The company providing solutions for the entire pet industry

BabelBark was started by Roy Stein and Bill Rebozo. They created a solution for a personal problem. Stein and Rebozo wanted to leave for vacation. The problem with traveling as a pet parent is that must leave their fur loved one with someone they trust. Although boarding is an option, it’s often wildly expensive and also can cause emotional stress on the animal because it’s taken out of its natural environment. Pet sitters are increasing in number as the amount of pet owners continues to grow.

As friends, co-workers, and software engineers, both men decided to create an app that helped find care givers. Not only did it connect the pet parents with their community, it also provided updates on the pet while the parent was away. It’s a revolutionary idea that creates a simple solution to a present day issue.

“The idea for BabelBark came about in early 2015 when we were planning an extended vacation—and worried about leaving our dogs with sitters. So, we created an app to help the care givers out and enable us keep tabs on what’s happening with our dogs.” – Roy Stein

The app usage started with just two guys and then spread to their community. The men saw and conquered a business opportunity to make it available to the public. They did a soft launch in 2018 and a full launch in 2019. Since then, the company is growing in investments, services offered, and brand awareness.

The company has a competitive advantage in their market for a few reasons. The primary reason they will continually see growth and success is that they are the first to enter a market. In a way, they created the market and then dived into other facets of the pet industry. An app that helps connect pet owners and care givers will give the owners a peace of mind while traveling and also provide the care givers with new clients.

“Since the idea for the app came about, BabelBark has grown into a Pet Suite of products including the BabelBark app for pet owners, BabelVet software for veterinary hospitals + clinics and BizBark software for businesses + shelters—all designed to work together to

redefine the connection between pets and everyone who cares for them.” -Roy Stein

When researching their audience, BabelBark owners realized a few key factors played into their hopeful success. A generational and demographic shift means that millennials are holding off on kids. Research demonstrates that the millennial generation is getting waiting to get married and have children, and thus, have opted to raise furry friends. Because they all aren’t paying for weddings or children in their twenties, some of them are more likely to pay for luxury pet items and be much more invested in the lives of their pets.

“Pet parents have different needs now than 10 years ago due to a number of factors. Verticality is out and old thinking – Horizontality is the new way to think and what millennials expect. Pet businesses need to ensure they are prepared because the new digital mobile practice is a horizontal movement. They now need to be connected to the entire pet ecosystem and ONLY BabelBark does this.” – Bill Rebozo

Their company provides a full service and horizontal integration approach to users. So not only does it focus on care givers, the company also provides other services like BizBark and BabelVet. Those two services help connect pet businesses and vet providers to owners. The app can essentially be a one stop shop for owners. Because it is a multi-faceted provider, businesses and vet clinics are likely to use it on their end to connect with pet owners. As a mutually beneficial product, the horizontal approach helps every notch in the system.

Although the startup came about just a few years ago, the two men have successful raised $8.6M in funding and are continually hoping for growth in their idea. The American Animal Hospital Association (AHAA) chose BabelBark as the exclusive vet-pet platform until December 2021. The app has the ability to benefit animal hospitals and vet clinics by advertising their services on the app. Because it provides global services, BabelBark is able target in local markets. Unlike purchasing a product, sometimes buying a service, like vet care, is preferred to be done locally by pet parents. For this reason, BabelBark connects local pet parents with the local businesses and vets available to them. This powerhouse system of data is beneficial for all users involved and gives BabelBark an upper hand when it comes to future investments and business endeavors.

“By connecting the whole eco-system of pet parents with veterinary and other pet caregiver businesses through a single platform, our platform delivers mutually-reinforcing benefits with a robust data base enabling predictive analytics on what product and service is needed & when.” –Bill Rebozo

Which Investments Do America’s Wealthy Use to Counteract a Recession?

The American economy is booming at the moment – but booms only last for so long. If history tells us anything, it’s that we’re likely to experience a recession within the next five to seven years. And when this recession comes, financially savvy Americans will have a plan for how they can protect their portfolios with wise investments.

