PAWSitively Natural was formed in 2012 by Chris Louttit, CEO and founder. The company, whose principal activities are to develop and market a range of natural dog treats, using wheat and gluten free flour and only human grade ingredients, was set up as a result of a personal pain point, as Chris couldn’t find anything on the market which suited her dogs’ dietary requirements.
The company was looking to undertake nutritional analysis of the treats produced with and/or without natural preservatives and evaluate shelf life of the products using ethical packaging.
Chris was introduced to Interface by her mentor, Donnie MacLean from Eat Balanced. Interface was pivotal in helping her decide which grants were most appropriate for her needs. Through advice from Interface and from information on their website, the company received three grants. They were initially awarded the SUPA start award, which funded research by the University of Edinburgh into the stability of the treats. This was followed by the Business Tailor Award which funded work by Edinburgh Napier University in developing creative and ethical packaging for the product. PAWSitively Natural was then awarded a Scottish Funding Council Innovation Voucher, which was administered by Interface, to fund work by Glasgow Caledonian University who conducted nutritional analysis on the four flavours of dog treats developed by the company, as well as the shelf life of the product.
The impact of the collaboration with the three universities was pivotal in helping bring the product to market. The product was launched at the London Pet Show in May 2013 and was a great success. It is anticipated that the product will reach international markets by the third year of trading.
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Please note that Interface administers the Innovation Voucher Scheme on behalf of the Scottish Funding Council. All funding applications are reviewed on a case by case basis by the Scottish Funding Council, guidelines can be found here.