A bout with laminitis and a void in the market has inspired two Massachusetts veterinary students to develop an equine nutrition app.
Lauren Ungar and Mary Davis are developing Nutracheck Equine to help horse owners make better diet decisions, according to Tufts Now. The idea was a semi-finalist at The Idea, a veterinary student innovation competition.
“We never anticipated we would get this far,” says Ungar. “We’re hoping for more. We think it has the potential for so much growth.”
The idea came together serendipitously. Ungar, vice president of the Tufts chapter of the Veterinary Business Management Association and a veterinary technician at VCA Sterling Animal Hospital in Sterling, Mass., was interested in building an app. Davis suggested exploring equine nutrition after her horse developed and recovered from pasture-associated laminitis.
Ungar and Davis drafted a business plan after realizing that the closest competitor is in Australia, and they say it is more complicated and costly.
The duo says that will aim to make the app easy to use for anyone. Information such as age, breed, gender and activity level, along with variables such as pasture type are entered into the app. It provides recommendations for creating the best diet for that particular horse.
Marilyn Davison, a Cummings School friend, businesswoman and board member of the Tufts Entrepreneurial Center, helped Ungar and Davis hone their plan.
“I’m really impressed how much they’re doing themselves in terms of prototyping — that’s not easy,” Davison says. “And they’re very coachable.”