What is a Financial Recession?

If we want to have a discussion about recessions and the smart steps wealthy people take to successfully counteract the negatives that come with them, it’s important that we begin with a clear understanding of exactly what a recession is.

Technically speaking, a recession is a period between a peak and a trough. By contrast, the period between a trough and a peak is known as expansion. The period from late 2007 to early 2009 was a recession. The period from early 2009 to today has been a period of expansion.

During a recession, there’s a significant decline in activity across the entire economy. This period generally lasts anywhere from a few months to a couple of years. (Economists generally wait until there’s two consecutive quarters of declining GDP to use the “R” word.)

6 Investments Built to Withstand a Recession

During a recession, investors aren’t necessarily looking for massive returns. Most will actually settle with breaking even or making some small percentage gains. What you don’t want to do is absorb the brunt of the decline – which is easier said than done.

Every situation is unique, but you’ll find that most successful investors turn to investments like these during down markets:

  1. Cash

It might not be an investment in the normal sense of the word, but cash can be a smart method of storing money during a recession.

Think of it this way: What’s the difference between someone who has $1,000 sitting in cash making no money and someone who has $1,000 plugged into an investment that loses 20 percent? At the end of the day, the person with the cash is up $200. Sometimes not losing money is valuable place to be.

  1. Treasury Bonds

High-quality bonds – such as U.S. Treasury Bonds – are great for recessionary periods. They’re slightly more risky than holding money in cash, but they also provide greater returns. During negative economic environments, look for bonds that last around five or six years, as this will get you the best ROI.

  1. Municipal Bond Funds

While they carry a bit more risk than treasury bonds, municipal bond funds – those issued by state and local governments – are still pretty safe. You may be able to squeak out a couple of percentage points in interest, which is better than nothing.

  1. Dividend Aristocrats

Dividend stocks are great. The only problem is that many of them decline in value during recessions – leaving you with negative returns, instead of positive cash flow. But there are still some dividend stocks that are valuable.

Your best bet is to go with “dividend aristocrats.” This is the title given to dividends that are in the S&P 500 and have 25+ consecutive years of dividend increases. In other words, they’ve continued to increase dividend payments every year for the last quarter century (even during the 2007-2009 recession). In a stock market where nothing is certain, that’s pretty good!

  1. Rental Real Estate

It’s always a great idea to purchase real estate when the market bottoms out. The problem is that you don’t know when the market is reaching its low point. So instead of trying to perfectly time the market, you should instead try to invest in the right type of real estate.

A recession is a great time to begin buying apartment complexes. While the number of people buying homes declines in a recession, the number of people renting goes up. This makes it a strong investment opportunity.

  1. Yourself

Quite honestly, the smartest investment you can make is in yourself. The more money you put into improving your talents, acquiring new skills, and networking with other professionals, the greater your chances are of increasing your income (both now and in the future). Don’t miss this!

Stay Plugged In

We’re at a very interesting point in time. We’ve experienced nearly a decade of unprecedented growth, which was preceded by one of the largest recessions in American history, and storm clouds are brewing. Most experts agree that a recession of some sort is on its way within the next two or three years – though it’s hard to say exactly when.

When it comes to making investment decisions, it’s important that you don’t just hand everything off to someone else. Even if you have the best financial advisors and experts in your corner, it’s wise to stay abreast of what’s happening at all times. You’ll discover that gut instinct and intuition can be as important as technical analysis.

The ultimate list of IT resources that UBC students can utilize

If you haven’t noticed, technology has taken over the world and the only way for anyone to survive, especially college students, is to evolve alongside it. In the past, students lacked the technical knowledge necessary to take advantage of various IT resources that were beginning to appear across college campuses. Students at UBC today have no excuse for not taking advantage of IT resources available to them. All you really need is access to the internet.

