New Hackathon Challenges STL to Develop Pet-Friendly Startup Ecosystem

Pet Lovers unite for pet-centered hackathon event at Purina's HQ in St. Louis.

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Purina is hosting their first-ever Better with Pets Hackathon event challenging college students and working professionals to explore and build new pet-friendly technology to solve specific issues.

The catch? They’ll only have 48 hours to do it.

What To Expect From the Hackathon

The weekend-long event will take place from 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13, through 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 15, at Purina Headquarters in downtown St. Louis. The hackathon’s goal is to find out how St. Louis can become the most pet-friendly city in the United States through the application of technology.

There will be several challenges that teams will work against to help achieve that goal.

Area pet experts will provide feedback and guidance to teams, culminating in a project showcase on Sunday and final demos to an audience of peers, industry reps, and participants. A panel of judges will select winners and award more than $10,000 in cash and prizes.

“St. Louis can become a model for pet ownership in America, and with the collaboration of local organizations and pet-friendly businesses, Purina hopes to ignite fresh creative thinking that can be put into action,” said Blair Morgan, Vice President of Innovation at Purina. “Our longstanding support of local technology incubators and organizations like T-REX and Cortex, has shown us that St. Louis is a community filled with passion, talent and an entrepreneurial spirit. We’re confident that the area’s brightest minds can help St. Louis become the best place for pets and people to live, work and play together.”

Get Involved

On Friday, the Better With Pets Hackathon will open, and experts in pet health, welfare, behavior and adoption will be on-hand to provide insight and direction to hackathon participants.

The event continues on Saturday where teams comprised of students, engineers, designers, technologists, and creative community members will work to ideate and prototype pet-friendly technologies.

The cost to participate is only $10 dollars, and the registration fee includes meals, snacks and access to plenty of open workspace throughout the weekend at Purina’s downtown St. Louis headquarters.

A host of local pet-loving organizations and businesses are supporting the Better With Pets Hackathon including the Animal Protective Association (APA) of Missouri, Climb So Ill, Forest Park Forever, GlobalHack, LaunchCode, Petfinder, St. Louis Development Corporation, TechShop, The Watering Bowl and Urban Chestnut Brewing Company.

To register for the event of get more information visit: betterwithpetshack.splashthat.com