Just this April, a new startup was founded out of Fort Worth to provide healthcare monitoring, documentation, and collaboration solutions for dogs and horses working in law enforcement. Now, the team has already signed a major deal by way of a software licensing agreement with the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory.
Using innovative hardware and software products, Animal Cloud Device Connectivity is able to ensure the animals’ health can be monitored from remote environments. It’s a convenient solution for a job that’s largely out in the field—all law enforcement officers are able to wirelessly monitor their animal’s health from a mobile phone or smart watch.
For instance: In Arlington, a dog passed away due to heat exhaustion while assisting officers in a search for an aggravated assault suspect. But Animal Cloud’s new agreement with the Air Force can help bypass that.
The agreement allows the Animal Cloud team to repurpose the BATDOKTM app from the Air Force Research Laboratory’s 711th Human Performance Wing. The platform was designed so military field medics could use wireless sensors to monitor patients’ vitals.
According to Animal Cloud’s Co-Founder and President Dylan Jones, the licensing could help officers proactively monitor their animal’s vital signs via alerts. Jones and his team would be the first company to take the BATDOKTM and apply it to non-human care.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a lot of hardship to our communities and we are thinking of ways we can innovate to support the needs of the new normal we live in,” he told Dallas Innovates “The BATDOKTM platform supports the socially distant world we live in with the remote monitoring and documentation of animal health care, and collaboration between the professionals that work with them. Additionally, this is a proactive solution for law enforcement to utilize in supporting our animal hero’s health.”
Jones himself is an 8-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force and his co-founder (and vice president) Chris Matos is a 4-year veteran of U.S. Marine Corps. With their shared backgrounds, the duo, who say they have a constant desire to make a difference, instantly bonded upon meeting.
Both are currently students at Texas Christian University with majors in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. TCU’s Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is also currently supporting Animal Cloud through the CREATE – Powered by the Shaddock Seed Fund program, which is designed specifically to get early stage ideas off the ground.
Last semester, Jones says Dr. Rodney D’Souza and Antonio Banos with the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation introduced the team to the idea of commercializing existing technology.
“We saw a huge opportunity to make a difference in the documentation, monitoring, and sharing of information for animals,” he says. “For us, law enforcement working animals is a significant impact we can have in our community. Working with law enforcement in the community has been fantastic and being a part of the conversation of proactive solutions has generated a lot of positive engagement with local Dallas-Fort Worth law enforcement.”
Also on the team is Rebecca Port, lead programmer, who is majoring in Mathematics, and Peyton Mainwaring, animal care specialist, who is majoring in Ranch Management.
As Animal Cloud grows, Jones plans to hire a diverse workforce that can bring a creative perspective to the startup’s mission. That includes supporting his and Matos’ veteran community as a veteran-friendly employer.
“We are a company that is driven by a culture of people-first and constant innovation,” Jones says. “We work hard to ensure that we facilitate strong camaraderie within our team. As co-founders, we believe in human centered design and empathize with our end users as we design and deploy products to fit their needs. Finally, we promote innovation by challenging the status-quo, enabling creative energy, and supporting failures as learning opportunities.”
Looking ahead, Jones and his team see unlimited growth. He plans to “explode” into the animal healthcare market—a known competitive landscape—and is already eyeing new solutions that could meet the needs of USDA disease traceability programs for livestock animals. He sees Animal Cloud as uniquely positioned to grow across industries.
“We aim to connect with customers across the spectrum of law enforcement agencies,” Jones says. “This includes K-9 and mounted patrol units in local law enforcement and federal agencies. Additionally, in the healthcare sector we see market opportunities with federal agencies that work outside of law enforcement.”
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