Or... just one more conference!
Healthy Pet Connect was born in the middle of the Covid pandemic and was based on 2 research projects Dr Hadar & I had done together staring in 2019 right after we met at VIS. Just 2 years later on July 3rd, 2021 we had a great MVP (a nutritional focused platform) and a real company! Spudgie, an amazing 37# a rescue cat just happened to appear just in time to test & tweak our platform for the next 2 years!
2022 was a blur of startup circles and learning about what our colleagues really needed in the areas of weight management, chronic care & home health device data in terms of telemonitoring.
Then came 2023! Many of you know my life as a startup CEO, a member of the TVC, AAFP and AAVN boards and an AAHA clinic medical director takes me to lots of conferences. Many times I am able to work across tables in very fun and innovative ways to help our colleagues, my startup & my own clinic, often at the same time!
Here is how 2023 rolled out for HPC…
January started out the year way fun. I drove the new HPC van to Orlando to VMX. It was crazy fun especially having the fully finished HPC van on the floor and all our tech friends (Digitail, Talkatoo, Petsapp, Pet Desk, Woof Dr, TVC etc) to celebrate and hang out with was simply amazing! Dr Barr and I enjoyed a couple days on the beach near Naples after. (PM me if you want to join us (popup style) this year!
February WVC was full of great meetings and drinks with some brilliant minds (Matt Russell, Shawn Wilke, Sebastian Gabor, & Nick McCart) to name just a few. It truly helped Dr Hadar & I find “our voice” amidst that challenge between startup & a “real company” that starts to generate revenue & attract angel funding and redefine our ownership structure. On my clinic homefront, my clinic team was onboarding Digital after 36 years with Impromed! The Digitail team did an amazing job and we love their PIMS and their team!
In March We attended the student AVMA conference in Illinois and were blown away by how well they liked our concept (and free scales :) We sent home over 20 body weight scales and 25 food scales to very happy future veterinarians. Being randomly placed next to the AAVN booth made the show even more special with Ryan & Martha Cline in attendance.
April This is always the month after all the big veterinary meetings where we sift through what we are seeing our profession needs and it hit us that hard we needed to focus on all chronic care and preventive care not just obesity.
May Out of nowhere just as our Spudgie reached his ideal weight of 12# up pops Patches a whopping 42# cat in Maryland who needed our platform. We donated a scale and at last check has lost over 10#. He has an amazing 43K followers we hope to enlist on our new platform.
June AAVN/ACVIM is always one of my favorite conferences for sure. I rotated off as co-chair of their student committee and enjoyed sharing clinical cases and news of our platform with them. Most of the committee are serious foodies (especially Marth Cline) and I will seriously miss those dinners! See you in MPLS next summer!
July last minute trip to AVMA in Denver was well worth it. Good TVC meetings, a robust young group of attendees and great social events! Nick and I always have fun!
August turned out to be the only one of 2 months with no conference all year. August was dark indeed for me personally as my adventure kitten Roo (Bug’s mentee) disappeared on Aug 3rd (happy ending see Dec)
September My first Vet Forum meeting in Texas supporting TVC with Nick McCart. Lots of fun spent with Ryan Leech, Nis and so many other fun people. Fascinating sitting on the “other side of the table” representing 4000 independent vet clinics. The month ended horribly losing HPC’s beloved angel investor Dr Elizabeth Colleran. We will always move forward in her name and her wishes for improving cats' lives. (and dogs, as she loved them too as does HPC)
October Veterinary Innovation Summit never disappoints. Kansas City is always gritty and fun. Always get to spend time with some of my favorite DVMS & industry reps. Straight to Memphis (even grittier!) for the AAFP where we sold 20 scales. We now have over 100 in the hands of practicing veterinarians, veterinary students, researchers and pet parents. Great meeting Emmet & Rory and enjoying some awesome BBQ and beers in between career stories.
November Vetsource tour with the TVC board was very interesting. I gave some endodontic training to 5 colleagues and delivered some scales to get started with HPC. Bob Merrill is an old windsurfing & sailing buddy, has an amazing practice and Portland is always a great visit.
December My year was made whole again with Roo’s reappearance at a neighbors less than 1 mile away. 120 days dodging coyotes, owls, and who knows what else!. She is only 7 # but wiley beyond any cat I have ever met. I learned a lot. She is finally regaining trust of humans and her former housemate cats have now fully re-accepted her but it took a full month! Buy me a beer at our next conference and I can tell you more ;) As a direct result of that experience HPC is devoting a chunk of its marketplace to pet recovery technology
One last conference! Kisaco Veterinary Innovation In LA didn't disappoint! Originally called Pets & Money I last attended over 5 years ago in Austin Texas. Kisaco has not turned this into an amazing consumer focused conference. Never heard of Bistrocat, Sphinx, Moggie, Maven? Check out/follow our marketplace! Amazing pitches! Glad we started years ago!! Brutal talent!
My last HPC trip of the year was to visit Dr Michelle Meyer and the wonderful team at Serenity Animal Hospital with an amazing caring culture.
As we close out 2023 and look to 2024
Most importantly in the last month HPC redrew its structure bringing in 2 new equity partners. Please meet Dr Joey Goldthorpe, our chronic care lead with over 18 years experience challenging feline cases (including dozens of her personal cats) and Joe Muller, an incredible full stack developer who has completely rebuilt our platform. His previous experience working at epic software working with data visualization in a medical setting and using wearables fits HPC to a "T" with our future goals.
We couldn't be happier and nothing will be impossible with these two talented individuals joining my partner Dr Hadar and our already amazing veterinary centered advisory board link to board.
We are by the way very interested in angel funding. (Our total raise for the next 2 years is 200K) If you know anyone please send them our way. We prefer to keep our funding DVM primarily and with those who share our passions. Our sincere thanks for any leads!
We will roll out our new platform with all its features starting next week but want to thank each of you who we zoomed in with, shared your perspectives or in many other ways showed your support for HPC in 2023 and before.
We are ever inspired by those we meet at conferences and in our clinic visits. We promise to stay true to vet med while saving you time, improving outcomes and maybe just adding just a little bit of fun or joy to your lives if we are really fortunate!
We wish you much success & happiness in 2024!
Drs Ken, Barr, Joey & developer Joe! ....and the entire HPC team