The importance of having a personal website

Many students might be skeptical about the necessity of creating and maintaining a personal website. There are dozens of benefits gained from having a personal website and it doesn’t take very long to actually make one. To better understand how to get started building an online presence, all you have to do is compare local web hosting services to figure out where to house your website. After that, you can have a website up and running in a day or two using WordPress.

As a college student, having your own website can set you apart from other job applicants when your job search begins, whether you are applying for an internship or a full-time job. A personal website can act as a personal portfolio where you are able to showcase work from projects, organizations, and jobs. 

Controlling your personal branding is another added benefit of a personal website. You have the power to convince potential employers to form an opinion that you want them to form regarding your professional presence. Even having a second place to point recruiters to where they can place a face to a resume is an added benefit.

Imagine a scenario where you found your dream job. You and your competition sent in your resume and your cover letter, excited about the opportunity. The difference between you and your competition is that you have a personal website and they don’t. While they sit there twiddling their thumbs, you are updating your website to make it personalized towards the job you applied for. Imagine what will happen when a recruiter opens your website and sees “Specific Company, please interview me.”

Investing in a laptop

It’s understandable if you don’t have a laptop yet due to financial difficulties. School and everything surrounding your education is expensive. The problem is that laptops provide such an improved experience over an alternative. With a laptop, you can work whenever and wherever, achieving a level of independence and freedom that you previously lacked. 

If you are not able to afford your own laptop, you can simply rent one from the library – all you need to do flash your student ID.

Beyond that, you have other options. There are options for a personal laptop that will only cost you $200 such as a Chromebook. You may not be able to use complicated software and play games on a Chromebook but you can surf the internet, use Microsoft Word and Excel, and take notes in class.

Anything else that needs to be done can be supplemented by a rented laptop or by using a PC in the library.

Immerse yourself in coding and develop your interests

Coding is a modern language. Everything regarding technology beyond hardware is made possible through different coding languages. The value of knowing how to code is massive and could help you as automation takes the job industry by storm.

Beyond that, having any additional skills on your resume will help you in securing a job when you graduate. Any extra little bit can help when applying for a job. At the very list, showing you have a diverse set of skills can get you ahead of the competition.

There are various resources that any UBC students can make use of on campus to further their coding knowledge or to dive deeper into interests they have. The internet also has a lot to offer for free. Previous generations mainly view education as an institution. We don’t fully disagree as UBC is one of the best institutions for learning in the world, but there are other options as well.

Education has generally become much more fluid and learning is accessible in a wide variety of places. Anyone can learn how to play the piano via Youtube or learn filmography through an online learning platform such as Coursera. While you might not receive a document certifying your skills, you can learn many useful skills. The world is becoming increasingly flexible regarding qualifications. If you receive one degree and have skills in another field, the combination of the two makes you a unique job candidate.  

There is no reason why you cannot learn a new skill while pursuing your undergraduate degree or masters at UBC. It’s only a matter of dedication and self-motivation. As a student, learning how to balance your formal education with other learning opportunities will make you a well-rounded person after graduation.

Small Business Accelerator

At UBC, becoming an entrepreneur is just as much about immersing yourself in technology as it is about learning basic business principles. If you have a business idea, the business accelerator program gives you access to technology that will allow you to bring your business idea into reality.

The biggest boost the accelerator can give you is access to market research you wouldn’t have otherwise. Data from studies on the internet can cost hundreds and thousands of dollars. UBC has access to information you wouldn’t have access to otherwise.

The accelerator also gives access to other online resources such as business idea evaluation, business plans, funding, and legal assistance. Accessing this wealth of information while you’re in school can give you a massive leg up on future competition. 

Final Thoughts

Almost anything is possible with the internet and other forms of technology. The main issue is trying to figure out where to specifically look. Information overload is a real thing and UBC is attempting to make the process easier by providing specialized IT resources. Exploring the IT resources available at UBC can make your education better and your post-graduation life even more prosperous.