The The Pet Care Innovation Prize’s 2018 summer tour of pet care startup cities wrapped up in San Francisco on August 29 after events in New York and Chicago.
The San Francisco event featured 7 startups and a panel discussion with industry experts. While the previous events in New York and Chicago had a lot of discussion on fundraising, legal strategies for pet care startups, marketing, the growth of services vs. products in the pet industry, and distribution channels, in San Francisco the topics included Go To Market strategies, mentorship for founders, applications for pet tech and data science, unique opportunities for cat startups, and meat-less pet foods. Panelists spent time with each startup and included:
- Yaroslav Azhnyuk – CEO & Co-Founder of Petcube
- Kari Goodman – Co-Founder of AnimalBiome and 2018 Pet Care Innovation Prize Winner
- Jacinthe Moreau – President of the World Pet Association
- Blair Morgan – Vice President, Innovation & Emerging Growth Group at Purina/9 Square Ventures
- Parikshit Sharma – Analyst at IndieBio
- Dan Reus – Pet Care Innovation Prize (moderator)
Startups featured in San Francisco included some pre-revenue and some that have raised significant capital and are getting great traction – Coast and Range, Inc., DoTimely, Jiminy’s, NomNomNow, PetHospice, Shake For Wags Dog Food Seasoning, and v-dog, showing the depth and breadth of startups in the $70B pet care industry coming from the San Francisco area. They got a lot from the event, too, including an opportunity to share their story and needs, quality conversations with peers, and one on one time with the expert panelists. As Shea Cox, founder of PetHospice said:
“It was an incredibly supportive environment that provided startups the opportunity to learn from successful founders, and all of the panelists seemed to truly care about our vision for change. For me, it was especially validating to hear from respected industry leaders that “I’m on the right track,” which lights the fire even more.”
The conversations were very actionable, too, according to Brett Maiolfi of Shake For Wags Dog Food Seasoning:
“We’re currently expanding our means of manufacturing and distribution to keep pace with Shake For Wags’ growth, so it was amazing to meet other like-minded founders in the pet industry who have succeeded in sustainably growing their companies. We were able to speak one-on-one with founders who had great insights into how they approached similar challenges.”
The panelists gained a lot from the conversation, too, as Yaroslav Azhnyuk of Petcube observed:
“It was one of those events that were long overdue. The amount of innovation happening in Pet Care is staggering. I enjoyed meeting companies from all the spectrum – from food/biotech to apps to CRMs for pet sitters to accessories for bathing your dog.”
Panelist Jacinthe Moreau, President of the World Pet Association, noted how important this ecosystem of innovation is to pet families and the pet industry:
“Pet owners are craving for new, safe and innovative products and services and that’s exactly what the Pet Care Innovation Prizes’s participants delivered. The breath of innovations presented covered many areas and could certainly solve problems or answer the needs of pet owners. The format of the event favors collaboration and fosters occasions to develop relationships, and those elements are key to promote innovation!”
If you missed the session, you can see all the startups and panelists in a recording of the event here, complete with quick pitches by all the startups and all of the panel discussion on all the above topics (and a few more).
The Pet Care Innovation Prize produces these events to help pet care entrepreneurs find the information and industry support they need to succeed. Special thanks to IndieBio, host of the event and investor in 2018 PCIP Winner AnimalBiome, for the space and hospitality. There’s a lot of energy and innovation and support in the San Francisco pet care industry – thanks to all the participants!
Applications for the 2019 Pet Care Innovation Prize close on September 28, 2018. Find out more about the PCIP at this webinar on what the benefits are for pet care startups and how to apply.