REBRANDING A STARTUP: FROM EQUINE DESIGN TO STABLESENSE
Caitlin Parrucci started her company, Equine Design, in 2015 after participating in Rev: Ithaca Startup Works’ Hardware Accelerator summer program. Caitlin’s product is a water-monitoring system that can be integrated into horse stalls to keep track of individual horses’ water intake. The product’s purpose is to give more concrete data for monitoring horses’ health. Caitlin has recently rebranded her company to Stablesense and has developed a brand strategy to bring Stablesense to the forefront of the equine industry.
Engineer-to-entrepreneur Caitlin Parrucci may still be new to the startup world, but she is well aware of the benefits of a strong brand. Caitlin started her company as Equine Design but has rebranded to Stablesense to fulfill a larger purpose and demonstrate to the world that her company is dedicated to improving horse health. “We’re positioning ourselves as the key technology providers to advance horsemanship,” says Caitlin.
Caitlin’s decision to rebrand was sparked during the Entrepreneurship at Cornell Celebration in the spring of 2016. As a part of this annual celebration, students in eLab — Cornell’s capstone program for student startups — participate in a Demo Day to present their startup ideas. Caitlin met Joanne McKinney and Scott Roslyn during the event, and they suggested Caitlin take part in the Burns Group’s BGINternship, a three- week program in New York City that helps entrepreneurs with brand development. The program immediately intrigued Caitlin and she was eager to take part.
“I really needed a stronger name and logo that better embodied what I thought the company was about.” Caitlin’s needs were certainly fulfilled when she participated in the BGINternship in October of 2016.“I thought I was just going into that internship for a name and a logo. I came out with a name, a logo, a visual identity, a brand identity, a brand strategy and a much clearer understanding of my own positioning of what I want this company to be.”
While working on the BGINternship, Caitlin noticed almost every horse related company has the word “equine” in the name. She decided to create a brand that would set her apart.“[This brand] has a much higher level message than just some new product,” says Caitlin, “it’s more about why we are doing this versus ‘look at this cool feature.’”
The Stablesense name expresses trustworthiness and dependability, supporting the company’s overall mission to improve horsemanship. “Stablesense has a much stronger sense of purpose and I think it will fit in much more with the industry.”
Caitlin believes rebranding with BGIN was a worthwhile experience and will benefit the development of her business. “I think it’s going to have a huge impact,” says Caitlin.
Perhaps counter-intuitively, the initial success of Equine Design is what gave Caitlin the motivation to rebrand. Seeing that the company was attracting attention and support (winning awards such as Student Business of the Year from Entrepreneurship at Cornell), Caitlin realized that with a stronger identity, her company could rise to the forefront of the equine industry. She is hopeful that, with the new Stablesense brand, the company will become known as the top organization to turn to regarding horse health. “Stablesense should be the first company someone thinks of when they want to monitor their horse’s health and wellbeing in a stable environment,” says Caitlin, “We’re going to be an expert in that field. Future products will not only help people keep their own horses at peak performance, but advance our overall understanding of horse health.”
Since adopting the Stablesense name, Caitlin’s company has become a member company at Rev: Ithaca Startup Works. “I’m still a fledging business and I definitely need the experience and the support of the Entrepreneurs-in-Residence. They’ve been through this before and can guide me through all of the problems that come up on a daily basis.”
Rev’s Hardware Accelerator was an instrumental element in the creation of Stablesense,providing resources and instruction for Caitlin to build her first prototype. “The Hardware Accelerator was extremely important in shaping my first entrepreneurial business ideas,” says Caitlin.
Caitlin’s success story – from a student prototyping her product design to an award-winning entrepreneur – proves that anyone with passion and determination can transform an idea into reality. With the correct resources and support, products can be engineered that transform industries and fulfill life-long goals. Stablesense’s new brand identity will push the organization further into the realms of horsemanship and will transform the brand to become the leader for advancing horse wellbeing.