iPhone, my iPad, my MacBook Pro…I can’t live without my Apple family.
What are your best technical or creative skills?
I have always been creative. My mom taught me how the sew and then I started designing my clothes. A family member taught me how to crochet and I took that to the next level and started to learn how to knit.
While my husband was in the military, I would buy old computers and take them apart and build a new computer out of the old parts. I wanted to learn how to create a website, so I learned HTML and designed and maintained my first website called the African American Literary Forum. It allowed African American authors to list their books for free and allowed readers to find/buy them from Amazon.
What’s next on your list to learn?
Right now on my list to learn is to do more projects in Swift to expand my knowledge and résumé.