Listen to your pet

Felcana was born in December 2014 on a rainy Saturday afternoon in West London.  A conversation over lunch between vets-cum-consultants-cum-technophiles highlighted the enormous opportunity to use innovative technology to revolutionise pet healthcare as we know it today.  The disruption in the health tech space has been ongoing over the last few years – with a global dog and cat population of 630 million, it seemed crazy that we had not yet leveraged these digital tools in the animal world to support the pets we love, their owners and our fellow vets.

Labrador

We are an early-stage startup that develops innovative, smart, connected devices for pets.  Felcana sits at the intersection between pet “parenting” and veterinary care, closing the loop between the key players in your pet’s life.  Our IoT platform helps owners understand if their pet is behaving and, at the same time, empowers vets with new tools and data to  diagnose health problems more effectively.  In the current world, owners and vets are the only real sources of information for determining a pet’s wellbeing. Using seamless electronic connections and data analysis, we can provide an additional, more accurate channel to collect health-related information – the “Internet of Pets” is on the horizon!

In 2000, when I started to study veterinary medicine at the Royal (Dick) School in Edinburgh, I never imagined that, ten years later, I would be spending my free time learning to code and tinkering with electronics!  I have always had the “entrepreneurial spirit” and knew that running my own business was on the cards – being able to do this in the veterinary sphere is the perfect amalgamation of my main passions.  After university, following a year working as a vet in a small animal veterinary practice in the North West, I made my way to the bright lights of the big city and started work as a management consultant with Bain & Company in London.  My eight years with the firm, including a funded MBA at INSEAD and travel to 20+ countries, confirmed my desire to start up and grow my own international business in addition to giving me the toolkit to do so.

The last 6 months have gone past at a whirlwind pace.  We were awarded our first Innovate UK grant for development of our product and closed our first Angel Investor round. I read hundreds of CVs as part of our recruitment drive, looking for candidates anywhere from Angel.io and workinstartups.com to job boards in universities and word of mouth. Building a winning team from the ground up is a challenge, but has been one of the most enjoyable parts of building the business.  Our current core team is small, supported by a great group of advisors.  On 23rd May, we welcomed our new Head of Product, Tom Blower, who is joining us from Dyson after 10 years of leading design teams there, delivering innovative products from conception to production.  Incidentally, that was also the day we moved into our new digs at Makerversity (http://makerversity.org/).  Built over a 3000m2 space in the lower floors of Somerset House by the Thames, Makerversity houses over 150 “members” working in over 20 different disciplines and thrives on creating a culture of collaboration between creatives who “make” things.  We are thrilled to have some permanent office space and are in the process of making the space our own (a trip to IKEA is already in the diary!).

We certainly have a very busy schedule over coming months.  Between R&D activities, recruitment and preparing for our second round of fundraising, we may not be able to spend as much time enjoying the summer sun as we might like, but I’m sure we’ll be able to fit in a few trips to the pub – weather permitting!

Watch-out for future Felcana updates, they will be providing updates via the CW blog every few months.  For further information please contact the Felcana team at info@felcana.com or follow us on Twitter & Facebook.

Blog written by James Andrews, Founder of Felcana. More to follow in the next few months.


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