Babson Business: Pawspot, Inc.
Name of business: Pawspot, Inc. ; www.pawspot.com
Mission: To become the premier web-based localized social network for pet lovers.
Began: Founded 11/2005; launched 7/06.
Initial Investment: $490,000 seed round – me personally $75,000.
Broke Even: Per business plan, will reach break even Q1 of 2008. Where: Woburn, MA
Founder: Frank D. Guinan, email@example.com, 508-375-0420
Babson Connection: Alumnus of both programs '83 and '90, respectively.
Employees: 4 full time.
Founder's Past Life/Business: After being a professional student at Babson – CFO $20MM steel fabricator; small business consultant/accountant.
How The Idea Began: Original idea came from Mark Roberge, which he conceived in 2004 as a response to a close friend's difficulty finding adequate pet care for his dog while taking a vacation.
Initial Preparation to Germinate Idea: Mark leveraged his education at MIT Sloan to tweak and test the idea with the academicians @ the school. We connected 8/05 to discuss possible synergies – we founded the company together in 11/2005.
Favorite Thing about the Business: The localized element – being able to help people find local resources to better manage their pet's life is extremely rewarding. I also enjoy the team – a very hard working bright group of guys.
Worst Thing About the Business: Raising money!!
Biggest Challenge: Raising money!!
Lesson Learned: Need lots of investors – hard to find one or two people to invest sizeable amount of funds – we needed to anticipate average investments of < $25K. Also, in building the site, we need to keep our ears tuned to the community – they are the best source of info to successfully build the site.