Q: Tell me a little about yourself (where you grew up, hobbies, etc).
Nelson: I am originally from Colombia in South America, but was raised here in South Florida. I got my Bachelor’s degree in Tampa and then came back to the Miami area to pursue my Master’s.
Some of my hobbies include working out and playing soccer. I also enjoy traveling to new places. About 6 years ago I committed to visiting at least one new country and one new state every year. Since then I have been able to visit about 14 countries and 16 states during that time.
Q: What is it like working in a startup and what do you love most about your job?
N: The greatest part of working in a start-up is that your ideas are actually considered and many times realized. When the company is new, it is fulfilling to see your input coming to life. As a former “corporate America” employee, it was frustrating when my ideas never left my manager’s office. While in this environment, however, I know that I have a direct influence into the company’s future.
What I love most about my job is that I get to work with individuals that have the same ambition and goals as myself. The fact that we have known each other for almost 10 years allows us to be honest with one another and move the company in the right direction – a rare situation in most workplaces.
The other thing that I love about my job is that I get to work in an industry that I am genuinely passionate about. This opportunity has allowed me to combine my professional skills with my love for animals, so it truly is a perfect fit for me.
Q: What excites you about PetMio?
N: PetMio has the possibility of being a disruptor in the pet industry in a big way. We have taken the time to look at pets as individuals instead of generalizing based on a few factors.
Every pet is different. We not only understand that, but actively create a system that ultimately will allow pets to live healthier for a longer amount of time.
Q: Tell me about your pet Simba?
N: Simba came into my life back in 2012, when he was only 5 weeks old. I saw his picture on a pet website and immediately fell in love with him. Anyone who knows us knows that we have become inseparable ever since.
I have truly enjoyed having him in my life. He has even served as the inspiration in many of our PetMio projects. Some of the questions that comes to me whenever we discuss our products are, “Would Simba like this?’ or “How can this benefit Simba?” By having this in mind, I know that we are doing what is best for all pets as I know most pet parents love their pets like I love Simba.
Q: What advice would you give employees of companies thinking about leaving to work in a startup environment?
N: The first advice would be to go all in. As it was the case here at PetMio, the company got the most traction when the whole team decided that PetMio needed to be our priority. We began to dedicate all of our resources and time to the growth of PetMio.
The startup environment is fulfilling and educating, but it can also be stressful, challenging, and unexpected. The experience you gain by being part of a startup is unparalleled to any experience you could gain in the corporate world. It is a huge risk, but the reward could be bigger than anything you could have ever dreamed in your life.
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