PetHub is Helping Parents Keep Pets Safe and Home, With Data
In February 2022, six early-stage pet care startups joined the Leap Venture Studio accelerator program for a 12-week immersive experience. Throughout the program, the founding teams worked in tandem with a curated team of strategists and designers from R/GA Ventures, and received mentorship from Mars Petcare and Michelson Found Animals on building impactful and scalable businesses. As we gear up for our next cohort this year, here’s a look back at yet another successful program. We are excited to feature the amazing startups from Cohort 5 in a special blog series!
Pet Hub (Wenatchee, USA): PetHub is a data platform & subscription membership service for pet parents to help keep every family’s pets happy, safe, protected and HOME for the rest of their lives.
Lorien Clemens, CEO
What motivated you to build an impactful startup in the pet care space?
Lorien: PetHub was the incredible brainchild of my friend, Tom. Pets are like children, but while solutions for human children exist, those for pets are rare. Tom found this frustrating. As a frequent traveler, he would get quite overwhelmed with the lack of services available and wanted to do something about this. At this time, I was providing feedback on his ideas and gradually started to get more and more involved with the work. When he started PetHub, the idea was to locate lost pets with the help of data. He wanted to save lives with data and this was deeply motivating for me. Later when I was looking for a career switch, I offered to be a part of this project. I not only feel strongly about giving the best world to our pets, but I also want it to be done in the best way possible. Making the lives of pet parents easier with technology was extremely appealing to me.
What are the greatest challenges you’ve faced as a startup founder and how have you overcome them?
Lorien: Tom’s vision was a paradigm shift from the way the pet industry viewed things such as identification and data. When we started 12 years ago, we had to convince people, especially investors, that technology was going to take off in the pet space and become really important. Our product was ahead of its time. Nothing like what we were trying to do existed.
Raising money has also been a challenge. We were not seen as a conventional pet care company that was into food, toys etc. Investors had not seen a company like ours in the pet space before. In the technology space, investors had not seen similar technology being applied to solutions for pets. We weren’t a traditional fit for either industry. So, marrying pet care with technology has been challenging for us. But our persistence has paid off.
Today, people want and trust technology. We are now in the right space and are able to cater to hundreds of pets.
What is your biggest take away from the Leap Venture Studio?
Lorien: It’s hard to pinpoint one! The program took us back to the core of what we were trying to do. We were able to refocus on what our vision and mission was. As part of a cohort where other startups were also figuring out how to get their messaging out, the learning was great. It took us 6 weeks to get to where we might have reached in 6 months or may be even a year.
How has your startup made a difference for pets?
Lorien: We built PetHub as a solution to pets’ needs. This has opened my eyes as a pet parent to everything that’s out there. My pet went missing once and we used our PetHub system to locate him. Although he made it home on his own a few hours later, I would not stay without the PetHub system on him. My pets have also deeply benefitted from all the connections that we have made in the pet space. PetHub connects pet parents with these amazing products and services that are available in the pet industry, which most people don’t pay heed to till it’s too late.
What advice would you give to fellow pet care founders who are just starting their journey?
Lorien: Here’s my advice:
- Know yourself
- Know your customer
- Listen to yourself
- Listen to your customer
Tell us about your pet(s)!
Lorien: Tormund Giantsbaine is a larger than life orange tabby. He is the coolest dude ever and is friends with everyone. I’m not a cat person, but I am his person!
Heady is our newest family member. She is a one-year-old half-Boston Terrier. She very much still acts like a puppy and is the sweetest dog I’ve ever had. She makes sure everybody loves her.
What is the unique selling proposition (USP) of your company?
Lorien: PetHub helps reconnect you to your pet and everything you need, as a pet parent.
To learn more about PetHub, visit their website.