Founder Nicole DeLeon Chats About Embarkly

Going on a vacation obviously takes a lot of planning, but if you have a pet in the house it can be especially exasperating to figure out who’s going to deal with your furry family member while you’re gone. I know my little brother has decided on more than one occasion to just bring his hyperactive orange tabby cat when he goes home to visit my parents, much to my mother’s chagrin.


Embarkly is a new company that wants to help pet owners find the absolute best boarding services in their area, cutting one more thing off your long list of stuff that needs attention before you can relax on the beach.



Founder Nicole DeLeon took some time to chat with KillerStartups about how they got where they are today.




How’d you come up with the name for your company?

Interestingly, we came up with our name in true Lean Startup fashion. During a jam session at 3 Day Startup, we kept throwing out ideas and looking them up to see if the domain name was available.


After brainstorming for 30 minutes, we came up with BoardMe. The first night I pitched as BoardMe. The next morning at the crack of dawn, I was working with the designer on the team talking about what the look and feel of the logo. Suddenly we both admitted that we hated the name.



When I asked others at the event, everyone seemed to agree, the name was awful. So the team tried again and came up with Embarkly. The second night I pitched us at Embarkly and most folks loved the name change. So it stuck.


How many people did you start the company with and how many people work for you now?

The original team over the 3 Day Startup weekend was something like 8. After the event, it started to become clear who was serious about committing to the project and who was not. Today we are a team of two cofounders.


Who or what inspires YOU?

Being a startup founder is pretty inspiring all by itself. I wake up every morning to do my dream job. Other than that, my cofounder and my family inspire me. I read about successful entrepreneurs and they inspire me.


How’d you fund this venture? VC? Self-funding? Crowd-funded? Where’d you get the money, (wo)man?

We have a few awesome angel investors.


Do you consider yourself successful?

I think we’ve executed well in the past couple of months. But we have a long way to go yet. To a true entrepreneur, success is a moving target. You want to be better tomorrow than you were yesterday.



Web App or site you couldn’t live without and why:

I love Twitter. It keeps me informed.


Dogs or cats?

To us this is a trick question. We’re Embarkly, so we love both.



iOS or Android?

I have an Android phone and an iPad. Orion has an iPhone. I’m a huge fan of the late Steve Jobs. iOS wins.


Anything else we should know about what makes you and your company so special?

We’re the only site on the web that lets pet parents search and compare by amenities, photos, price, location, reviews, and extra services. And we are adding content, partners, and functionality all the time.


Contact Nicole and Embarkly:

On Facebook

On Twitter

On LinkedIn


Photo Credits