Innovation Showdown Highlights Innovative Ideas to Save Animals
Doggy dating scheduling technology, an online pet adoption communications tool that offers two-way video communication and a crowdsourcing platform to prevent animal euthanasia were named the winners of the 3rd Annual Innovation Showdown, a collaborative project from the Petco Foundation, The Jackson Galaxy Project and animal welfare organizations.
The showdown seeks to spark creative solutions by encouraging and investing in lifesaving innovation to reduce the number of animals euthanized in the U.S. Each participating investing organization contributed $50,000 for a total of $450,000 available to invest in the award-winning ideas.
"The Innovation Showdown shows how thinking out of the box in animal welfare to solve problems is another way to help us become a life-saving nation," said Susanne Kogut, president of the Petco Foundation. "The nation's top animal welfare organizations coming together to provide insight, guidance and ultimately investments to launch these ideas is instrumental to their success."
Held at HSUS Animal Care Expo 2019 in New Orleans, a national gathering of more than 2,500 animal welfare professionals and volunteers, three animal welfare organizations were selected as finalists from more than a hundred entries to pitch their ideas in person to a judging panel of Innovation Investors.
The 2019 Innovation Showdown winners include:
- Dallas Animal Services in Dallas ($200,000 investment): Customer service system that utilizes a custom phone app and two-way video communication to streamline the adoption process.
- Day of the Dogs in Houston ($175,000 investment): First ever donation collection platform dedicated to preventing euthanasia of animals in shelters across the country by harnessing the power of crowd-funding.
- Front Street Animal Shelter in Sacramento, Calif. ($75,000 investment): Doggydate.org is an automated scheduling technology that enables individuals to seamlessly "check out" a shelter dog for a day.
The judging panel of Innovation Investors included Showdown founders Jackson Galaxy of The Jackson Galaxy Project and Susanne Kogut of the Petco Foundation, along with Jodi Buckman of ASPCA, Julie Castle of Best Friends Animal Society, Mary Ippoliti-Smith of Maddie's Fund, Aimee Gilbreath of Michelson Found Animals Foundation, Laura Maloney of Annenberg Foundation, Christy Counts of WaterShed Animal Fund, and Matthew Zarcufsky of Mary Jo and Hank Greenberg Animal Foundation.
"I was so impressed by the passion, creativity and ingenuity we saw from this year's entries and the finalists," said Jackson Galaxy, founder of The Jackson Galaxy Project. "As a long time rescue worker, this excites me so much because I've seen firsthand the power of innovation in our field. I know the winners of this year's showdown will, without a shadow of a doubt, improve the lives of animals within shelters and save more animal lives nationwide."
Earlier this year, nonprofit or municipal animal welfare organizations and for-profit companies, submitted their best ideas to save animal lives for the opportunity of investment at the Innovation Showdown. Investors selected Dallas Animal Services and Day of the Dogs ideas as the top two finalists. The public was also given the opportunity to vote during the Wild Card Round of the Innovation Showdown and chose Front Street Animal Shelter's idea for the opportunity to pitch to investors alongside the other two finalists during the Showdown at Animal Care Expo.