There’s a brand new contest out there for talented dogs everywhere, but your dog doesn’t need to be a purebred to enter. The dog simply needs to be a part of an office workplace!
StartPup is a brand new contest to honor the dogs that spend their days in startup offices. The Boston-based video marketing company Wistia conceived the idea and put out a call for entries in May. To enter an office dog into the contest, a 2-minute video of the dog needed to be submitted to Wistia. The videos were supposed to show “how their office dogs contribute to positive work environments.”
The official winner of StartPup 2016 is a French bulldog named Amelie. According to GeekWire, she is the “head of client services” at Rooster Punk, a branding agency based in London. According to Newsweek, the judges stated that it was her humor, elegance, and how crucial her role was to the company that ultimately won her the title. In her entry video, Amelie can be seen running late for a meeting, “conversing” with a client, and of course, getting plenty of love! As the winner, Amelie won a free premium plan from Wistia, a $500 donation to a local Humane Society branch, a GoPro camera, a GoPro dog mount, a Wistia dog bandana, and a certificate (to display in the office of course!).
StartPup also chose a runner up. This year, that award went to Charlie, a miniature poodle and the office dog at Wpromote. In his video, we get a glimpse of the “tough” schedule Charlie keeps in the office of this Los Angeles marketing firm.
But why have a contest like this at all? Wistia actually got the idea from their own office dog, Lenny. To host the competition, they teamed up with Humane Society International. Chris Lavigne is the owner of Lenny and head of video production at Wistia. In a statement to Newsweek, he said, “As the proud owner of Lenny, the four-legged friend who inspired the contest, I’m thrilled to see the effect StartPup has had on companies all over the world. It is obvious to me that wherever you are, office pups can be a positive and welcome influence at work. The variety of videos submitted shows that even though dogs and companies come in different shapes and sizes, the best friend bond is always there.”
Inviting dogs to the workplace is certainly nothing new, and the celebration of the benefits that dogs can bring to companies is only getting stronger. In 2014, Fast Company highlighted several benefits employees experience when they allow dogs in the workplace, including reduced stress, boosts in health and creativity, improved coworker relationships, and even improved consumer relations. Many companies are catching on to this phenomenon, and are embracing dog-friendly office policies.
It will be fun to see if this contest expands in the future, and what sorts of companies enter the contest next year. In the meantime, congratulations to Amelie – the best office dog in the world!