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Corridor Voices |The KC Animal Health Corridor sat down with Lisa Tamayo, CEO of Scollar, for a Q&A about her experience participating at the 2018 Investment Forum.

by Emily McVey | Dec 19, 2018

Lisa+TamayoFounded in 2015, Scollar is equipped to address every aspect of animal care. The wearable “smart collar” uses cloud-enabled technology to monitor vital signs, movement patterns and medical protocols while tracking location, protecting livestock from predators and improving communication as well as fertility efficiency and timing. Scollar addresses needs of pet parents, producers, veterinarians, animal services providers, product manufacturers and more.   

Scollar was a presenting company at the 2018 KC Animal Health Corridor Investment Forum. The Investment Forum provides unique value through an intensive mentoring and coaching process, as well as a one-on-one business-partnering platform allowing companies to connect with key industry contacts.

The Silicon Valley pet technology company found value in Kansas City, and is evaluating relocating Scollar from Santa Rosa to KC.

The KC Animal Health Corridor sat down with Lisa Tamayo, CEO of Scollar, for a Q&A about her experience with the Investment Forum.

  • How did you first learn of the KC Animal Health Investment Forum?
    • Every day, I read a lot of newsletters and blogs related to the animal industry, and it’s likely that I heard about it from one of those sources. When I applied to present to the Investment Forum, I had no idea how important the Forum would be for us or how many people regularly attend the annual event.  
  • How did you apply to the Forum? Was the application easy to complete?
    • I applied through the process online. It was not terribly long or challenging. What I find is that when I apply for an award or a presentation, I have to figure out how to refine my description of Scollar to make it more appealing to that particular audience.
  • How were you notified of your selection to the Forum?
    • I received an email from the KC Animal Health Corridor letting me know I was selected to present. It is at that point that I began doing more research about the event itself and the Corridor. That was when I got excited about the prospect of presenting in Kansas City.
  • Explain the coaching/monitoring process.
    • I had four coaching sessions over a three-month period. Two with my individual coach, Lydia, and two with a large group of coaches. The coaching sessions were conducted using Zoom video communications, which enabled me to speak while my deck was showing on the screen. For the individual coaching, I was able to have a one-on-one video chat with Lydia, and share my screen with her while I presented my deck. With the group coaching sessions, I could not see anyone in the room, but I could hear them when they gave me feedback that integrated into my presentation.
  • Was it helpful?
    • Very helpful! Through the four sessions, I was able to learn about what the coaches valued about our company, and what they did not understand so I could fix it.
  • Did you modify your presentation based on mentor/coaching feedback?
    • I sure did! When I presented to the group of coaches the first time, they were very complimentary of my style of presenting. They then said, “What does Scollar do?” This was devastating, and helped me realize I had missed the mark completely. I was able to glean from them what was missing, and integrate it into my next revision of the presentation. When I presented the second time, they asked me due diligence questions that I would expect to hear from an investor wanting to dive deeper into my company vision, strategy and financial forecast. I then knew I had gotten my point across successfully.
  • As a selected company, did you feel that the process to participate in the Investment Forum was easy and that the process/next steps were clearly communicated?
    • I always felt like I knew exactly what was expected of me as I prepared for the Investment Forum. Emily [McVey, director of the KC Animal Health Corridor] is an amazing communicator, and used font to denote things of importance. I also felt like I was important and very supported. Kim [Young, president of the KC Animal Health Corridor], Emily and the coaches really wanted me to be successful on that stage.  
  • Explain the business-partnering platform, and how Scollar utilized the technology to pre-schedule meetings for the day of the Forum.
    • This was one of my favorite parts about the Investment Forum! My Chief Relationships Officer and I used the platform to do research on those attending, sort them into folks we wanted to have conversations with and then reach out to those folks to set up meetings. We were able to easily communicate with people through the app/browser platform and schedule the meetings. The speed dating style of meeting was a great way to fit in meetings with a lot of people in one day. We are still in touch with many of the folks we met with that day.
  • How many meetings did you schedule?
    • We scheduled 18 meetings through the app.
  • What types of individuals were you able to meet with?
    • We met with tech companies, corporates, investors, bankers, consultants and economic development folks.  
  • Were you able to make meaningful connections during the Forum?
    • We were. The banker we met with, Todd Fitzpatrick of First Business Bank, is now our banker. We have deepened our relationship with the EDC through Narbeli Galindo, who hosted us recently for a week in KCMO. We have gotten to know both Emily and Kim much better and had follow-up meetings with them. We have met so many other people who are eager to help us grow. All were a result of these initial meetings.
  • Since the Forum, have you reached any key milestones?
    • We have begun the process of seeking Series A funding. We have deployed a second round of beta units in the field with customers. We are in the process of signing MOUs with our first development partners.
  • How does the Investment Forum compare to other forums you have participated in?
    • The KC Animal Health Investment Forum was very different from other competitions or forums I have participated in. There is a level of care and attention in KC that I have not experienced in the Bay Area or Silicon Valley. Also, the Forum introduced us to the whole Corridor, which we knew nothing about prior to learning we were selected to present. This new knowledge has turned our attention towards moving Scollar to Kansas City to grow and become part of the Animal Health Corridor. That is something very specific to this region, and will serve us well for many years to come.
  • What advice would you give an emerging company that is considering completing an application to present at the 2019 Investment Forum?
    • Be very clear and concise in how you present your company and value proposition in the application. Highlight the benefits your company can bring to the animal health industry, particularly in the Corridor. If you are chosen, be open to getting advice from the experts who will prepare you to present. Know that it is a lot of work to really shine on that stage, but it is worth the rewards that can follow.


Lisa Tamayo




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