In April 2018, the Kingston Economic Development Corporation (Kingston EcDev) officially announced the cross-border Kingston-Syracuse Pathway, a collaboration between Queen’s University, Ontario East Economic Development, Kingston EcDev, CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity (CenterState CEO), SUNY Upstate Medical University and the Central New York Biotech Accelerator. The aim of the cross-border pathway is to facilitate innovation and technology development, bring benefits to industry and academia, and to foster economic growth.
It hasn’t taken long for the payoffs to show for one local venture. DocuPet, a Kingston-based company that offers pet licensing programs, lost pet return, and public education about pet ownership, has recently secured a contract with the City of Syracuse, New York, to carry out their pet licensing program.
“The Kingston-Syracuse Pathway is a great initiative from key players in Kingston. It was integral to facilitating the right contacts to get our product into the United States,” says DocuPet Chief Executive Officer, Grant Goodwin.
Across the border, Grant has high praise for the reception DocuPet has received, especially from David Mankiewicz, Senior Vice-President, Research, Policy & Planning, of CenterState CEO. Not only did Mr. Mankiewicz find the right connections within the City of Syracuse, he was always available to answer questions and attend meetings with Grant.
“Dave really understands business and he was amazing at getting the right doors opened for us,” says Grant. “He is now working on putting together a package for future companies looking to expand into central New York. He’s really gone above and beyond our expectations.”
DocuPet offers a number of benefits to both the City of Syracuse and the pet owners living in the area. Not only does it reduce the cost of running a pet licensing program, it will also help to generate revenue for the City by increasing compliance to the pet registry. For the pet owners, it means that lost pets are not subject to a fine by the local shelter if they are picked up and the online community created through DocuPet registrants means pets can be returned to their loved ones quicker and more efficiently.
“A pet tag is the number one tool for getting a pet back home – it is faster than a microchip and connects the pet to an online database that can be updated as the pet ages with things such as photos and required medications the animal may have,” says Grant.
Syracuse is the first client in the United States for DocuPet. The company fully implemented its program in mid-September 2018. At the commencement of the project, DocuPet has hired three full-time employees and by 2020, the goal is to employ 20 people.
The enthusiasm of Grant Goodwin is echoed by our partners in New York. News of the contract was heartily reported from south of the border.
“Congratulations, the City of Syracuse Common Council just unanimously approved the contract with DocuPet at its meeting this afternoon! This is the first “soft landing” success of the Kingston-Syracuse Partnership. I look forward to working with all of you to keep the momentum going!” Mr. Mankiewicz, wrote in an email to DocuPet, Queen’s University, Kingston EcDev and Ontario East in late July.
Indeed, this is a promising start to the Kingston-Syracuse Pathway. With one successful partnership underway, enabled by introductions that were facilitated by staff within Queen’s Office of Partnerships and Innovation and championed in Syracuse by David of CenterState CEO, and several more potential partnerships in the making, this Pathway is looking like an important and fruitful one for all parties involved.