Solving two problems with one café
Where others see problems, entrepreneurs see opportunities.
Andrew Townsend - Service Entrepreneur
Andrew Townsend (‘18) and his partner Amber Redfern saw an opportunity to solve a big problem within the pet industry. Animal shelters are commonly overcrowded, underfunded, and struggle to match animals with new owners. With the School of Entrepreneurship’s guidance, Andrew began validating demand for a cat café by administering surveys and setting up informational tables at community events.
Realizing a demand was present, they went a step further and tested a one day "pop-up" event at a local coffee shop and brought adoptable kittens in to mimic the feel of a cat café. The event lasted 5 hours, brought in over 360 visitors, and finished with 6 kittens finding a new home. Now the company, Cattyshack Cafe, is getting its new home at a popular area in Fort Myers near FGCU and will be the first cat café in Lee County.
Andrew credits the Runway Program with helping him validate his idea. He learned the skills needed to successfully launch a Kickstarter campaign, which lasted for 30 days and raised over $20,000 from 230 people. He says that the ability to work with and be introduced to so many like-minded individuals is one of the most important facets of the School of Entrepreneurship. He’s continuing his success by streamlining processes, reducing costs, and building the brand.
RUNWAY PROGRAMCattyshack Cafe