Finalists Vying for Remaining Spot in the 2020 Innovation Showdown

Two Innovative Lifesaving Ideas Will Pitch to Nation’s Top Animal Welfare Organizations for $500,000 in Funding; Six Others Compete for Final Spot on Stage

Finalists Vying for Remaining Spot in the 2020 Innovation Showdown

SAN ANTONIO, March 9, 2020 – The nation’s top animal welfare organizations have selected two finalists for the 2020 Innovation Showdown and announced six others given the opportunity to compete for the final spot for a chance of up to $500,000 in funds to launch their ideas to make a significant lifesaving difference for animals. The Innovation Investors from the nation’s top animal welfare organizations are asking for the public’s vote to determine the remaining contestant featured on stage during the fourth annual Innovation Showdown to make their lifesaving idea a reality.

The public can vote for one of the six wildcard contestants in the People’s Choice voting round at petcofoundation.org/showdown from March 9-27. The organization with the most votes will win the final spot to pitch their idea live on stage along with the two others already chosen by the Innovation Investors at this year’s Humane Society of the United States’ Animal Care Expo on May 8 in San Antonio, Texas.

Six ideas are selected to compete for the public’s vote:

  • Adoptimize‘s app algorithm automates the pet intake photo process by taking a 30-second video, selecting the best shots and editing them to efficiently provide improved pet profile images.
  • Greenville County Animal Care’s Pet Impressions app gives adopters the opportunity to create a unique profile and shelters an easy way to update pet information based on interactions so adopters can match with the best fit.
  • Ferallife Guards’ Trapper App connects community cats with available trappers to save time and reduce the financial burden of caring for community cats.
  • Hyperhound’s RescueRef app is a one-stop-shop for volunteers and shelter staff to track pets in their care, combining information from the pet’s official record with notes and tasks added by volunteers, staff and fosters, improving data on pets in their care to create statistical models that will improve enrichment of future pets.
  • Maricopa County Animal Care’s concept of a resident-powered interactive map to help reunite lost pets with their parents.
  • Pawlickle’s Foster Keeper software is designed to help shelters reduce the administrative time and effort needed for foster programs, increasing the ability of shelters to connect pets in need with foster homes.

“In the business of saving animal lives, innovation is critical,” said Petco Foundation President Susanne Kogut. “We are thrilled to partner with the Innovation Investors to be the catalyst for change and support lifesaving innovation.”

The Innovation Showdown aspires to encourage ideas that will change the landscape of animal welfare. This collaborative project brings the nation’s top animal welfare organizations together to invest in lifesaving innovation. Modeled after Shark Tank, participants seeking funding to save animal lives will present their best lifesaving animal welfare ideas to the Innovation Investors (which include leaders from the Annenberg Foundation & Wallis Annenberg PetSpace, ASPCA, Best Friends Animal Society, Dave & Cheryl Duffield Foundation, The Jackson Galaxy Project, Maddie’s Fund®, Mary Jo & Hank Greenberg Animal Welfare Foundation, Michelson Found Animals Foundation, the Petco Foundation and PetSmart Charities®).

Two organizations have already been chosen by the Investors to pitch their ideas:

  • All 4 Paws’ Vet Clinic in a Can concept aims to prove that you don’t need a fancy building to save animal lives. They want to prove you CAN do it with Vet Clinic in a Can! They propose an innovative use of shipping containers to create contained cost-effective veterinary clinics to make spay/neuter surgeries safe, affordable and accessible within their community and across the nation.
  • Kitizen Science has an idea to use a citizen science program that leverages volunteers as data collectors to conduct research on community cat populations to prove the lifesaving impact of spay/neuter programs. The program uses volunteer provided photos and proven wildlife identification technology to collect and chronicle data on individual cats that can be used to analyze a community cat population and the efficacy of spay/neuter in that area.

“When we launched the Innovation Showdown four years ago, the goal was to improve the lives of animals within shelters and save more animal lives nationwide,” said Jackson Galaxy, founder of the Jackson Galaxy Project. “At the same time, we wanted to inspire and challenge those who have dedicated their personal and professional lives to the pursuit of saving animal lives. The result, year after year, has been more than I could have imagined. I’ve been so impressed by the passion, creativity and ingenuity we continue to see from the pitches. With a half million dollars at stake to fund their idea and the potential to put their stamp on lifesaving efforts nationwide, the atmosphere will be electric at the Innovation Showdown. As always, I can’t wait to get on that stage, and to witness the impact of these ideas.”

The three finalists will make their best pitch for support live on May 8 and the Innovation Investors will then agree on the amount of investment for each to hopefully transform the lifesaving landscape.

For more on the Innovation Showdown, visit petcofoundation.org/showdown and join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by using the hashtag #InnovationShowdown.

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About the Petco Foundation
At the Petco Foundation, we believe that every animal deserves to live its best life. Since 1999, we’ve invested more than $260 million in lifesaving animal welfare work to make that happen. With our more than 4,000 animal welfare partners, we inspire and empower communities to make a difference by investing in adoption and medical care programs, spay and neuter services, pet cancer research, service and therapy animals, and numerous other lifesaving initiatives. Through our Think Adoption First program, we partner with Petco stores and animal welfare organizations across the country to increase pet adoptions. So far, we’ve helped more than 6.5 million pets find their new loving families, and we’re just getting started. Visit petcofoundation.org to learn more about how you can get involved.