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Company Overview, News, and Media Resources


Haven is a safety expert-approved app used by students to quickly connect with loved ones and the police in emergency situations.

With Haven, students have a 'Swiss Army Knife' of safety on them at all times, perfect for when they feel uneasy or need help immediately.

Date Launched: August 2020

HQ Location: Toronto, Canada

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About Haven

Founded in 2020, 18-year old University of Toronto student Nelson Lee created Haven after hearing about a friend's sexual assault story on campus. Sadly, she did not have any tools on her to keep herself safe or connected with loved ones, which led Nelson to think about how to reduce sexual assaults on campus. 


After conducting some research, Nelson found that there were no current solutions on the market that were tailored for students to help them stay safe. 


Wanting to find a way to help students return to campuses following the COVID epidemic without returning to pre-COVID dangers, Nelson brought on fellow co-founder Ethan Hugh and started to design and code a revolutionary app. The result was phenomenal. 


In March 2021, Nelson and Ethan were selectively chosen to build their idea through the accredited NEST Hatchery Program, a startup incubator, at the University of Toronto. 


In the span of a summer working out of their Toronto garage, Nelson and Ethan have built Haven, an app that will pave the way for how we rethink safety on university and college campuses. 


Haven has been working with experts and sexual assault organizations since Day One to ensure it provides its users, university and college students, with the best tools to stay safe.


In September 2021, Haven released its iOS and Android app on the App Store and Google Play Store and garnered over 1000 downloads in one week. The Haven app contains the following features:

  1. Notify friends, loved ones, and the police of your location and status with a single tap

  2. Provide users with a dynamic script to relay to emergency operators 

  3. Call friends and loved ones in-app, no more scrolling down your contacts list in an emergency 

  4. Replace "text me when you get home" with an easy to use Destination Timer

  5. Teach users about consent, assault, and more through our expert-reviewed Education Pages

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Our Founders


Nelson Lee, CEO

Nelson is the Co-Founder and CEO of Haven who serves as the Engineering Director of the University of Toronto Students' Union, the largest student government in Canada.


Nelson started Haven after learning about a close friend's on-campus sexual assault. As a student leader, he also witnessed the constant dangers young women face every day.


In his spare time, Nelson likes to write and produce music and watch The Office.


Ethan Hugh, CTO

Ethan is the Co-Founder and CTO of Haven who is a Computer Engineering Student at the University of Toronto.


Ethan was invited by Nelson to start Haven after bearing witness to many dangerous incidents women faced in his hometown.


Ethan loves to learn other languages such as Hindi, Mandarin, and Hakka. He is also a strong programmer, leader, and loves to help others.

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