A device able to whip up homemade dog food at the touch of a button has taken top honours in the Purina Pet Care Innovation Prize Program.
Arizona-based start-up Artie beat out four competing finalists, all of which pitched their businesses to a panel of experts at the Global Pet Expo in Orlando, Fla.
Ultimately, Artie, which is among the first countertop appliance systems capable of preparing artisan-inspired, home-cooked meals for dogs, was named the grand prize winner and awarded a cash prize of US$25,000.
“This award is so meaningful to us,” says the company’s co-founder, Scott Eller. “We have worked so hard to get here and surrounded ourselves with the right people all the way. The time spent with the team at Purina has been extremely rewarding.”
Artie is one of five start-ups selected from nearly 140 companies from across the United States and Canada to participate in the 2023 class for the Pet Care innovation Prize. Each finalist received US$25,000 cash and took part in a bootcamp accelerator experience with business experts, industry leaders, veterinarians, and Purina executives to broaden their network, strengthen their business plan, and gain knowledge from across the pet care landscape.
The other finalists include:
- Sylvester.ai (Calgary, Alberta), which has launched an app, Tably, that uses AI trained on veterinary-approved pain scales to evaluate how a cat is feeling based on subtle facial cues.
- 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 behavior 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.
“We look forward to seeing the success of Artie and the entire 2023 class,” says Bill Broun, co-lead of Purina’s 9 Square Ventures division and vice-president of personalization and business development at Purina.
“By offering programs like the Pet Care Innovation Prize, we get the opportunity to work with forward thinking startups who are doing great work to advance the pet care industry,” he continues. “It’s an honour to support their growth and work together to shape the future of pet care.”