Funding Success for Brunel Graduate and Entrepreneur Anil Puri
Love for the family dog, Nicki, lies behind the start-up, Pet Instincts, which was founded in 2019 by Brunel graduate Anil Puri. Absent from Nicki during his gap year, Anil noticed significant behavioural changes in his pet. This motivated him to use his BSc degree in Product Design Engineering to try to find a solution.
Pet Instincts is developing a product system that allows pet owners to remotely care for their pet’s emotional happiness and safety at all times. Their technology and data enable dog owners to track, interact, adjust, and learn from their dog’s home alone experience.
With the support of Co-Innovate Bridging the Gap, Anil has worked on business strategy, research and development, and funding plans with his Advisory Board, and partners such as Santander Universities and Central Research Laboratory (CRL). The company has recently secured a grant through the Hillingdon Enterprise Fund Competition.
Anil says: “We are delighted to have been recognised by Hillingdon Council and this award will fund our product R&D and team expansion as we move to launching our first product. We are now looking for seed-stage investors and grant providers interested in developing a commercial hardware and software solution for the wellness/pet industry, with crossover into the B2B and Deep Tech sectors.”
Although Anil’s beloved Staffordshire bull terrier sadly died aged 10, Nicki appears in several Pet Instincts’ publicity shots and it’s the well-being of other dogs that drives Anil and the team to come-up with an outstanding product. Anil has built a strong Advisory Board, including a pet behaviourist, design experts and the former Director of Co-Innovate Andy Cripps, to cover the areas of business start-up, financing, and growth that the 26-year-old needs to succeed. He has secured a base for the team of five at the CRL, and won a top prize in the Santander Universities ‘Can You Pitch It?’ Competition earlier in 2022.
Thorough market research and product trials look promising, with a global pet care market worth £168bn [Common Thread 2021]. The pandemic caused a surge in online searches to 3.7 million for “dog behaviour/help products” [PDSA, 2021]
Anil adds: “Our product’s impact has already been proven through user trials, where all of the dogs showed such significant improvements in behaviour that their owners chose to purchase the devices rather than giving them back!”
The support from Co-Innovate Bridging the Gap has involved access to training, networking events and 1-2-1 mentoring. This will continue as the company moves from pre-revenue to product launch and early trading.
Gurnam Selvarajah, Innovation Director for Bridging the Gap said: “Anil has shown what is possible when you have a passion for a business idea. We enjoy working with the and talented team to see them through these interesting early start-up stages. Anil is an inspiration to Brunel students thinking about launching their own business.”