Hawaii startup Gibi finalist in Walmart contest
Gibi Technologies, founded by two sisters from Honolulu, is in the running to have its pet-finding gadget and app boosted by the nation's largest retailer.
The Gibi is a waterproof, rugged yet lightweight GPS device and accompanying mobile app to track lost pets. And the device has already persevered to be among the top 20 finalists in Walmart's second annual 'Get on the Shelf' contest, one of four in the 'Great Gadgets' category.
Gibi was co-founded by Synette Tom and Sheree Loui, sisters born and raised in Kahaluu and graduates of Castle High School and the University of Hawaii. Last month, the startup earned a spot in the second round of the Blue Startups accelerator program here in Honolulu.
But Gibi has a chance at national exposure through the Walmart competition, which will give winners a marketing boost and a shot at selling their wares on Walmart.com.
"We are developing a pet GPS location service to help people quickly, accurately, and reliably find their missing pets," Tom explains in an email. "According to the American Pet Products Association and humane societies ,1 in 3 pets go missing in their lifetime and 4 million are euthanized each year, because owners cannot be identified."
With the Gibi on a collar and the app on a smart phone, a push of a button will bring up a Google map with the pet's exact location.
In the Walmart contest, they are up against the Goji Smart Lock, the Cookoo Watch, and the Solar-Breeze pool cleaner. And voting in the "Great Gadgets" category begins on Monday, Oct. 14, running for three days.
"We would greatly greatly appreciate support from our home town, Hawaii... the great Hawaiian ohana," Tom writes.
Voting will begin with the posting of a video featuring the slate of gadgets, and if you want to receive an email to be notified when its released, you can sign up on the placeholder page.