Harford business strikes a “Chord” with pet owners and investors


Facebook Cover from Chord


Smart tech for your pet is coming.

With the help and guidance of the Harford County Office of Economic Development, Bel Air businessman Jared Marmen recently launched a fundraising campaign for the Chord, a pet-worn, “smart collar” for dogs and cats on the Kickstarter.com website.

The Chord collar was invented by Marmen, a Harford County native, engineer program manager and dog lover that founded his start-up tech business Barttron Inc. in 2014. Since its inception, the business has continued to grow and recently relocated to the Harford County Office of Economic Development’s GroundFloor workspace for tech entrepreneurs in Havre de Grace. Now, thanks to help from the county, the Chord collar is close to becoming a reality.

Marmen recently left his other job in the defense industry to focus solely on the upcoming Chord product launch and his Harford-based small business. Marmen said, “It required full-time attention. And a lot of that is due to the Office of Economic Development. They put me in contact with the right people, and helped me ensure my product was vetted, protected, and ready for the spotlight.”

The Chord collar has been years in the making. It was developed in conjunction with professional pet trainers and can help train new pets, create invisible fences, monitor pet health, and enhance a pet’s security via GPS tracking. Marmen explained, “We have the technology to make life easier in so many other ways. Why not take the work and stress out of pet ownership too?” Marmen added, “Chord can help anybody train their pet, help monitor their health, and even help you locate a lost pet with ease.”

Since Chord launched on Kickstarter, the product raised over $10k from investors in just the first days. The numbers continue to grow, bolstered by a significant number of investors wanting to place pre-orders at the $150 level, half of the expected $300 retail price when it becomes available to the public. “The preorder numbers are much larger than we expected,” Marmen stated. “That’s a good thing. And we are hearing from all types of people- casual pet owners, enthusiastic animal lovers and larger investors from all over the world. There seems to be a real demand for this product.”

According to Marmen, Chord leverages existing mobile technology, does not require expensive screens, mobile networks, or data plans. “Chord is like having a trainer accompany your pet at all times, keeping them safe and engaged while reducing behavior pet owners find annoying or inconvenient.” Marmen said, “Chord is built on the premise that we have the technology at our disposal to remove the inconveniences of pet ownership, to improve the quality of our pets’ lives, and to really improve animal welfare in the world at large.”

“Jared brings focus, research and innovation with his smart device to a growing pet industry,” said Karen Holt, Director of Economic Development for Harford County, noting 2015 estimated pet industry expenditures topping $60B, and pet supplies second only to food within the sector. “Jared has utilized the Harford County Office of Economic Development and Small Business Development resources to strengthen his business plan and maximize efficiency during development and testing.”

In addition to taking pre-orders, the initial Kickstarter campaign launch period is being used to receive feedback from local networks, experiment with marketing strategies, and prepare for a marketing push. More than half of Marmen’s staff currently resides in Harford County, Maryland. Marmen said he plans to grow the engineering, manufacturing, and management side of the firm in Harford County as it becomes necessary. More information about Chord, including limited preorder information, can be found at: chordcollar.com

Kickstarter Campaign: kickstarter.com/projects/2098629536/chord-collar-connect-with-your-pet

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