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Purina Pet Care Innovation Prize Program winners announced

Article

Five US pet care company startups competed at the Global Pet Expo to win $10,000 and Purina’s support.

Left to right: Blair Morgan, co-lead of Purina's 9 Square Ventures group, and vice president, strategy and innovation for Purina; Leo Trottier, founder & CEO FluentPet; and David Narkiewicz, co-founder of Purina’s 9 Square Ventures group, general counsel and chief legal officer for Purina (Photo courtesy of Nestle Purina PetCare).

Left to right: Blair Morgan, co-lead of Purina's 9 Square Ventures group, and vice president, strategy and innovation for Purina; Leo Trottier, founder & CEO FluentPet; and David Narkiewicz, co-founder of Purina’s 9 Square Ventures group, general counsel and chief legal officer for Purina (Photo courtesy of Nestle Purina PetCare).

FluentPet— a San Diego-based startup— has been named the 2022 Purina Pet Care Innovation Prize Program, winning $10,000 in prize money and support from Purina. The company created the FluentPet HexTile System, a combination of recordable sound buttons and connecting HexTiles enabling dogs, cats, and other animals to help express themselves and help humans understand them.1

According to the release, the system uses cognitive science paired with academic research to simplify communication, learning, and teaching for pets and owners.

"We are so grateful to be this year's Grand Prize winner, a prize we've been working toward for a number of years now. We're so excited for the awareness this prize brings to the amazing potential of the dogs and cats we live with. Thank you Purina," said Leo Trottier, PhD, MS, founder and CEO of FluentPet, in the release.1

In January, a judge panel made up of industry experts, investors, and executives from Purina’s 9 Square Ventures division selected 5 finalists, including FluentPet. The other 4 finalists were awarded $10,000 and invited to participate in an accelerator experience boot camp at Purina’s headquarters.1 Through this boot camp, the finalists meet industry leaders, veterinarians, pet experts, and more to network and strengthen business plans.

According to the release, the other winners were1:

  • Bright Pet Planet: A 100% plant-based dog treat company with products that taste and smell like real meat made from sustainable and all-natural ingredients.
  • Paway: A social network for dogs where members can create a profile to meet local dog parents, find dog-friendly places, and even keep track of their pet's health. With a premium subscription, pet care professionals can use it to manage, grow, and promote their business.
  • QSM Diagnostics: With patented technology, this company allows veterinarians to diagnose and monitor bacterial infections in dogs and cats by using disposable sensors for point of care infection detection and monitoring. There is no software required and results are available 2 minutes from the sample collection.
  • uPetsia: To fight bad dog breath, uPetsia modified natural canine oral bacteria to produce mint aromas. The bacteria can be incorporated into treats and food, fed to the dog, and they will have mint breathe for several hours.

"We are very impressed by FluentPet and the entire 2022 class for the passion and innovation they are bringing to the pet care industry," said Bill Broun, CFA, co-lead of Purina's 9 Square Ventures division, and vice president of Mergers and Acquisitions at Purina.

"Programs like the Pet Care Innovation Prize, allow us to spend time with and support the growth of talented startups while working together to shape the future of pet care," he continued.

Reference

FluentPet Earns 2022 Grand Prize of Purina Pet Care Innovation Prize Program. News release. Nestle Purina PetCare. March 25, 2022. Accessed March 29, 2022. https://prnmedia.prnewswire.com/news-releases/fluentpet-earns-2022-grand-prize-of-purina-pet-care-innovation-prize-program-301510501.html

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