With prototypes in tow, Chord starts crowdfunding campaign for smart pet collar - Technical.ly Baltimore

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Jul. 9, 2018 12:59 pm

With prototypes in tow, Chord starts crowdfunding campaign for smart pet collar

The company is raising money through Indiegogo.
Good dog.

Good dog.

(Photo courtesy of Chord)

After founder Jared Marmen won Accelerate Baltimore’s pitch night in 2017, his team got back to work on Chord. Time passed, and Marmen’s dog – a puppy during the program – has grown. The company, in the meantime, has been making progress.

Marmen’s startup Barttron Inc. created the collar, which includes technology like sensors, GPS and an app that allows owners to place invisible fences, to provide a way to train pets using positive reinforcement.

“Our focus is definitely on rewards-based training,” Marmen said.

From the first time we saw him pitch, Marmen has made it clear that Chord is not a shock collar. Along with making it adjustable and symmetrical, making it distinct from other offerings was also key in designing the product, Marmen said.

“I’ve had this manic obsession with balance and symmetry and not looking like a box on a strap,” Marmen said.

After much work, the company has arrived at what he called a mechanical prototype of the collar which has all the parts, as well as a functional prototype. Marmen credited mechanical and electric engineer Brandon Jennings, who joined the company after Accelerate Baltimore’s pitch event, for lots of contributions. Plus, there was lots of testing to see whether it could withstand whatever the outside world might bring its way.

Now the company is looking to put the two together. It’s raising money through a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. that will help it produce initial versions of the collar. An initial goal posted on the site is $25,000.

Distinct from the equity crowdfunding campaigns that we’ve seen local startups embrace recently, backers of this campaign don’t get a stake in the company. However, the potential to connect with customers is there, as it includes an option for backers to receive one of the first collars.

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