Pet Project 2017 Innovation Pitch Contest Names Winner
Pet technology brands, PetCoach and Whistle, named Lacuna Diagnostics as the winner of Pet Project 2017, the first national pitch event designed to help innovators in pet care transform their ideas into a high-impact business. The inaugural venture program heard pitches from eleven pet care entrepreneurs from around the globe as they outlined early-stage innovations to improve the lives of pets.
Lacuna Diagnostics, a digital diagnostics platform designed to deliver timely diagnosis and raise the standard of care for veterinary patients, was selected by a panel of four expert judges from Mars Petcare and Petco. As the standout pitch of Pet Project 2017, Lacuna Diagnostics will receive a $25,000 "no strings attached" cash prize to help accelerate the growth of their business.
"This was an extremely difficult decision for the judging panel, as all of the finalists did an incredible job bringing to life some of the amazing innovations happening in the pet world today," said Brock Weatherup, executive vice president of Strategic Innovation at Petco. "Aaron and the team at Lacuna are demonstrating what it truly means to be innovators and entrepreneurs, and the work they are doing to make pet medical diagnosis faster, more accurate and cost efficient is impressive. We expect big things from Aaron and his team as they continue to ramp."
Pet Project 2017 was developed by Weatherup, PetCoach co-Founder, and Ben Jacobs, co-founder and CEO of Whistle. Each recognized that the pet space is ripe for innovation and teamed up to help new pet ventures clear the traditional hurdles of bringing an idea to such a large marketplace.
"As an early stage startup with an ambitious idea to drastically improve the quality of care of pets, this early recognition and seed money is an encouraging step forward for the brand," said Aaron Wallace, co-founder of Lacuna Diagnostics. "We're excited to win Pet Project 2017 with the support from these two important leaders in pet care. We're driven and excited to make digital pathology the preferred norm in veterinary diagnostics."
Pet Project is a collaboration of PetCoach, Whistle, and is made possible through Mars Petcare and Petco. The event took place on July 25 and the winners were honored at a breakfast reception on July 26 at SuperZoo, which was held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.