Proactive pet healthcare

Photo by Will Huang

Photo by Will Huang

Kitchener-based company Cleo Collar is readying itself to release wearable technology for pets this spring. A division of Konectra Incorporated, the business is currently raising funds for its wearable technology through a Kickstarter campaign.

The Cleo Collar is a two-piece device, resembling a belt buckle, which can clip onto various pet accessories. It is designed to update pet owners with real-time indicators showing their pet’s health, such as body temperature, heart rate and movement patterns.

“Pets cannot tell you what’s wrong with them and you only go to the vet once or twice a year. In between visits, you have no idea whether your pet is healthy or not,” said Peter Mankowski, CEO and creator of Cleo Collar.

“This device allows for early diagnosis of many medical conditions and allows you to be proactive if anything changes.”
To help with the release of their product, they have started a Kickstarter campaign. Through Kickstarter, anyone can pledge various amounts of money to a company seeking funding and in return receive some sort of gift or product.

Kickstarter is often successfully used by technology startups to raise quick funds without giving away company equity.

That being said, Kickstarter can offer challenges for some companies.

“We found out that Kickstarter campaigns follow trends, so your timing has to be perfect to fit the appetite of young kids who are tech savvy. Right now there is no interest in pet wearables at all — right now the interest is in 3D printers,” said Mankowski.

Even though a campaign may fail to generate the funds desired, it can fetch a company interest from wealthy investors looking to find exciting new ventures.

“I didn’t know that on Kickstarter many American investors are looking for companies to invest in. I have two individuals from California that contacted me and now I have to go to the United States to do a presentation. So for me it worked as advertising,” said Mankowski.

Cleo Collar has a few weeks remaining in their Kickstarter campaign and hopes to continue to garner both attention and funds for their expansion.

Part of the reason the company wants to raise new funds is to expand their product line, as they have received interest from medical professionals treating humans.

“We will be branching out into medical devices for humans as well and this will be next year,” said Mankowski.

As a company that focuses on pet health, they’re heavily involved with the Kitchener-Waterloo Humane Society.

According to Mankowski, a percentage of each sale of the collar goes to the KW Humane Society.

Cleo Collar will begin to ship to stores and distributers in February and will be launched throughout North America and some European locations later in the spring.

In addition to retail sales, consumers can purchase the device by pledging funds for the company on their Kickstarter campaign and expect to receive the collar in March.

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