Startups from around the world came together in Bethlehem Thursday to talk about "Fido."
The pet industry spent over $75 billion on product development in 2019 alone, according to the American Pet Products Association. It's been growing every year, even during the recession.
Rich Thompson, founder of the Factory, is turning back to his roots at Fresh Pet and Meow Mix with the Pet Innovation Challenge. The challenge brought together 10 pet startups - and their four-legged friends-in Bethlehem.
"So we have those 10 really interesting entrepreneurs from around the world coming to the Lehigh Valley," Thompson said.
The groups were tasked with pitching their company and problem-solving the biggest challenges they're facing. Shameless, which makes dog cookies out of food waste, was one of the companies which competed.
The winner gets a cash prize, mentorship from the Factory, and a free booth at a product expo next year. And with an industry expected to hit close to $100 billion in 2020, expect to me see more entre-pet-nures in the future.