Like many dogs, Roxie, who was Sean Kelly (Skelly)’s family dog, found a squirrel too hard to resist and ran off from her mom while on a walk. After hours of fruitless searching, she was found struck and killed by a moving vehicle. Through grief, reflection and research, Skelly found this problem to be bigger than he ever expected, with 10 million dogs running away from home every year in the US.
From that moment, it has been his mission to build the world’s smartest technology for dogs, and to solve the multitude of problems people face every day with their pups. Technology had been changing all manners of our lives, and it was time to bring out best friends in on the act.
Fast forward a few years and by this time WÜF had successfully crowdfunded nearly $100,000 and pre-sold over 1200 units of their groundbreaking device, recruited Joe Steinman, a Senior Engineering Lead from Tesla, to handle all the hardware and launched a successful beta program with about a dozen units in the field.
But it wasn’t until two key individuals entered the scene that the vision grew to what it is today. Whereas Skelly had come at this idea from a consumer tech focus, to build a kickass product and put his MBA to the test in establishing a viable business, Aaron Blevins and Luke Westerman brought entirely new perspectives to the picture.
Aaron had built one of the largest Instagram communities for dogs (@pitbullinstagram), amassing over half a million followers and enabling a level of information sharing, community and engagement that brought people together from all around the world to talk about what they love most: dogs!
Luke is a former Wall St. banker turned social entrepreneur who has become one of the most sought after and respected animal activists and philanthropists around. He has been fighting for dogs’ rights for several years and looking for ways to effect real change through for-profit and non-profit businesses in the space.
Luke and Aaron, quite simply, just got it. They saw all how the hardware, software, data, experience, community, platform, etc. all fit together to create an eco-system for the future of pets and their people. Together, they comprise a team that possesses the fundamental building blocks to become an exceptional enterprise that can make a real dent in this world, or rather, to create a new world: a WÜF World.
For the next 100 years of dog care.