A group of students at IE University have created a platform that aims to become the best tool for finding pet partners.
In Spain, it’s estimated that there are over three million dog owners and almost a million cat owners. With these overwhelming numbers, one might think finding your pet a good match would be a breeze, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. For the partnership to be a success, experts say that our pet’s mate should meet a series of requirements, such as breed standards, good health conditions, and be free of any genetic diseases.
A group of students at IE University have come up with a mobile application that seeks to meet the demand of cat or dog owners who wish to breed their pets. The app won the first prize at the fifth edition of IE University’s Business Plan Challenge, a competition in which first-year students at the Segovia or Madrid campuses present their business plans.
“Pet Cupid” is a platform that helps our pets find their perfect match. The app, which is in its early stages of development, aims to become the best tool for the pairing of cats and dogs in Spain. While the students behind the initiative are aware that there are other similar websites and applications, they claim that “Pet Cupid” will revolutionize the way pet owners meet each other. “We want to connect all people who are passionate about animals,” says Camilo Jaramillo, one of the team members.
“Pet Cupid” is a fresh idea that arose from the enthusiasm of a group of college entrepreneurs at IE University, studying subjects as diverse as International Relations, Information Systems Management, and Law. It was designed by students Andrea Forteza, Daria Dixon, Sam González, Camilo Jaramillo, and Megi Fagu.
Easy to use
This app is intuitive and user-friendly. All the user needs is a smartphone with internet connection. It works just like other online dating platform such as Tinder; but in this case, the users are not singles trying to find the love of their lives, but rather an app designed for the nearly four million cat and dog owners in Spain.
Once the user has downloaded the app on their smartphone, they must create a profile for their pet, providing a series of data such as age, sex, race, or size of the animal. After completing this short questionnaire and uploading some photos, the owners can scroll through a gallery of images. First, the user will be shown pets near their location. In this view, the user can “like” other profiles (by swiping the profile tab to the right), ignore them, or “dislike” them (by swiping left).
“When two profiles match, the app connects the owners directly and automatically opens a chat where they can talk about their respective pets,” says Camilo, who insists that “it’s free to download the application from the internet and login.”
In the free version, you can only see 25 photos at a time, while in the paid version, which costs around three euros, owners have access to information such as the pedigree, the animal’s family tree, and an unlimited number of photos and videos, among other content.
The creators of “Pet Cupid” recognize that there are already free platforms where users can advertise cats and dogs for breeding, “but they do not offer the services our app does, such as connecting owners automatically.” In this regard, they stress that “we are not an ad portal, but rather a platform that connects animal lovers and creates a community.”
Using a precise algorithm, “Pet Cupid” is able to filter the preferences of each user so that only the relevant content is shown. Its creators guarantee that the application will be safe, since all profiles will be verified. To this end, owners who use the app will have to provide “Pet Cupid” access to their pet’s medical documents.
To get the project started, “Pet Cupid” requires an investment of roughly 95,000 euros, a figure that is not low, “but we trust that someone will believe in us and our project; we are a group of young people with great passion for what we do and we are eager to grow.” They’re confident that the project is viable because “it is an innovative idea that will solve a problem faced by many people in Spain; there’s a big market that we can help.”
Business Plan Challenge
“Pet Cupid” won first prize in the “IE University Business Plan Challenge,” a competition that recognizes the best business ideas from college students. This competition, launched by the ViceRectorate of Business Labs and Initiatives at IE University, aims to promote entrepreneurial spirit, stimulate innovation, and encourage the exchange of knowledge and good ideas between young, talented college students.
The jury was made up of three leading experts in the field of entrepreneurship—Rafael Esteban, Iván Bedia, and Diego Narváez—along with professor Isabel Sánchez, Vice-Rector of IE University’s Business Labs and Initiatives.
“I’m fascinated by the teaching methods employed at IE University; we go to a school where every day we’re motivated to innovate and develop our own ideas. We feel the support of the university and our professor, Leticia Ponce, to move our business idea forward,” says Camilo.
One of the members of the jury advised the team of young college students behind “Pet Cupid” to work hard to advance with the project, rather than leaving it in a box of great ideas to collect dust. “We will devote all our efforts to put it into action,” stated Camilo. “Pet Cupid” is certainly a very interesting initiative for those cat and dog owners looking for the best match for their pets”.