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If you can’t find it, create it: WVU student starts braked dog leash company

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WVU Statler College industrial engineering student Anthony Garber developed The Easy Leash, a dog leash similar to a standard retractable leash but with the added feature of a trigger actuated brake caliper that allows the user to gradually slow down the rate at which the leash reel rotates. (Submitted photo)

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After West Virginia University student Anthony Garber’s friend’s dog accidentally received a hard pull on the neck from a retractable leash, Garber began searching the dog leash market for a product that wouldn’t yank so harshly. When he couldn’t find a leash that fit his idea, he began brainstorming.

That brainstorming led to The Easy Leash, a braked dog leash Garber is in the process of creating. Garber, a senior industrial engineering student in the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, explained that this leash functions similar to a standard bike brake.

“The leash I have created is similar in design to a standard retractable dog leash, but with the added feature of a trigger actuated brake caliper that allows the user to gradually slow down the rate at which the leash reel rotates,” Garber said.

By using a brake and trigger system similar to a bike brake, it gives the user more control over the rate at which the dog can move away from the leash. Garber said this reduces the hard impact felt when the dog’s momentum is transferred to the user.

A Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, native, Garber has competed in business plan and pitch competitions to help gain interest of investors and mentors. In April, Garber competed in the 15th annual West Virginia Statewide Collegiate Business Plan Competition.

Hosted annually by the Encova Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the John Chambers College of Business and Economics at WVU, the competition affords college students from around the state with the opportunity to make a business idea come to life with the support of state institutions of higher education and seasoned business professionals from around the country. Garber received $2,500 for funding from the competition.

“Although I initially had a strong interest in pursuing this idea, I wasn’t necessarily expecting it to show as much promise as it has,” Garber said. “Competing in both business plan and pitch competitions easily played the largest role in helping gain the interest of investors and mentors and word of mouth should certainly not be underestimated.”

Garber is still in the process of developing The Easy Leash prototype but has high hopes this project, that was once made to help his friend’s dog, will develop into a promising startup business.

After graduation, Garber is considering becoming an industrial engineer for a company in the manufacturing industry while finishing the developing process for The Easy Leash part-time or committing to the company full time.

“I strive to ensure I see things through to the end, and although it includes significant risk, this company and idea are no exception to that. Either direction will allow me to utilize the knowledge I’ve gained and skills I’ve developed as an industrial engineer,” Garber said.



CONTACT: Paige Nesbit 
Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources 

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