Elaine O’Connor is a proud co-founder of Prescott Bark, a premier dog care and grooming facility being created in Prescott. Prescott Bark recently was awarded $10,000 from Moonshot, nonprofit organization in Flagstaff that supports entrepreneurial business ventures. (Photo by Ray Newton)
by Ray Newton
Elaine and Mike O’Connor of Prescott won the second annual Shoemaker Award, sponsored by Moonshot Pioneer Pitch, which celebrates entrepreneurship.
The O’Connors received $10,000 to support their innovative dog care startup called Prescott Bark. The money was gifted by Arizona Public Service (APS) through Moonshot, a 22-year-old nonprofit Flagstaff-based innovation center and incubator. Its mission is helping entrepreneurs create businesses.
The couple received the award during formal ceremonies June 17 at Little America’s grand ballroom in Flagstaff. Prescott Bark was selected from among seven firms competing from throughout the state.
Elaine O’Connor said the award will help acquire property and facilities to house from 80 to 120 dogs for day care, for professional grooming and other premium services for dogs. Prescott Bark also will have access to veterinary services.
Prescott Bark will have a Bark Bus to pick up and deliver dogs. Ultimately, services will include petsitting. Staff size will be at least 20 full-time and part-time employees.
O’Connor praised the Small Business Development Center at Yavapai College for providing hours of professional counsel in development of a business plan.
“I talked to city officials about the need for premium dog facilities. They suggested working with the Small Business Development Center at Yavapai College. We did and received terrific advice,” she said.
Prescott Bark was named this past March as the best of 13 projects locally, making it eligible to compete at the state competition in Flagstaff.
O’Connor estimated the project will cost over $1 million: “We are at least six to eight months away from opening — if we don’t have any complications or unexpected delays.”
More information about Prescott Bark is available at 617.827.7282 or by contacting the O’Connors via Prescott Mailboxes, 3623 Crossings Drive, Suite 213, Prescott, AZ 86305.