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A web-enabled pet treat dispenser invented by a Spokane girl is a finalist in the Microsoft Small Business Contest.
The product, iCPooch, is a device that allows pet owners to video chat with their pets and deliver treats using smartphones or tablets. Brooke Martin came up with the idea for iCPooch when she was 12 and her father Chris Martin has helped bring it to fruition.
The product is one of 10 finalists in the Microsoft contest, which has a prize of $20,000 to invest in the winner’s company. The public is invited to vote for the winner on the contest’s Facebook page, at www.facebook.com/MicrosoftforWork/app_303561899745219. Voting will last until Jan. 30.
Brooke Martin said if she wins, she’d invest the money into development of a similar device for people — one that would allow a family member check in with an elderly parent, for example, and deliver medication remotely. Martin is now a sophomore at Ferris High School.
If you wondered how Spokane's 14-year-old phenom entrepreneur Brooke Martin is doing, here's the answer.
She's doing very well. Her company, icPooch, is up and running and selling the widely-heralded icPooch treat dispenser she developed with her father, Chris Martin, and others.
She recently won the top prize in a Geekwire "Inventions We Love" summit in Seattle. The video here is her 7-minute product demo.
For additional information, the company website is here. The product sells online for about $129.
The SR has all sorts of stories about her efforts and drive. Here is our first article. She's won an honorary mention in one of the Startup Weekend Spokane events.
For all 13 stories from the SR featuring Brooke, here's our topic page.
The next Startup Weekend Spokane will begin on April 11. In preparation, let's take a moment to see what's happened to iCPooch, one of the entrants in a 2012 Startup Weekend. Though it didn't win on that occasion, its founders, young Brooke Martin and her father, Chris Martin, have moved the company forward.
Last week they formally announced the company during the Global Pet Expo in Orlando.
A New York Times story mentioned the company and talked to the Martins at the event, which featured thousands of new products and hundreds of displays related to pet products.
The iCPooch goal is the produce a kiosk used by dog owners to communicate remotely with their pet, with the added option to reward the dog with a treat with press of a button.
Our first story on iCPooch ran in August 2013, when the company was still not sure it had enough financing to get off the drawing boards. It did, in fact, gain a nice infusion recently through a Kickstarter campaign.
One more iCPooch update. On Monday, Feb. 17, the Spokane dog-tech startup exceeded its Kickstarter target of $20,000. We posted on that yesterday.
Chris Martin, father of company inventor Brooke Martin — who's 14 — sent us an email explaining where that Kickstarter money will go:
"We'll use the funds to put the finishing touches on our custom software. We'll be officially launching iCPooch at Global Pet Expo in Orlando on March 12. This will put us in front of retailers and distributors from around the world.
And KeyTronic will be doing our injection molding, Servatron is manufacturing our custom micro-controller and product assembly will be done in Spokane Valley by us. We're excited to provide more jobs to our regional economy."
Getting her face on Fox Business News on Monday morning helped push Chris and Brooke Martin to exceed their Kickstarter goal for their Spokane startup company, iCPooch.
The 14-year-old Brooke was featured last year in a Spokesman Review article about iCPooch, her technology device to interact with a dog and reward the dog with a treat.
Fox Business News featured her this morning on its show, and nicely enough, the press attention pushed ICPooch over the $20,000 target of the campaign.
The money will help the company start moving forward with design plans for the device, which could be sold in the $145 range.
icPooch, the Spokane tech startup that wants the world to have a simple way to communicate long-distance with their dogs, is after a new round of funding, via Kickstarter.
Last year, Brooke Martin and her dad, Chris Martin, launched the company which intends to develop and sell a smart-device system that would let owners interact with their pets, via a smartphone or tablet.
Last summer they mounted a $70,000 Kickstarter campaign that wasn't successful.
They're now more than halfway to getting their new target of $20,000. They're at $13,000 and counting, with the Kickstarter campaign ending in early March.
The product primarily is a connected device that lets owners see and interact with their pets, provided the pet is sitting somewhere near the icPooch device. Apart from having a conversation with Fido, the owner is also able to provide the pet a treat, dispensed from a tray in the device.
Spokane entrepreneur Brooke Martin won second place in the recent 3M Discovery Education Young Scientist Challenge, held in Minneapolis.
We profiled Martin and her innovation, icPooch, in a recent SR story.
She finished right behind the winner, a young lad named Peyton Robinson who devised a new type of sandbag with features making it superior in dealing with flooding. He wins the grand prize of $25,000.
Brooke gets $1,000 plus a paid student-education travel trip to Costa Rica. She and the two other top finishers go to New York City this weekend to tape an interview on the talk show "Fox and Friends."
Martin also started a Kickstarter campaign to raise $70,000. That campaign did not hit that mark. Her father, company CEO Chris Martin, said the company will lower its sights to $20,000 for a new Kickstarter campaign.
The lower amount, he said, results from having recently received an angel investment to move the company closer to being able to produce the product.
Our earlier story this week on iCPooch, a Spokane startup initiated by 13-year-old Brooke Martin, drew a good deal of interest.
We just spotted the Kickstarter campaign page where Brooke and her father, Crhis Martin, are seeking $70,000 to help get the company off the drawing board.
The video here is part of the Kickstarter application. The goal is to be producing the first iCPooch units by the end of this year, selling for around $169.
Brooke Martin (pictured), a 13-year-old Spokane high school freshman, will have an unusual report on “how I spent my summer vacation.” Martin spent a good part of the past six months helping launch iCPooch, a Spokane Web startup that will give dog owners an interactive way to connect with their pets. She’s enlisted the help of dozens of professionals, family members and friends, sharpening the business plan and lining up financing. Brooke and her father, Chris Martin, hope to start manufacturing products by the end of the year. With an estimated retail price of $169, iCPooch is an 18-inch Wi-Fi kiosk that could be called Skype for Fido. With a smartphone or tablet and an iCPooch app, a dog owner can connect to the home device and start talking. The owner’s image and voice come from a tablet attached to the iCPooch device, stationed on the floor/Tom Sowa, SR. More here.
Question: Is iCPooch something that would interest you?