A new technological service to get veterinary practices and pet owners in touch with each other. Just like that. An on-line booking system which helps vets with time management problems, but also pet owners, who can get reminders and vaccination deadlines for their four-legged friends on their phones. The startup is called Vetiary, and behind it is a team from Verona comprising Enrico Ceschi, Emanuele Donà, Marco Palermo, and Marco Flaborea.
The project, that finished second at the StartupWeekend in Verona in November 2012, is at the launch stage and the aim is to get the platform fully functional in time for the WebitCongress in Istanbul on 6 and 7 November where they will take part in the Webit Congress StartUp Challenge.
And that’s not all. The four and their startup are being accelerated at StartupHighway, in Vilnius, Lithuania. Henry Ceschi is the CEO of Vetiary and from Vilnius he explained that the service «aims to offer something different from the usual personal channel. On one hand, users can see when the vet is available with just a few clicks, and on the other the vet finds his or her day organized in the best way possible».
The idea for Vetiary sprang from the personal experience of Enrico, «a dog owner with the need to relate faster with the vet». Enrico, Marco and the others are being accelerated in Vilnius, «where we received some initial capital to get the project going. We’ve released the beta, and we’re doing the first tests and the system check».
The team has an important deadline in November: the Istanbul WebitCongress. «We have been selected from the thousands of initial projects and we are among the 10 candidates chosen by public vote to make a pitch in front of the investors». What convinced the selectors was «the fact that our project is really different compared with other startups. It will cover – Enrico Ceschi goes on to explain – an interesting niche that will allow a long and successful life. They also saw the figures and that the product is innovative. We have three competitors in Europe, but none focuses like us on the relationship between the vet and the users».
Ok, but why choose a launch pad in Lithuania for a project strongly linked to the local territory? «In January this year, as we were really sure of our idea and with so much positive feedback, we decided to focus on the European accelerators to gain an experience that would take us as a team outside Italy and to test the project in the international arena. We chose Startup Highway, which has been running for 3 years, and Lithuania attracts many investors from America and London», says Enrico.
Enrico and the others were really put to the test during the first month. «They were 30 days of ruthless mentorship, with up to 8 mentors a day working on idea development, project management, and the business model. They force you to make choices, leading you to lose confidence in your idea; in short, you lose your certainties, but you get them back with all the good suggestions they give you». About the strong Italian roots: «We look to the German and English markets but it’s an all Italian business».