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The Tech Equestrian

Welcome to the new normal. Technology is everywhere and effects everyone and everything. To keep up with the changes and information that impacts the equestrian world, I hope you will enjoy the stories, profiles and insights this blog features. In addition, stay connected on social by joining the Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages!

TTE Advisory Board: Horse Tech Partnerships

TTE Advisory Board: Horse Tech Partnerships

One of the beautiful aspects of horses is that they are our partners – whether you are riding competitively or caring and managing them for pleasure. So it seems a natural fit to have partnerships and collaborations when it comes to horse tech providers expanding their offerings. Let’s hear from The Tech Equestrian Advisory Board on how they feel about collaborations and what they are already doing or plan to do when it comes to partnerships.

“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller

MAY QUESTION:
How are horse technology vendors working together to increase innovation and create state-of-the-art products/services? Please provide an example of what you are either doing with other horse tech or tech partners or what you are seeing in the tech world in terms of collaboration and partnerships.

The primary goal of Stable Secretary is to make barn management easier for trainers, barn managers, and horse owners. To achieve that, we work to make our interfaces, both online and mobile, super efficient to minimize the time/stress of data entry and access. In addition to that, we are working to partner with some carefully selected providers to save any redundant data entry for our subscribers, as well as to provide one central portal to store as much information as possible to reduce time and stress spent searching for horse info and history.  

Stable Secretary has already partnered with Equestrian Payment Solutions which is a business created by Robin Schwartz who is an experienced rider and payment processing expert. The Stable Secretary and Equestrian Payment Solutions (EPS) integration makes it simple for our subscribers to set up a secure online payment gateway and to offer an online preferred payment option to their clients on invoices sent through Stable Secretary. EPS guides our subscribers through setting up a secure online payment and then our subscribers' clients are able to pay via credit card. Everyone wins! We've also created a portal for vets, farriers, and other health providers to login, by invitation only, to access a stable's horse information and health records, which reduces redundant data entry and facilitates communication and insight.

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Partnerships & collaborations are key in the technology arena. Some companies might focus their products on specific areas that could eventually be beneficial and complement the products or services of other companies. At Ekinox Tech http://ekinoxtech.com we're currently concentrating on improving our existing technology and as a possible next steps, it would be interesting to collaborate with other companies especially in terms of data collection, machine learning and AI which is where the majority of tech companies are focusing on and on where we think we can gain a competitive advantage.

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In 2013 when Protequus® began to create NIGHTWATCH®, the world’s first smart halter ™ we immediately recognized the need for strong technology partners to bring our idea to life. To begin, we executed collaboration agreements with the Rochester Institute of Technology and NRGXP, an IoT engineering firm, to establish an R&D plan that would have otherwise been impossible to execute alone. 

Since then and as our product matured, so did our opportunities. In the years that followed, we were routinely approached by various companies (big and small) looking to have us integrate their next-generation technology into our real-world application to address an unmet need in an underserved market. As such, we found ourselves working closely with the likes of NXP Semiconductor, Novelda, and Telit to enhance our product offering, accelerate timelines, and share learning’s. 

Today, we are excited to have a seat on both sides of the table. On one side we continue to look for best-in-class technology partners and equine collaborators to elevate our offerings, while on the other side we share and discuss application of our intellectual property with others outside the equine industry so they can solve their own unique challenges/problems with our technology. 

As we look to the future, we see a growing need for collaboration among unique industry providers to drive innovation, and are excited to see several alliances already taking shape in the equine industry, such as the Equine Tech Collaborative and the Equine Technology Guild

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GoHorse.com has been able to hire programming and equine-savvy marketing firms, but we've chosen not to partner with anyone at this time as we haven't quite found the right fit. We definitely take a lot of queues from giants in the consumer world, like Airbnb or VRBO, so that we're not trying to reinvent the wheel, but mimic what they've already A/B tested. Ultimately, we would like to be in a position to partner up with some larger equestrian companies where we could mutually benefit each other, but at this time it isn't something we can put resources toward. We are establishing ourselves across the continent with market share and have about 13,000 active businesses, but this is still a small percentage of where we plan to be in 5 years.

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At The Equestrian App when we released our free stable management features, we had a huge intake of equestrian businesses using our app to manage their barns, stalls and horse customers. Due to our unique features of adding actual photos of barns and stalls and which horse is in that stall, we saw an opportunity to partner with barn and stall accessory providers to sponsor these business features.

With that said, The Equestrian App recently started partnering with Barn Pros a premier provider of barn kits in the United States and Canada.  I couldn’t think of a better partner because I have worked with them in the past to build my barn. The way they treated me as a customer, the attention to detail and the number of options when building and what I would consider, my smart barn, was fantastic and very much appreciated. When you own and manage a barn for business it is important to have trusted providers available to help you with a remodel or an expansion and Barn Pro’s was there for me as a partner for my app.

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We believe in an open platform at Hylofit. The importance of data gathering and using technology to inform training and care decisions trumps the need for an exclusive product experience. In-ride feedback is very important to our customers. We have already developed an app for the Apple Watch and, with our dual frequency transmitters; Android customers (for whom the Apple Watch is not available) can simultaneously pair to our app and a Garmin watch of their choosing for real-time viewing of their horse’s heart rate. We also have customers who are using their own heart rate monitors with our software solution. This open approach to the Hylofit System allows for more people to experience the benefits of training with heart rate and hopefully will help support the industry shift to a greater acceptance of, and comfort with, technology and data.

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Laura Kraut riding Zeremonie   shows appreciation for her equine partner after winning the team Gold in show jumping at WEG 2018. pc: The Tech Equestrian

Laura Kraut riding Zeremonie shows appreciation for her equine partner after winning the team Gold in show jumping at WEG 2018. pc: The Tech Equestrian

In 2018, I met a brilliant woman who also started an innovative equine tech company, Barn Manager her name is Nicole Lakin. Nicole shared a great idea with me about collaborating with other innovative equine tech companies that were early stage and trying to figure it all out. We joined together Steven Bluman of Equo and Alicia Heiniger of Jumpfax to form the Equine Technology Collaboration. Today we are 9 companies strong and work together to combine marketing, sales, domain, and even technical expertise to grow each of our businesses. I know it sounds cliché to say "it takes a village" but it really does. Building and growing a tech company in a traditional industry like equestrian requires a collaborative team to get through the first few years.

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It is amazing to see what is available in horse technology that did not exist even 5 years ago, and the ideas just keep coming! To stay current it is essential to keep evolving in the tech industry, whether horse related or overall, and strategic partnerships are vitally important to staying ahead of the game as sometimes it can take too long to develop new features or offerings yourself if they are already available in the market. As a consumer of horse tech products, I like when products I use work with each other to provide the greatest benefits. I look forward to many more collaboration opportunities for tech products in the horse space to create one-stop shops for our horse industry consumers.

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At Equo we have realized that through collaboration and open communication, we are stronger together. That’s why we are a proud founding member of the Equine Tech Collaboration with Jumpfax, Barn Manager and Stable Guard. We share experiences, work together toward shared goals and share in both the costs and benefits of collaborative marketing and promotion.

As we move towards a more digitized and technologically enhanced industry, we embrace the importance of integration and interoperability to create the best and easiest experience for equestrians.

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Team work makes the dream work! At the World Equestrian Games in 2018 the U.S. Gold Medal team was in step during the awards ceremony. pc: The Tech Equestrian

Team work makes the dream work! At the World Equestrian Games in 2018 the U.S. Gold Medal team was in step during the awards ceremony. pc: The Tech Equestrian

 

 

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