Back In September, I participated as a mentor for Tel Aviv Start-up Pirates, a program for young entrepreneurs eager to learn how to start developing their own businesses. I was being sponsored by the Rackspace Startup Program to #BeHelpful to early stage startups from Israel
The program was a 7 day intensive course in Tel Aviv, with participants arriving from 11 different countries. I spent time with each of the start-ups, hoping to assist these young entrepreneurs on their endeavors.
I remember being particularly impressed with one entrepreneur, Danny Djanogly, an Oleh Chadash (a new immigrant to Israel) from England, who had a vision for a mobile application to enable urban dog owners to manage all aspects of their dog’s life, on the go.
I was particularly struck by this young entrepreneur’s passion and drive, which was clearly inspired by his dog (and best friend) Mufassa. I distinctly remember thinking to myself that this young Brit with his German Shepard just might somehow make it here in Tel Aviv.
Fast forward 3 and a half months, and I came to lecture at Gvahim’s six month accelerator, The Hive. The Hive is an accelerator specifically for new/returning immigrants, providing office space, mentorship and networking, to help provide new immigrants with the best chance for their start-up’s success.
I was delighted to cross paths again with Danny and Mufasa again and was astounded at the progress they had made with their new company DOGIZ.
DOGIZ launched a little over a month ago in Tel Aviv, the community is already a few thousand strong and these numbers are growing daily.
The app enables dog owners to see in real time which dogs are playing in which dog parks as well as providing users with a comprehensive and interactive guide to all essential doggie services (eg Vets/Pet stores/Dog Walkers).
Danny assured me that the key factors behind his progress as an entrepreneur were collaboration and of course his dog, Mufasa.
Danny insisted that his collaboration with 4 other like-minded, dog-crazy entrepreneurs, enabled him to make such impressive headway.
DOGIZ now has a team of 5 dedicated dog lovers (+4 dedicated dogs), whose passion and drive has fuelled months of bootstrapping to bring the DOGIZ dream to fruition. The team comprises of an IOS developer (Michael Rozenblat), an Android Developer+ CTO (Stanislav Karas), a COO (Chaim Saban), a CMO (Danny Djanogly) and finally the CEO (Alon Zlatkin).
Alon Zlatkin (CEO) insisted that DOGIZ is a team of young and hungry entrepreneurs who have adopted many of the principles so synonymous with Tel Aviv’s Lean Start-Up methodology.
Alon stressed that Tel Aviv is just the beginning for DOGIZ. “We have had amazing feedback from our users and 2015 will see DOGIZ expanding with exciting new features and services, ” Alon shared with me.
Danny Djanogly (CMO) insists that Mufasa is still his true inspiration behind DOGIZ. “I had never had a dog before, and Mufasa really changed my life. I learned everything I needed to know about raising a dog, from friendly dog owners at the dog park. DOGIZ is really all about giving back to the community we love. The vision is to really empower dog owners by ensuring that all their dog’s needs are in one place- DOGIZ.”
If you are a dog owner- make sure you join the fun! And watch this startup in 2015. My sense is that this team has its sights on global expansion.