Interview: CEO at Well Informed Pet, Inc. Lowell Kaufman
How did you get started in doing what you do now?
My startup began because my wife and I were vacationing with my Dog, Kona. She had some health issues and needed to see a vet. I didn't have her health history handy and it was a very difficult visit which would have been easier if I had her health history. The software engineer in me was thinking how the heck isn't this info online in the cloud. That turned into the Well Informed Pet app.
Why did you launch your startup? Why does it matter?
The app matters not just to track one pet's health and allow all a pet's caretakers to share that info. The revolutionary idea here is this is the beginning of standardizing health data for pets. It's a massive problem in the medical space for people, but it's a big problem that will only get bigger as pets live longer, people travel more and change doctors and other caretakers.
Pet parents need to be empowered with controlling health information important to them - that's at the heart of Well Informed Pet. we also need a care-taking platform so that everyone is looking at the same information when it comes to healthcare - in this case, pet healthcare.
Why did you join a startup accelerator?
I joined an accelerator as an entryway to the startup ecosystem. I joined a NY accelerator specifically to get more inside the NY/East Coast ecosystem. I have a background in startups in Silicon Valley/SF - the NY world is very different.
I joined 2020 Startups because its focus is more specific and different than other accelerators I've looked at - I am a software / product engineer with limited experience in branding, PR, marketing, press. This is exactly what 2020 targets and I hope to reap the benefits of that expertise.
What 3 things does anyone starting in your industry need to know?
- The pet industry is huge - huge opportunity, of course, but narrowing the focus and prioritizing is essential to succeed.
- The Pet TECH industry is in its infancy - most players in the pet industry are very naive and old fashioned about how technology makes sense in this space. It means opportunity - like the first internet wave - many great ideas and some will succeed - which ones is anyone's guess.
- While the industry's experience with technology is in its infancy - millennial's are the largest growth area as pet parents - which means the audience is very sophisticated in using technology, although the industry currently is lagging behind its customer base. That will change though.
Tell us something interesting we should know about you?
I left the internet/tech arena behind when a startup, I was employee number one at, got acquired. I moved to Joshua Tree and opened a music/cafe in the middle of nowhere (called The Beatnik Cafe - its currently an art gallery and performance space). It was wonderful!