By Frida Carrera
After almost a year since the completion of the 2021 InVenture Prize Competition, we caught up with Matt McMullen and Emma Bivings who competed as finalists on the SPOT Harness team, a harness that uses sensors and vibrators to help blind dogs navigate. Their experience in the competition exposed them to multiple experiences, environments, and demands necessary for startups for the first time. As a result, they were able to distinguish their areas of growth, gain valuable insights, and make potential changes in the direction of their product.
Today, Matt is currently a graduate student seeking a master’s in music technology and Emma is a full-time operations management trainee at McMaster-Carr. The team is still developing the SPOT Harness and has even grown its team to five members. Through funding and participating in Georgia Tech’s CREATE-X Startup Launch program, they have been able to launch their company Saving Grace Pet Solutions LLC. They plan to launch SPOT Harness under this company as well as develop other future products.
To future InVenture participants, Matt advises, “Don’t give up on your idea! The most important part of making it the distance is having a team with a passion for your product.”
The SPOT Harness team will be launching a kick-starter soon for preorders ahead of the official market launch of the SPOT Harness for blind dogs. They also advise anyone who has or knows someone who has a dog suffering from vision loss to visit their website to sign up for their newly refined prototype!
Visit their website here: www.savinggrace.tech
To learn more about the upcoming InVenture Prize Competition visit https://inventureprize.gatech.edu/ . Registration closes on Jan. 19.