A newly launched pet tech startup from Toronto has won its first pitch competition, earning the top prize after competing against eight startups during the UPstart Venture Challenge.
UPstart Venture Challenge is a pitch competition led by Queen’s Venture Network and was created to give alumni and students the opportunity to present creative business plans.
“The pet health industry is the next major sector poised for innovation.”
– Pawzy founder Kerri-Lynn McAllister
Pawzy, which has developed a platform that connects Canadian pet owners with health and educational resources, took home $30,000 from the pitch competition. The competition, which received a total of 45 applications, awarded second place to The Gist, which won $15,000, and third place to Forvera Health, which won $10,000.
Launched in September, Pawzy aims to allow pet owners to compare health providers and services for their pets, and connect them with veterinarians on-demand. Its platform has a breed selector tool that helps match potential pet owners to an ideal dog, as well as veterinary-approved advice within its breed guides. Pawzy’s goal is to provide a hub for both breeders and adoption agencies and has plans to expand its services to other pets in 2020.
“This was our first pitch competition and our first win,” said Pawzy founder and CEO Kerri-Lynn McAllister, a graduate of Queen’s University’s commerce program. “The pet health industry is the next major sector poised for innovation, and I’m proud that Pawzy will be part of the future of pet tech in North America.”
Pawzy is a small team that, aside from McAllister, includes Emma Harris, the founder and former CEO of Healthy Pets, a telemedicine service that connects pet owners to certified veterinarians, and technical lead Salman Ahmad. Harris pitched Healthy Pets on an episode of Dragons’ Den and launched with seed funding from Arlene Dickinson’s District Ventures Capital. Pawzy’s advisors include Erin Bury, CEO and co-founder of Willful.