Learn more about the new health & behaviour monitoring system dog collar Queva and the journey behind this exciting start-up in an interview with Jacob T. Calderon.
Introducing Queva: A game-changing approach to dog health
As Jacob welcomed his dog, he noticed that his new furry companion showed anxiety signs, and he didn’t know how to help without going to the vet all the time. There was no actual real solution on the market for dog health and behaviour tracking. The idea of a smart pet gadget was born. With the help of his team, he created the Queva dog collar – an intelligent collar that monitors a dog’s health and behaviour.
Queva is designed to foresee potential health problems in dogs by continuously gathering crucial health information. This groundbreaking approach enables the early identification of issues, giving pet owners a chance to take proactive steps to ensure their dogs’ good health. Queva is filling the gap in finding a dependable and user-friendly way to monitor their furry friends’ health at home for devoted pet owners. What sets Queva apart is its capacity to provide expert analysis and recommendations, all backed by real veterinarians and behaviourists.
Can you introduce the talented team working behind the scenes at Queva?
Jacob: “As our co-founder and CTO, we have Michael Crevier B.Ing., who oversees our embedded software and manages the overall technology. Heading our software development is Youssef Ibrahim, our software lead. Youssef is responsible for working on the app, backend systems, and cloud infrastructure, particularly concerning the Internet of Things technology. Additionally, we are fortunate to have Nadir Trapsida, our co-founder and AI lead, who recently completed his master’s in artificial intelligence and machine learning. His academic project focused on creating innovative dog technology, which aligns with our ongoing research goals. Last but certainly not least, let me introduce Dr. Martin Godbout as Chief Veterinary Officer. Godbout, a renown veterinarian working on all the medical and behaviour part at Queva. His profound understanding of animal health and behaviour enriches our team and underlines our commitment to comprehensive pet care.
As for myself, I am the founder and, as the CEO, I am currently managing all the financial and business development aspects. We don’t have an official CFO on board, but yes, we work with a CPA and many other professionals for all the financial and legal matters.”
“Health and innovation are the driving forces behind our product.”..Jacob T. Calderon
What were the main challenges the Queva company faced in its early stages, and how did you and your team overcome them?
Jacob: “Pandemic was a game changer for us. Before many people couldn’t work remotely, so they couldn’t be with their dogs daily while working. This posed a challenge because our initial focus was on activity tracking. When we spoke to prospects, we realized that people couldn’t work from home every day with their dogs, which impacted their interest in our project. But the pandemic changed everything; suddenly, most people were home all the time with their pets. This forced us to shift our attention to more profound disease detection tools rather than just an activity monitoring system.
Another challenge we faced was the administrative side, especially in the early stages. With limited resources, building something quickly, a small engineering team, and no sales team was tough. Despite the limitations, we’ve come together as an incredible team that moves swiftly. We are achieving this by maximizing our limited resources and working collaboratively.”
How has Queva Collar differentiated itself from competitors in the market?
Jacob: “Many companies in the market are primarily focused on activity monitoring, occasionally touching on health aspects. However, their understanding of comprehensive health monitoring needs to be improved, especially when considering private health details and the well-being of dogs as a priority within their value proposition.
In 2023, most people are less concerned about the frequency of their dogs’ meals – whether they eat once or twice a day. The ultimate outcome truly matters to them: Are their dogs healthy and thriving? Did they get enough exercise?
We are aspiring to revolutionize the telemedicine landscape by developing various software solutions. We are striving to create a virtual vet clinic embedded within our collar. The idea is to offer similar functionality to a traditional veterinary clinic but within the scope of our collar.”
Can you discuss any strategic partnerships or collaborations that have contributed to Queva Collar’s growth?
Jacob: “We have Dr. Martin Godbout on board. Dr. Godbout is one of the most esteemed experts in veterinary care. We have conducted extensive research on dog behaviours under his guidance, and he now leads our veterinary division as the Chief Veterinary Officer. This is the most significant partnership we have established for Queva.
Furthermore, we have partnered with a prominent Montreal-based dog trainer, Guides Canins, a training centre near Montréal, which significantly impacted the field. This collaboration focuses on data collection and research. Additionally, we are working with other clinics for research purposes.”
What is your projected timeline for launching the product? When do you anticipate it will become available for customers?
Jacob: “We’ve initiated a small beta launch involving our close friends and trusted contacts in our proximity. However, as we approach the year’s end, we plan to execute a larger-scale beta release. The primary objectives behind this extended beta phase are twofold: firstly, it will allow us to evaluate the market response further and refine our software and hardware components; secondly, it will enable us to address any inquiries or concerns that may arise, ensuring that our customers receive a seamless experience. This process will significantly contribute to our readiness for a wider product release, projected to occur around mid-2024.”
What kind of help do you require to take your technology to the next level?
Jacob: “We aim to engage with various veterinarians and establish meaningful partnerships. Currently, we are in discussions with some of these groups to enhance our research capabilities and take our innovation to the next level. This support will be instrumental in refining our approach and bringing further advancements to our offering.”
What is your long-term vision for Queva?
Jacob: “Our long-term vision for the Queva dog collar revolves around building a comprehensive ecosystem for dog health monitoring. Our primary focus will be on innovation that saves the lives of numerous dogs and revolutionizes how we think about pet care. Through Queva, we aim to harness the power of technology to enhance dogs’ health. We are confident that our intelligent collar will enable people to save money and take proactive measures to safeguard their dogs’ lives by detecting and preventing diseases at an earlier stage.”
What were your goals and expectation? How do you feel about attending the conference?
Jacob: “Collision 2023 was an incredibly exciting experience for us. It marked our inaugural participation at the event, and our expectations were centred on engaging in discussions and networking with fellow industry professionals. I’m pleased that our objectives were met, and we consider it a success. The event was not only productive but also quite enjoyable.
We approached Collision with relatively modest expectations, as we perceived it more as a platform for networking rather than a direct avenue for generating immediate sales or publicity. Nevertheless, it was an excellent opportunity to connect with people who showed genuine interest in our product. Witnessing this level of enthusiasm and interaction reaffirmed our belief in the value of our offering. It provided a sense of validation to see potential customers’ genuine interest and intent to purchase. This was incredibly heartening and reinforced our confidence in the market potential for our product.”
The Queva Collar isn’t just a wearable gadget; it’s a game-changer in pet care that brings peace of mind and proactive care under one intelligent and stylish collar. Find inspiration in Jacob T. Calderon’s start-up story and product creation, and get your ideas to the light!
Author: Maria Rostecka, Content Specialist for The Onside Media, Canada. She is based in Toronto, Ontario. If you have any stories to share, please feel free to reach out: email@example.com