We had the good fortune of connecting with Chelsea Rhoads and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chelsea, is there something you can share with us that those outside of the industry might not be aware of?
Within the veterinarian industry, there is a massive shortage of veterinarians and supporting staff. This shortage is predicted to last over the next 10-15 years. Over the last 10 years, pet adoption rates have continuously increased, and during the COVID 19 pandemic, these numbers have gone through the roof <insert dog roof sound>. Unfortunately, a seemingly great statistic is increasing the severity of the shortage and adding additional stress on an already under-staffed industry. In addition to finding their new forever homes, these pets need to find their ever veterinarian; to keep them happy and healthy. Since the start of the pandemic, many veterinarian clinics have seen a 15%+ increase in daily appointments. However, new adoptions aren’t the only reason for increasing the number of appointments. As more pet parents are home with their furry friends, they notice issues earlier and more often. Which again is one of those “good/bad” types of scenarios.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
IVEE stands for; Intelligent Veterinarian Enhanced Experience. We are a software company that improves health care by giving veterinarians the tools to leverage data, analytics, and trends to provide predictive and precision care to our pets. This saves them time, reduces stress, increases the client (pet parent) experience, and improves communication. Which in-return creates healthier, happier pets. We are very proud of the effort we put into creating solutions that focus on actual veterinarians’ actual needs. We initially built a concept of what we thought would be helpful for vets and their staff. We then took our concept, we spoke with real veterinarians about what we were thinking and how it could be helpful. We listened to their feedback, made adjustments accordingly, and designed our solutions precisely around their needs. Because we aren’t veterinarians, and we put a lot of effort into ensuring we are building great software for their needs. Not our, “but this is super cool” needs, which is hard to resist. We started in the hardware space, creating a mobile temperature monitor; to keep dogs safe during travel. Which then pivoted into a wearable wellness tracker; think, FitBit for your dog. But realized 1. hardware is really hard, and 2. all this awesome data we were collecting from the dogs weren’t getting to the right people who can actually help me take better care of my dog; the vet! So here we are today, 3 large pivots later, helping all animals not just dogs, and waiting for the next improvement to come our way. Was it easy? HA! This has been harder than we could ever have imagined it would be! But we LOVE IT! We are female-owned, with no prior technology backgrounds, we’ve been bootstrapping since day one, we’ve worked numerous jobs at once to keep afloat, we’ve learned lots from good and bad deals, we’ve traveled and met incredible people, and the founders have nearly laced up boxing gloves to throw down! (more than once) But there’s so much love, passion, pride, and determination that has gone into what we’ve created. That we, for some crazy reason, get up every morning to keep moving our dreams forward. And as cheesy as it sounds, I am regularly amazed about what we’ve created, and learning how mentally we are able to influence outcomes around ourselves. Lessons I’ve learned, don’t stress too much. Things always work out one way or another and often better than originally thought. There are always a million things to do, whether you take a day/afternoon off or not. Having a sound work-life balance doesn’t equal less productivity; I’m actually much more productive when I’m not burnt or burning out…weird. Last, always kill people with kindness, even if they don’t deserve it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m a big craft beer lover, so a beer tour is a must, but my top must-stop place is 4 Noses Brewing. I was the first employee, and it sparked the entrepreneurial spirit in me, and I have all the love for that place and all the people. Avery Brewing is the next most common because Avery sours and big beers are amazing. If you already in Boulder might as well swing by Upslope and Wild Provisions. Another go-to is Stem Cider at Acerage because amazing food, awesome ciders, and the views are to die for. A guilty pleasure where I take nearly everyone to is the big Westminster Open Space off-leash dog park. The views are great, getting a few miles of walking in is always nice, and tired dogs are well-behaved dogs to hang out on patios. No one has yet to be disappointed. Golfing at either Stoney Creek, Indian Peaks or Evergreen are my favorite courses. I rarely turn down a good concert at Red Rocks, Boulder Theatre, or Belly Up in Aspen. I’m a huge Mexican food lover, so Emilo’s Almost Famous, G’s Tacos, Efron’s in Boulder, Hacienda in Westminster, or Tony Guacuamole are all solid choices. But I love to host and cook so often I cook instead of going out. BUT if someone is wanting a burger, Burger Chief all the way, or King of Wings for wings, hands down. If we are wanting to get out of town, a quick trip, I head to Estes Park for hiking or Granby for paddleboarding. If we are looking to get out of town and camp, Buena Vista area is my favorite. They all have incredible mountain views, gorgeous drives out, fantastic hiking, plus of course, great breweries!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I mean, we continue to fight the good fight every day because of the awesome loves and snuggles of our 4 legged friends! Including those who are with us today and those who have passed during this journey. And I suppose I can’t not mention our incredible advisor, Jay Ennesser. He has taught and challenged us so much. He keeps pushing us constantly to strive to be better and to take the next best step to move forward. I can hear the music starting… there are two of us who started this company; this would have been impossible without each other, significant others, moms, dads, anyone who has been willing to give us advice over the last 4 years, friends, family…you know who you are, sorry if I missed you!