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Animal Welfare Organizations Seek Innovative Ideas to Save Animals Lives


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Last year's Innovation Showdown with top winners from ACC of NYC and Brandywine SPCA celebrate with Daymond John of ABC's "Shark Tank," actor Jane Lynch, executive director of the Petco Foundation Susanne Kogut and Jackson Galaxy.

The 2018 Innovation Showdown, a collaborative project with a goal to spark lifesaving creativity to help the animal welfare industry reduce the number of animals euthanized in the U.S., has launched. The Showdown invites organizations and companies to compete for the chance at an investment of up to $350,000 for innovative ideas to save animal lives and get feedback from the nation's top animal welfare experts. 

The Innovation Showdown, originally created in 2017 by the Petco Foundation and Jackson Galaxy Foundation, is modeled after the ABC Show “Shark Tank” for entrepreneurs, but with one major difference. The Innovation Showdown's ultimate goal is not a financial return on investment but a lifesaving return on investment—that is to save the lives of more animals in need.  

"The Innovation Showdown aspires to encourage ideas that will change the landscape of animal welfare," said Susanne Kogut, executive director of the Petco Foundation. "All of the participating national organizations share the same goal—to end needless euthanasia of animals in this country.  By joining forces in this year's Showdown, we can make a meaningful impact with a more significant investment pool and feedback from the industry's experts to debate the lifesaving potential of each new idea."

Participating organizations include, the ASPCA, Best Friends Animal Society, The Humane Society of the United States, The Jackson Galaxy Project, Maddie's Fund, Michelson Found Animals Foundation, the Petco Foundation and the WaterShed Animal Fund. 

Innovative ideas to save animal lives are now being accepted online until Feb. 16. Two finalists will be chosen initially and selected additional ideas will compete for the third Wild Card finalist spot. The grand finale will take place on May 16 at the HSUS Animal Care Expo, where the three finalists will make their pitch on stage to the judges. 

Non-profit or municipal animal welfare organizations and for-profit companies, provided their idea is to support the mission to save animal lives, are eligible. 

The judging panel of Innovation Investors includes: Matt Bershadker (ASPCA), Julie Castle (Best Friends Animal Society), Jackson Galaxy (the Jackson Galaxy Project), Mary Ippoliti-Smith (Maddie's Fund), Aimee Gilbreath (Michelson Found Animals Foundation), Susanne Kogut (the Petco Foundation) and Christy Counts (WaterShed Animal Fund).

Last year nearly 200 idea submissions were received and two winners, the Animal Care Centers of NYC for their digital shelter concept ($100,000) and Brandywine Valley SPCA for "Mama in a Box" a kitten feeding solution ($50,000), took home the top two honors.

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