Lacuna Diagnostics Wins First Ever “Pet Project” Pitch Competition

We are excited to be the winner of first ever “Pet Project” Pitch competition for Innovations in pet industry. This award helps us accelerate our efforts in increasing the quality of care for our pets. 

We are back in Colorado and are diving back into work with elevated level of excitement. The whole Lacuna team is thankful for this recognition. We are on a mission to increasing quality of care for out pets and appreciate the support from Industry leaders like PetCoach and Whistle. 

Press release from Petco:

LAS VEGAS, July 26, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Pet technology brands, PetCoach and Whistle, today announced Lacuna Diagnostics as the winner of Pet Project 2017, the first national pitch event designed to help innovators in pet care transform their ideas into a high-impact business. The inaugural venture program heard pitches from eleven pet care entrepreneurs from around the globe as they outlined early-stage innovations to improve the lives of pets.


Lacuna Diagnostics, a digital diagnostics platform designed to deliver timely diagnosis and raise the standard of care for veterinary patients, was selected by a panel of four expert judges from Mars Petcare and Petco. As the standout pitch of Pet Project 2017, Lacuna Diagnostics will receive a $25K "no strings attached" cash prize to help accelerate the growth of their business.

"This was an extremely difficult decision for the judging panel, as all of the finalists did an incredible job bringing to life some of the amazing innovations happening in the pet world today," said Brock Weatherup, executive vice president of Strategic Innovation at Petco. "Aaron and the team at Lacuna are demonstrating what it truly means to be innovators and entrepreneurs, and the work they are doing to make pet medical diagnosis faster, more accurate and cost efficient is impressive. We expect big things from Aaron and his team as they continue to ramp."

Pet Project 2017 was developed by Brock Weatherup, PetCoach co-Founder, and Ben Jacobs, co-founder & CEO of Whistle. Each recognized that the pet space is ripe for innovation and teamed up to help new pet ventures clear the traditional hurdles of bringing an idea to such a large marketplace.

"As an early stage startup with an ambitious idea to drastically improve the quality of care of pets, this early recognition and seed money is an encouraging step forward for the brand," said Aaron Wallace, Co-founder of Lacuna Diagnostics. "We're excited to win Pet Project 2017 with the support from these two important leaders in pet care. We're driven and excited to make digital pathology the preferred norm in veterinary diagnostics."

Pet Project is a collaboration of PetCoach, Whistle, and is made possible through Mars Petcare and Petco. The event took place on July 25, 2017 and the winners were honored at a breakfast reception on July 26, 2017 during the pet industry's biggest show of the year. Visit for more information or join the conversation on Twitter with #petproject2017.

About Petco and the Petco Foundation
With more than 50 years of service to pet parents, Petco is a leading pet specialty retailer that focuses on nurturing powerful relationships between people and pets. We do this by providing the products, services, advice and experiences that keep pets physically fit, mentally alert, socially engaged and emotionally happy. Everything we do is guided by our vision for Healthier Pets. Happier People. Better World. We operate more than 1,500 Petco and Unleashed by Petco locations across the U.S., Mexico and Puerto Rico; prescription services and pet supplies from the leading veterinary-operated pet product supplier, Drs. Foster & Smith; digitally-delivered pet health advice through PetCoach; and The Petco Foundation, an independent nonprofit organization, has invested more than $185 million since it was created in 1999 to help promote and improve the welfare of companion animals. In conjunction with the Foundation, we work with and support thousands of local animal welfare groups across the country and, through in-store adoption events, help find homes for more than 400,000 animals every year.

WHISTLE® is the pet tech brand born out of a love for pets. Founded in 2012 by Ben Jacobs, Steven Eidelman, and Kevin Lloyd, Whistle is on a mission to equip pet owners with simple tools that help them stay connected to their pets from anywhere. Today, Whistle leads the industry in innovation with Whistle 3 GPS pet tracker & activity monitor, the most reliable all-in-one pet device. For more information about Whistle visit or

About Mars, Incorporated
Mars is a family-owned business with more than a century of history making diverse products and offering services for people and the pets people love. With almost $35 billion in sales, the company is a global business that produces some of the world's best-loved brands: M&M's®, SNICKERS®, TWIX®, MILKY WAY®, DOVE®, PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, WHISKAS®, WHISTLE®, EXTRA®, ORBIT®, 5™, SKITTLES®, UNCLE BEN'S®, MARS DRINKS and COCOAVIA®. Mars also provides veterinary health services that include BANFIELD® Pet Hospitals. Headquartered in McLean, VA, Mars operates in more than 80 countries. The Mars Five Principles – Quality, Responsibility, Mutuality, Efficiency and Freedom – inspire its more than 85,000 Associates to create value for all its partners and deliver growth they are proud of every day.

Lacuna Diagnostics
Using digital technology, Lacuna allows veterinarians to upload diagnostic images for near instant review by a veterinary pathologist. Lacuna's proprietary digital platform creates an integrated network of hospitals and pathologists, and eliminates physical mailing of specimens to a laboratory for pathology review. Developed by veterinary medicine students and MBA graduates, Aaron Wallace, Bikul Koirala, Conor Blanchet, Nick Norton, and Garrett Walz, Lacuna Diagnostics is working to cut diagnosis time from days to minutes, resulting in improved quality of care in veterinary medicine.


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