If there’s one telltale sign of a startup office, it’s a dog-friendly environment. Sure, pingpong tables, free lunch, and flexible vacation days may seem like the major draws in the industry, but when it comes down to it, having man’s best friend in the workplace really seals the deal.
And now, to celebrate the great joy that dogs bring to what could be an otherwise dreary office environment, video marketing and analytics platform Wistia is teaming up with Humane Society International to launch #StartPup, the world’s first competition to find and crown the top office dog in each international startup center.
Submitting your favorite canine is easy — simply create a 2-minute tribute video for your dog, and send it Wistia’s way. From now until June 10, the Humane Society and Wistia are accepting entries, which will be judged by a panel of four judges. And don’t worry — these aren’t just any old dog lovers. Your furry companion will be seen by Matthew Gilbert, a TV critic at The Boston Globe and the author of Off the Leash: A Year at the Dog Park; Marta Sjörgen, investment manager at Northzone Venture Capital (early investors in Spotify, Trustpilot, and iZettle); Tamara Kartal, campaigns coordinator at Humane Society International; and Chris Lavigne, head of video production at Wistia.
According to Wistia, videos will be evaluated on the basis of “humor, ingenuity, and evidence of a compelling argument for why a startup’s dog contributes to the working environment.”
“A Dogs at Work policy is a really smart move for companies, because it can provide a tremendous boost to employee morale, improve staff recruitment and retention, contribute to a far more sociable and stress-free work environment, as well as encourage workers to get active by walking their dog during breaks,” said Claire Bass. “And, of course, being able to bring our canine companions to work also supports our human-animal bond, providing a stimulating and secure environment for the dogs, too.”
The winning dogs for each startup and the overall winner will be officially announced on June 21, and the lucky few have quite the prize package to look forward to, including a $500 donation to a local Humane Society branch, a GoPro camera, and a free premium “500 Video Plan” from Wistia.
“Having a dog in the office is a real boost, and more and more startups are starting to realize how positive the benefits can be,” Lavigne added. “As such, we thought it was the perfect time to let people showcase their office pooches, and celebrate what great members of a team they are. Lenny, our resident pup, puts a smile on the face of everyone in the office (even if he can be slow with paperwork).”
For more details on eligibility and how to enter, head on over to the StartPup contest page.