Entrepreneurship with a canine’s greatest life in thoughts

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This piece originally appeared on the Lassonde blog.

Like many others, Scott King, a Master of Business Analytics student at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business, brought a puppy (Ollie) to his family during the 2020 pandemic.

Before he got Ollie, backpacking and camping were a big part of his life and he wanted this to go on and share these experiences with his new adventure companion.

Bringing dogs to the mountains is like bringing kids to Disneyland, they obviously belong there. But he quickly discovered that there was no easy way to get Ollie to sleep at night without messing up the gear in the tent or letting him sleep outside.

“After months and months of trying in vain for a solution, we were so frustrated that my wife planned to buy fabric and make a bespoke solution,” said King. “This is where the idea was born.”

To solve this problem, they have the King’s Summit Tent that they advertise as the world’s first backpack tent with a separate tent area for your dog. It can hold up to two people and one or two dogs.

“We were incredibly excited when our prototype arrived, and now after several backpacking trips to test it, we will never be going back,” said King. “Ollie loved being in the tent with us and we all slept so much better with our own space knowing it was safe and secure.”

Scott worked through that Hours with an expert program at the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute for legal support and advice on the development of the first prototype.

He said: “The Hours With Experts program has been invaluable to us. It was very intimidating to understand how we can protect our intellectual property without infringing existing patents, but through this program we got the help we needed. Everything is free.”

To raise funds to make the tent, they will hit the market on July 13th via Indiegogo. After that, there are no more limits as the team plans to develop a full line of dog-friendly camping tents and equipment.