An Alberta start-up able to create predictive visual healthcare products using artificial intelligence (AI) is among the companies selected for this year’s class of Purina’s Pet Care Innovation Prize program.
Now in its seventh year, the program supports the advancement of pet care companies in early stages of development. Each start-up received a prize of $25,000 from Purina, as well as an invitation to participate in a virtual pet care business accelerator boot camp.
“Working with start-ups who share our passion for pets and the tireless pursuit of innovation allows us to inspire and help each other on this journey,” says Purina’s vice-president of strategy and innovation, Blair Morgan. “This year’s class of winners showcases the breadth of opportunities that exist in the pet industry, and our team is excited to help mentor and support them as they grow.”
Based in Calgary, Sylvester.ai has launched an app, Tably, which uses AI trained on veterinary-approved pain scales to evaluate how a cat is feeling based on subtle facial cues. The tool is especially useful after a procedure to make health-related decisions, Purina reports.
Others selected for the program include:
- Artie (Phoenix, Ariz.), a countertop appliance system able to prepare home-cooked meals for dogs at the touch of a button.
- EpiPaws (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), the maker of a pet age test kit able to determine a pet’s estimated birthday via an oral swab and provide nutritional and behaviour insights based on the animal’s life stage for proactive healthcare management.
- Happy Bond (Los Angeles, Calif.), a preservative-free dog food manufacturer.
- PDX Biotech (Huntsville, Ala.), the creator of the proprietary OraStripdx, a rapid screening test for veterinarians to detect periodontal disease in dogs and cats early in the disease.
The winners will present their businesses at Global Pet Expo, where a grand prize recipient will be chosen and awarded an additional cash prize of $25,000.