PawSurfing. An Airbnb-like application for when you have to travel but have no place to leave your cats at.

I faced this issue a couple of months ago when I had to stay out of town but didn't find a place that takes good care of animals.

Photo of Rabih Shoujaa
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I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria and terms of the Purina BetterwithPets Prize and, based on its description, I am eligible to apply:

  • Yes, I’m eligible
  • Yes, I’m 18 years old or older

Should you be successful, please confirm your availability to attend:

  • Additional Skype interview(s) during the week of March 16-20th 2020
  • The Purina BetterwithPets Forum in Paris, on 3-4th of June 2020

Initiative's representative name

Rabih Shoujaa

Initiative's representative gender

  • Man

Headquarters location: country

  • Lebanon

Headquarters location: city


Where are you making a difference?

Specifically the Middle East

Focus Areas

  • Re-imagining the role of pets in society
  • Not having to worry about your pet's well-being when outside of the country

What is your current yearly budget for the initiative? If you are an idea stage, what early budget you would need to kick-off and run operations in your first year?

  • €10k - €50k

Organisation Type

  • for profit: an organisations whose main goal is to make income through business gains
  • youth-led initiative: organisations, whether informal or formal, created and led primary by young people

1. Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder(s) to get started or the story of how you saw the potential for this project to succeed.

I got invited to an event outside of Beirut. Since I was going to stay up late, I went on Airbnb searching for a host that accepts pets as well but had so little results. And it's when the idea hit me that there should be a service exactly like Airbnb solely dedicated for pets.

2. The problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

Making people not to worry about where they should leave their pets when they plan a travel for unexpected business trips or holidays.

3. Your solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

To make finding a place for the pets as easy as possible. Through a web and mobile app.

4. Innovation: How are you innovating or using unique approaches to solve the problem?

There's a lot of pet lovers in Lebanon but there's also a lot of poverty and not everyone has the financial stability to buy and then rent the room on Airbnb. Since we're dealing with small creatures, as long as the house is perfectly safe, anyone can do it and earn a little bit of extra cash just by hosting the animals inside their own home

5. How does your project harness the pet-human bond to help people develop important social competencies (For example: emotional intelligence, collaboration, empathy, resilience, inclusivity) and overcome serious societal issues (for example: violence, abuse, trauma, isolation, abandonment)?

It will make people feel less worried about their when they're miles away from them. The constant worrying of whether they're being fed or being mistreated will vanish if there was a proper service that takes care of all these worries.

6. Impact: how has your project made a difference so far in terms of both business outputs and social impact? How do you plan on measuring progress?

The measurement of the business' success will obviously be on how much users it managed to gather.

7. Growth strategies: what are your main strategies for scaling your impact?

Through advertisment and doing campaigns with animal shelters, vets, etc...

8. Creating shared value: How does your initiative create value for different stakeholders?

Well to describe it simply, it's a value added service. The customers will benefit by finding the best place to put their pets while the hosts will benefit by adding a fee for their space exactly like Airbnb.

9. Financial sustainability plan: can you tell us about your plan to fund your project and how that plan will be sustainable in the short, medium, and long term?

Till now, I have no source of funding yet. But the idea is small and doesn't require a big team for me to develop it. As I stated before, a €10-50k funding should give me a lot of time to hire a small team of developers and launch the product within a couple of months.

10. Team: what is the current composition of your team (types of roles, qualifications, full-time vs. part-time, board members, etc.), and how do you plan to evolve the team’s composition as the project grows?

I would like to have one senior developer who has great experience with the server side of the project and knows his UX and three mid to intermediate developers to help me build the project on all platforms.

12. How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Social media


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