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Winner Named in Purina’s Pet Care Innovation Program

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The startup received an additional $10K.

Washington, DC-based startup company Barkly Pets has been named the winner of the 2017/2018 Pet Care Innovation Prize powered by Purina.

Barkly developed what it calls “the highest rated dog walking app designed to simplify everyday and essential pet care needs with services available to users 365 days a year in 60 minutes notice or less.” It was one of five finalists making pitches for the prize in Orlando, FL, just before the opening of Global Pet Expo.

As the grand prize winner, Barkly was awarded an additional $10,000 from Purina and a dedicated booth at Global Pet Expo courtesy of the show organizers at the American Pet Products Association.

Barkly was selected by a panel of industry judges including Lindsay Beaton, managing editor of Petfood Industry magazine; Bryan Jaffe of Cascadia Capital; Gila Kurtz of Dog is Good; and Bill Broun, Blair Morgan and David Narkiewicz from Purina’s 9 Square Ventures Division. In the culminating event, each business was given less than 10 minutes to make a final pitch to win.

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“We are humbled to be honored as the Pet Care Innovation Prize grand prize winner,” said Chris Gonzalez, co-founder of Barkly. “The opportunity to spend time with industry experts at Purina and our fellow finalists throughout the program gave us insight into how can better serve our customers and the pet professionals we empower daily to care for their pets.”

The other four finalists were AnimalBiome, BareItAll Petfoods, Fetch Labs Inc. and PupJoy.

In the fall, the finalists were selected from more than 85 global applicants, each winning $10,000 prize and support from the Pet Care Innovation Prize team, including Active Capital, Cultivation Capital and Purina. Earlier this year, the startups traveled to St. Louis, where Purina’s global headquarters is located, for a Pet Care Business Boot Camp, a multi-day accelerator program to get advice, mentorship and access to business partners.

“Purina’s founder, William Danforth, dared his people to dream big, work hard and lead by example, and the Pet Care Innovation Prize is one way that we hope to embody that spirit by helping others succeed,” said Blair Morgan, co-lead of Purina’s 9 Square Ventures Division and Vice President of Innovation at Purina. “We congratulate Barkly Pets and look forward to seeing the great things that they and all of this year’s finalists will do in the industry to help make pets lives better.”

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