Denim Dog Co.
short description
Denim Dog Co. uses all recycled products to produce tasty dog treats in a fun reusable denim bag, and donates 50% to local Austin shelters.
Please describe your business idea and the overall impact it would have on the Austin community.
Denim Dog Co. is a dog food company with reused materials and a community impact as our message. We take recycled spent grain from Still Austin Distillery, mix with peanut butter, flour, egg and barley and make delicious dog treats locally in Austin. Our dog treats will be distributed in recycled blue jeans from JOSCO products scraps to double our impact. Austin currently pays over $160,000 a year to get rid of their spent grain. Thousands of pairs of blue jeans go straight to the landfill. 50% of our profits will go to Austin Animal Shelters, along with a bag of free treats for every adoption! Whiskey Wags will provide cost efficient dog treats for local Austin owners, while supporting at least two local businesses and animal shelters all at once!
Which [Re]Verse Pitch Material Supplier byproducts would your business repurpose?
Still Austin Stillage
JOSCO Blue Jeans
What makes your proposed business model viable?
This proposed business model uses two products that are currently expenses for companies to throw away. If we can find any solution for the waste at less cost than this expense, we believe businesses will prefer to supply us with their waste. We will be an appealing dog treat supplier for Austin owners, since we will give 50% back to austin animal shelters, and support local adoptions. This product idea can potentially be spread to any area of the country with breweries and garment manufacturers.
How scalable is your proposed business model?
Still Austin produces enough spent grain to scale the product to hundreds of thousands of treats a year. JOSCO products produces enough denim bottoms to sell thousands of packages a month and Ron said he had the ability and connections to get many more.
Team members can be added as production outgrows our initial team of 3. Difficult to employ persons can be hired and trained to produces the bars and sew the denim bottoms into bags.We also believe that if we can sponsor and donate enough to animal shelters, we can get word out quickly and get people on board with our message. At the very least we will provide multiple shelters with heaps of low-cost dog treats!
What funding will be required to fully implement, and then scale your idea? What funding do you plan to seek (beyond Reverse Pitch funds), and what will make your idea attractive those funding sources?
With the JOSCO and Stillage being free, our biggest cost is ingredients for the dog treats. Once we make enough dog treats, I believe we can reuse some of the profits to continue to be in production without seeking further support. If we need funding upfront we have a team of investors on board with our message standing by.
Describe your team and how your experience relates to your ability to execute your business plan.
Bennett Rehmert, Alex Mitchell and Lane Womack are three recent graduates with BS in Economics, BBA in Marketing, and a BS in psychology, we have the tools to successfully run this business and grow consistently. Lane will handle the finances, marketing, donations, and production. Bennett Rehmert will handle the overall resources including production, advertisement, partnerships and the product packaging. Alex Mitchell will handle the branding, safety and compliance. Our team consists of experienced professional sellers. With the emphasis of our validation in sales, we will exercise our grit to drive early adoption and feedback from customers to refine and expand our business.
How will your business impact the Austin economy? Include the quantity and quality of jobs that the business would create and how the business would support other Austin businesses.
We directly support JOSCO, Reverse Pitch, University of Texas Entrepreneurial agency, Still Austin, Austin Animal Center, Austin Pets Alive, Austin Animal Shelter, Austin Humane Society and in the future we could potentially hire up to 50 new employees in the areas of manufacturing, production, distribution, sales, community envelopment and animal shelters. Additionally, we plan to hire difficult-to-employ persons, as operations scale, with a wage able to support 1 adult per hire. We’ll Use Austin based Home Plate peanut butter as the second primary ingredient in the dog treats which is another Austin based business. Partnering with the City of Austin Animal Shelters would reduce costs of treats for the shelters.
Please describe the overall environmental and zero waste impact of the operation, including whether the product design allows for the material to be diverted to its highest and best use at the end of the product’s life.
We are using reused products, spent grain and denim jeans to find better ways to use waste. Our entire message is providing low cost dog treats, incorporate donations to local animal shelters and reuse waste products such as JOSCO Jeans and spent grain from Still Austin.We plan on making the entire product consumable, including the packaging (works great for a toy!). Our manufacturing produces little to no waste, and reduces the waste of other nearby businesses.

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