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This Des Moines pet products company is one of America’s fasting growing companies

Pet Parents, a pet products company based in Des Moines, has quickly become one of the fastest growing companies in Iowa.

The company was founded in 2016 by Blake Anderson when his yellow lab Blondie became incontinent. Anderson began to research dog diapers and quickly discovered that there were only a few options on the market. He then spent the summer of 2015 tinkering around and eventually created a washable dog diaper, Pet Parents first product.

Since then, the company has launched several other products including soft chew supplements, belly bands for dogs, and pee pads.

“We really focus on the cross-section of the humanization of pets and pet health,” said Anderson.

In August, Pet Parents ranked No. 378 on Inc. Magazine’s annual Inc. 5000 list, which ranks the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. Pet Parents, which has only been in business for four years, had a three-year revenue growth of 1208.04 percent. The company was listed as the fastest growing company in Iowa and the 43rd fastest growing company in the consumer products & services category.

“We’ve either doubled or nearly doubled every year since starting the company. We’ve been able to grow that quickly because we’ve stayed hyper-focused and very lean,” said Anderson. “At the end of the day we’re an inventory-based business so it just takes a lot of capital to have a lot of products.”

The company currently has 16 employees and is in the process of hiring for two more roles, Anderson told Clay & Milk.

“Our entire team is just a bunch of hardworking badasses who get shit done,” said Anderson. “It’s really about focus and putting the right attention and energy into the right places. Basically pulling the right levers at the right time.”

The company is currently in the process of building a 30,000 square foot office-warehouse in Ankeny.

“We’re expecting to open in December 2021. Right now we’re in the final design stages, and then first thing in the spring we’ll break ground,” said Anderson. “We’re really excited to have a nice physical presence in the Des Moines metro.”

This Des Moines pet products company is one of America's fasting growing companies | Clay & Milk
A central Iowa ag-tech accelerator has secured more backers and finally has a name. The Greater Des Moines Partnership first announced the accelerator last year, naming four initial investors. On Monday, the Partnership said the program will be called the "Iowa AgriTech Accelerator" and named three new investors. The new investors include Grinnell Mutual, Kent Corp. and Sukup Manufacturing, all Iowa companies. They join investors Deere & Co., Peoples Co., Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Co. and DuPont Pioneer. Each investor has agreed to put up $100,000 for the first year of the accelerator. Startups entering the program will receive $40,000 in seed funding in exchange for 6 percent equity. Tej Dhawan, an angel investor and local startup mentor, is serving as interim director until the AgriTech Accelerator names a permanent leader. Dhawan held a similar role with the GIA before Brian Hemesath was named as managing director. As interim director, Dhawan said his main job includes hiring the accelerator's executive director, establishing a business structure and initial recruiting for the first cohort. The accelerator will place few filters, such as location and product, on the applicant pool, Dhawan said. "When you’re seeking innovation, innovation can come from every corner of the world so why restrict ourselves," he said. One area the the AgriTech Accelerator won't recruit from is biotech. For its first cohort, the AgriTech Accelerator will work out of the GIA's space in Des Moines' East Village, Dhawan said. A future, permanent home is still to be decided. The accelerator's program will host startups from mid-July through mid-October, ending with an event connected to the annual World Food Prize. The GIA, which the AgriTech Accelerator is based on, also ends with presentations at an industry event. The accelerator has also started lining up a mentor pool. The Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Soybean Association and the Iowa Pork Producers Association have agreed to provide mentors, as has Iowa State University. While the AgriTech Accelerator is loosely based off of the GIA, it will differ in its business structure, Dhawan said. The GIA runs through a for-profit model for both operations and its investment fund. The AgriTech Accelerator will have a nonprofit model for its operations and a for-profit setup for its fund. Dhawan said the nonprofit model is being used so the accelerator can better work with other nonprofit partners, such as trade associations. "These are all organizations that are nonprofits and can be amazing stakeholders without ever having to be investors in the accelerator," he said. "It becomes easier to work with trade associations in their nonprofit role when we are also a nonprofit." When it's up and running, the AgriTech Accelerator would be one of a handful of ag-focused startup development programs in Iowa. Others include the Ag Startup Engine out of Iowa State University and the Rural Ventures Alliance from Iowa MicroLoan. Matthew Patane is the managing editor and co-founder of Clay & Milk. Send him an email at
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