The Spark of Genius Series highlights a unique feature of startups and is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark. If you would like to have your startup considered for inclusion, please see the details here.
Quick Pitch: MatchPuppy is a social networking site for canines.
Genius Idea: The website matches up New York City dogs with furry companions according to size, age and energy level.
Have a fluffy pomeranian or burly beagle in need of pals? Meet MatchPuppy a website that connects pet owners with others in the same locale so their pets can meet up.
The online doggy network started off as a "dating" website for dogs, says MatchPuppy co-founder Michael Chiang. He found it time-consuming to find a breeder for his three-year-old maltese, Louis.
The startup opened up to general meetups after talking to friends and locals who said they needed an online community to facilitate dog play dates.
"This is a need in the market," Chiang told Mashable. "A lot of people who have small dogs would rather they have small dogs to play with. It can be used for puppy play date or it can be for breeding."
The social network would also be great for someone who travels a lot. Individuals can find other pet owners with similar dogs to babysit.
The dog user profiles are easy to set up and share. Details listed include size, breed, gender, age and energy level. Its photo-centric interface makes it easy for pet lovers to share pictures of cute pets on Facebook and Twitter.
The site's parks directory makes up a huge part of the social network. Users can search within their favorite parks to see which dogs are regulars.
MatchPuppy is available throughout the five boroughs of New York City. The social network launched in February. MatchPuppy hopes to spread to big pet-loving cities including Los Angeles, Miami, New Jersey and Boston.
The startup is working on adding a mobile app in addition to the web app. The startup's business model will revolve around ads and targeted content that it says will add value to the lives of dog lovers.
"We're dog owners that will help the dog community," Chiang says.
Has social media made your life easier as a pet owner? Tell us in the comments.
Series Supported by Microsoft BizSpark
The Spark of Genius Series highlights a unique feature of startups and is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark, a startup program that gives you three-year access to the latest Microsoft development tools, as well as connecting you to a nationwide network of investors and incubators. There are no upfront costs, so if your business is privately owned, less than three years old, and generates less than U.S.$1 million in annual revenue, you can sign up today.