This post is about my first startup – a location-based pet saving app! Let me start by sharing my motivation for the idea.
During my Masters at Bits Pilani, I befriended a dog. It was my last semester and the heat was on. I got attached to him and decided to bring him home. His owner had died and I wasn’t really sure how will he survive. After taking permission from the College Authorities, I was all set for the most adventurous journey of my life!
I did not inform my parents about the newest member of our family as I wanted to give them a surprise. I needed funds to book the cab for the 200 km long journey from Pilani to New Delhi. Hence, I sold my electric guitar in order to give my dog a new home! Note that I had already given him a new name – Bear!
It was an adventurous journey. Finally, after 5 hours, we made it. Shortly after bringing Bear home, I dived deep into the pet ecosystem. I joined many Facebook groups that focused on pet adoption, rescue, service recommendation, and socializing. I found that – for rescue missions, it was difficult to share the exact location of the injured pet with vet ambulances, friends, or members of the ecosystem.
Hence, I decided to build an app aimed at saving pets by sending push-notifications to nearby users whenever a user posted about a lost or an injured animal.
Pet Saving App
I knew how to code the frontend section of the app as I built an Android App that depicted mobile handoffs for GSM in the previous semester. The real deal was to set up the backend. Facebook had this platform for backend known as “Parse”. I integrated my pet saving app with Parse – it worked like a charm!
I added details about pet ambulances and vets with their contact numbers to speed up rescue missions and to make them as efficient as possible. Apart from saving lost and injured animals, the app had a separate section that facilitated pet adoptions. There was another section for pet service providers (100+) like vets, pet groomers, pet shops, pet cafes, and more!
The app saved 5 animals, and before it could save more – Facebook shut down its Parse platform. Now, I had to shift my database to MongoDB. I couldn’t do it. The backend coding was tough and I did not have a team nor the funds to support the cause. In short, I was a one-man army that was eventually shot down in a second.
I let go of my app. It was a sad end to my first startup. I didn’t make money out of it, but every time my app saved an animal – I was on top of the world!
Don’t try to be a one-man army!