Did you ever have a family pet who seemed a little sick, but you weren’t sure if you could drop $150 (not covered by insurance) for a vet check-up, and the internet wasn’t really much help?
What if you want to send a celebratory balloon kit to a special someone but need to stay within a budget?
Well, you’re in business, and so are the winners of the Fall 2020 Spark Tank Competition sponsored by the Stack Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The competition was held virtually on November 12; the winners are:
Med-Tech/Wellness or Food and Agriculture
1st Place ($500) Pawket Vet: An app that manages services, medication and other pet needs. Meghan Brewer ’23 and Emma Touchette ’21
2nd place ($250) The Go-Tainer: Branded multi-use containers for college food services.
Brianna Brown ’21, Karolina Severova ’21, Brooke Snyder ’21 (MBA program)
3rd place ($100) Sudz and Budz: An app to customize visits to New York state craft breweries. Justin Kenyon ’21, Brooks Knapek ’21, Nick Longo ’21, Alivia O’Hagan ’21 (MBA program)
1st place ($500) Loonies: A custom balloon delivery product and service. Emily Jansz ’21
2nd place ($250) Landscape Admin: An app to help small landscape businesses.
Mark Bodner ’22, Seth LaBarbera ’22, Jordan Nowak ’22, Anthony Zarrillo '22
3rd place ($100) Virtual Stadium: A website and hardware for a virtual reality experience of pro sporting events. Jacob Gebo ’21, Matthew Leipman ’22, Aidan O’Connor '23
Brewer (right) and Touchette parlayed their love of animals into the Pawket Pet app, which lets pet owners check in virtually with a vet to see if an in-office visit is needed, or if the necessary treatment can be obtained over the counter, or with time and TLC.
Brewer and Touchette are both animal lovers, so this line of business made sense.
“The idea was to do a whole animal-related business, and we narrowed it down to one service. We tried to determine what was a ‘pain point’ for pet families, and we determined that the high cost of taking a pet to the vet was one, and discussed ways to alleviate some of that stress.”
Meghan Brewer '23
“This project means a lot to us. We want to offer a service that lets people do a quick check-in from home so they can get a simple answer from a real vet about their pet’s care.”
Emma Touchette '21
The team is now doing detailed research to further develop their product, which will offer the option to pay for one-time virtual visits or a monthly subscription for mini check-ins.
Jansz was inspired by a need for celebration for people having special milestones during the pandemic shutdown. Loonies sends themed party packs of balloons and decorations that can be quickly and easily assembled into arches, columns, “bouquets” and other arrangements.
“It’s an inexpensive way for families and friends to decorate. The price point is a lot lower than a place like Party City, and people can have fun putting everything together.”
One of her products was used by North Salem Middle School (in her hometown) to dress up their drive-through graduation ceremony back in June.
She advertised her product online to local neighborhood and moms groups, and was pleased with the response.
“This was originally started as a contactless, pandemic-related business, but I can definitely see it continuing after the pandemic is over. There’s a value proposition because they can still be set up without helium.”
Jansz is using her prize money for brand development and packaging. Loonies delivers orders in the Westchester County area, and will soon expand to mail orders.