The award was conceived to support start-ups and other newcomer companies from the pet sector. Interested firms were able to apply for the award back in the spring using an online application form. Of over 30 applications received from all over Europe, the editors at PET worldwide selected five nominees, who then made five-minute live pitches to attendees at the International Pet Conference.
50 per cent of the votes for the winning company came from readers of PET worldwide, who were invited to vote online for their favourite during the summer. The votes of the conference delegates, cast live and online in Bologna, accounted for the other half of the poll count. It was an exciting contest: it became clear following the poll of PET worldwide readers that three of the five nominees would be involved in a close race. Voting by delegates to the conference was also tight, and ultimately it was the highly emotive and enthusiastic presentation by overall winner Strayz that swung the result. The German company aims to improve the lives of dogs and cats living on the street with its species-specific organic pet food brand.