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First Ever National "Pet Project" Pitch Competition for Innovations in Pet Industry Announces Finalists
Eleven entrepreneurs from around the globe to participate in private pitch event for pet care next week

SAN DIEGO and SAN FRANCISCO, July 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Pet tech brands, PetCoach and Whistle, today announced the finalists for Pet Project 2017, the first national pitch event dedicated to innovations in the pet industry announced on June 6, 2017.

Petco (PRNewsFoto/Petco)

The inaugural venture program invites entrepreneurs to pitch a new service or product in a private forum for the chance to win a $25,000 "no strings attached" cash prize, and get feedback from industry experts within Mars Petcare and Petco.

The 2017 finalists are:

  • Activ4pets (Miami) - Digital pet health record application
  • Barkily (San Diego) - Smart pet ID and life management software
  • Besto (Philadelphia) - Adoptable pet destination
  • Bridge Veterinary Services (Philadelphia) - Connected pet health service
  • Fetch Labs (San Francisco) - Pet life-management software
  • GOMI Labs (Seoul) - Clever robotic pet toy
  • Lacuna (Denver) - Rapid pet diagnostic solution
  • Pawprint  (San Francisco) - Digital pet health record applications
  • Puptimize (San Diego) - Pet training marketplace
  • Vetted (Los Angeles) - At-home veterinary service
  • WoofAdvisor (London) - Pet-friendly travel guide and marketplace

Pet Project 2017 was initially open to entrepreneurs building early-stage pet care businesses and online submissions for the program closed on July 1, 2017. The finalists have all been invited to Las Vegas to present their ideas in a private pitch to a judging panel of pet industry experts from Mars and Petco. Pet Project 2017 will take place on July 25, 2017, during the pet industry's biggest show of the year. One winning idea will receive a cash prize of $25,000 to help accelerate their business; and the winner will be announced July 26, 2017 at a invitation-only breakfast reception.

Judges (4): Joining Ben Jacobs from Whistle and Brock Weatherup from Petcoach as expert judges are Banfield Pet Hospital SVP, Jeannine Taaffe, and Petco CIO, John Zavada.

Pet Project is a collaboration of Pet Coach, Whistle, and is made possible through Mars Petcare and Petco. For more information or to apply, visit, www.petproject2017.org or join the conversation on Twitter with #petproject2017.

About Petco and the Petco Foundation
With more than 50 years of service to pet parents, Petco is a leading pet specialty retailer that focuses on nurturing powerful relationships between people and pets. We do this by providing the products, services, advice and experiences that keep pets physically fit, mentally alert, socially engaged and emotionally happy. Everything we do is guided by our vision for Healthier Pets. Happier People. Better World. We operate more than 1,500 Petco and Unleashed by Petco locations across the U.S., Mexico and Puerto Rico; prescription services and pet supplies from the leading veterinary-operated pet product supplier, Drs. Foster & Smith; digitally-delivered pet health advice through PetCoach; and petco.com. The Petco Foundation, an independent nonprofit organization, has invested more than $185 million since it was created in 1999 to help promote and improve the welfare of companion animals. In conjunction with the Foundation, we work with and support thousands of local animal welfare groups across the country and, through in-store adoption events, help find homes for more than 400,000 animals every year.

About WHISTLE®
WHISTLE® is the pet tech brand born out of a love for pets. Founded in 2012 by Ben Jacobs, Steven Eidelman, and Kevin Lloyd, Whistle is on a mission to equip pet owners with simple tools that help them stay connected to their pets from anywhere. Today, Whistle leads the industry in innovation with Whistle 3 GPS pet tracker & activity monitor, the most reliable all-in-one pet device. For more information about Whistle visit www.whistle.com, www.facebook.com/whistlelabs or www.twitter.com/whistlelabs.

About Mars, Incorporated Boilerplate
Mars is a family-owned business with more than a century of history making diverse products and offering services for people and the pets people love. With almost $35 billion in sales, the company is a global business that produces some of the world's best-loved brands: M&M's®, SNICKERS®, TWIX®, MILKY WAY®, DOVE®, PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, WHISKAS®, WHISTLE®, EXTRA®, ORBIT®, 5™, SKITTLES®, UNCLE BEN'S®, MARS DRINKS and COCOAVIA®. Mars also provides veterinary health services that include BANFIELD® Pet Hospitals. Headquartered in McLean, VA, Mars operates in more than 80 countries. The Mars Five Principles – Quality, Responsibility, Mutuality, Efficiency and Freedom – inspire its more than 85,000 Associates to create value for all its partners and deliver growth they are proud of every day.

For more information about Mars, please visit www.mars.com. Join us on FacebookTwitterLinkedInInstagram and YouTube.

Julia Waneka, press@whistle.com 
Megan Oxford, megan.oxford@petco.com 

 

SOURCE Petco