Dog ownership in the U.K. has increased dramatically, particularly during the pandemic and this has fuelled a huge increase in behavioural problems, with weekly stories of dog attacks and worse! The BBC states that dog attacks have grown at about twice the rate of the number of new pet dogs in the last 5 years, and studies reveal that at least 6.5 million dogs in the UK currently display undesirable behaviors (Dogs Trust, 2022). 

Tackling this problem is not simple, as owners need an easy and low cost way to access help and support, that is endorsed by industry experts.

That is where our client comes in – “Compawnion” is pioneering an online dog training app specifically tailored to address behavioral issues in dogs. Their unique approach of integrating technology to dog training is transforming the process of correcting behavioral issues in dogs by making it affordable, less stressful and more enjoyable for owners. 

Compawnion are seeking three to five investing Non-Executive Directors with the following areas of expertise: 

  • Business Strategy/Growth Expert
  • Entrepreneur with technology expertise.
  • Senior Exec from the Pet care industry or similar.
  • B2C Business Development (sales/marketing/contracting).
  • Financial expertise to act as CFO in the short term.


It is expected that the roles will require approximately 2 or 3 days per month. 

Unique Selling Proposition and Business Model:

How are they unique against all other online dog training apps in the market?  

  • Currently, the online dog training market is saturated with mobile apps that primarily focus onbasic obedience training, toilet training, and teaching tricks (such as handshake, high-five, andmore) to young puppies.
  • Compawnion’s solution aims to tackle the significant and pressingproblem which is helping users address their pets’ behavioural issues like reactivity, aggression,and/or anxiety in a cost-effective, less stressful and more enjoyable way. 
  • Furthermore, the digital tracking tool which they are developing is first of its kind, and enables constant monitoring.
  • Compawnion’s B2C app allows users to pay for training plans (created by certified experts) and start implementing them at their home with their pets in a quick, easy and cost effective way.
  • Compawnion operates on a direct to consumer (B2C) monthly subscription model, which has allowed owners to reduce the cost of getting professional advice by 80% (compared to hiring a certified dog trainer and behaviourist).


Progress made so far:

  • The company has successfully concluded a 2 month long pilot test of its working prototype, with 60% of the participants agreeing to continue as active users, thus validating their idea.
  • Commercial pilot is currently underway with Oaktree Animal Charity, a UK based animal welfare organisation, with assurance of product endorsement via the Association of Cats and Dogs Homes (ADCH), which represents 170 charities in the UK (including Oaktree) upon successful completion.
  • Collaboration with People for Animals, India’s largest Animal Welfare Charity founded by Mrs. Maneka Gandhi, a Member of Parliament and nationally recognised Animal Rights Activist.
  • The company’s marketing team has kickstarted their campaign for creating a high demand waiting list as part of their pre-launch phase promotions. As such, upon launch, they anticipate an aggressive user acquisition spree.



The founding team consists of Anvith Varanasi, who brings together a solid blend of theoretical understanding and practical entrepreneurial know-how and Pine Irwin, a world leading certified dog trainer and behaviourist with 15+years of experience who contributes to the development of training programs and facilitates B2B partnerships in the US. They are supported by an Advisory Board of strategy and business experts. 

Non-Executive Directors Role/Requirements/Expertise:

The company is seeking 3-5 NED’s with the following backgrounds / expertise:

  • Start-up experience, and evidence of involvement in fast growing companies.
  • Long term strategy experience in high growth businesses / fund raising.
  • Proven entrepreneurial expertise and contacts in the pet care sector.
  • B2C marketing experience.
  • A can do / will do attitude.
  • Sufficient time to prepare and participate in meetings.


The incoming Non-Executive Directors will be encouraged to become shareholders in the Company with an Initial investment of £25k to £50k to align their interests with that of the existing Board Members. A company valuation has been professionally provided at £2m. A copy of the pitch deck will be provided to candidates who meet the criteria and are happy to sign the NDA.

The company has pre-approval for SEIS and EIS tax relief.   

Applying for the role: 

Candidates who feel they meet the above criteria are invited to apply having first registered their CV with First Flight Non-Executive Directors (if they have not already done so – there is no charge) by using our “Apply for Role” tab for role no: 1203 and completing the application form explaining how they match the key criteria we have set out for the role. 

Closing date for applications: Tuesday, 31st October 2023


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