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Reimagining the Elizabethan Collar

Pets are a core part of society. According to Forbes, 66% of U.S. households (86.9 million homes) own a pet (Megna & Tilford, 2023). Whether it’s a dog, cat, bird, reptile, fish, or anything in between; they accompany us throughout our lives and fill us with joy. However, they often need specialized care and emergency services that are not only costly but lead to recovery time. This can also lead to the use of the pesky Elizabethan Collar; or as you might know it, the cone of shame.

This is where Tyler comes in.

Tyler Primavera is a recent graduate of Oregon State University’s Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine. As a pet owner himself, Primavera has faced challenges putting on and taking off his dog’s e-collar, oftentimes having to wrestle his pet causing stress for both.

By witnessing the challenges of having to use an e-collar on his own pet, Primavera founded Vmax, a company that combines the aspects of origami with the traditional cone, allowing pets to eat and drink with more comfort.

Like many entrepreneurs looking to solve problems they’ve faced, it takes time to refine those ideas and build something great.

“I’ve lost track of the amount of prototypes I’ve made by hand. I think I’m at least at 30 now.” He follows up with, “Right now I’m speaking to different manufacturers to see how we can build an appropriate prototype.”

As Primavera continues to refine his prototype, he’s already begun establishing a target market for his product.

“A study was done this past year showed that 50% of people buy a product because their veterinarian recommended it.” Furthermore, he adds, “For that reason, I’m going to start primarily in veterinary clinics.”

In addition, Primavera shares his vision for Vmax stating, “I’m hoping this is one day in veterinary clinics as an alternative to the conventional, cheaply made, hard to put together cone that is traditionally used.” Moreover, he notes, “I just really want to help people and help out their pets. It’s frustrating, and I think the frustration isn’t necessary.”

Primavera finishes by praising Invent Oregon for all the opportunities and support he has received throughout the program.

“I really appreciate all the time, effort, and money that goes into making Invent Oregon the best experience possible.”

He adds by saying, “I was not expecting to have all these different options, like the boot camp, having access to coaches, to a designer. I appreciate everything that Invent Oregon has done to help me, and to help me, help other people.”

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