‘Dogtrapreneur’ Tom Bennett tells unLTD how Launchpad helped him and his business paw-tner Digby Doodle the cockapoodle start up and grow dog products and accessories company Paws & Presto into a brand with more than 30,000 customers

Tell us about your company?

Paws & Presto is a pet brand which specialises in products that solve problems for dogs and their owners. Founded by Digby Doodle the cockapoodle and Tom (his assistant!) they focus on the many problems faced when owning a pet. That could be drying them after it’s raining, cleaning them, cooling them…the list goes on!

The products are exceptionally good quality, and all have to endure the ‘Digby Test’ – meaning if it’s not good enough for Digby to use himself it does not go onto our shelves! Digby’s test has paid dividends earning him an Indy Best Buy for his dog towels!

When did you first decide to start up on your own and what inspired you?

I was involved in a small non-profit business at university which utilised supply chain food waste and donated the proceeds to charity. It gave me an insight into what running a business would be like and I loved it.

It was from this point I set myself a goal of starting my own business and have then worked since leaving university to develop a skillset that would allow me to be successful at this.

The business was launched to help dogs get top quality products and to help foster that bond between dogs and their owners because we believe they deserve the best. This was partnered with my understanding of the wider macro trend of the humanisation of pets – essentially meaning dogs becoming small humans, having social media profiles, wearing clothing (dog accessories) eating better and genuinely being celebrated for the amazing creatures they are.

How has Launchpad helped you?

Launchpad has helped me in so many ways. It’s been a sounding board and helped me deal with my doubt and push me through to making this into a business that now has more than 30,000 customers.

What are your hopes and aims for the business?

I want Paws & Presto to become a household name around the UK. We believe every dog in the world should have our products!

We’re looking to add new solutions in the future and develop Digby’s Dog Club which already has 600 members. It’s an invite only group that Digby runs and one we are having a lot of fun with! Our aim is to make Paws & Presto the go-to brand for drying, cleaning, cooling and many other issues we are going to address in the years to come. Who knows…we might even move into cats eventually – meow!

Launchpad business growth advisor Christina Lima Trindade said: “Tom has been great to work with – he has shown courage and determination in great measure, always listens and has taken all advice given.

“The time and effort he’s put into the business is incredible – I have no doubt that Paws and Presto will come to be known as a trusted international pet brand under the watchful eye of Digby who, of course, attends our meetings!

“Stop dreaming and do it. Contact us for information now on 03330 00 00 39 or email growthhub@sheffieldcityregion.org.uk.”

Launchpad is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund meaning there is no cost to the entrepreneur, so we can get straight to work on turning those dreams into reality.