December 7, 2023

Cameryn Schafer, holding a lizard, standing next to Iowa State University President Wendy Wintersteen
Cameryn Schafer, senior in animal ecology, is the co-operator of Spock’s Sanctuary, an animal rescue procedure for exotic species. She and her pet lizard, Tsuchi, a blue-tongued skink, posed with Iowa Condition College President Wendy Wintersteen at the CyStarters Demo Day Reception exactly where she promoted her company product last summer time.

By Amber Friedrichsen

When Cameryn Schafer adopted her pet chameleon, Spock, two decades in the past, she left the pet retail outlet experience misinformed. She started off investigating reptilian living needs and swiftly realized she was caring for her shade-switching companion all incorrect.

Schafer, senior in animal ecology, is passionate about unique animals, which is why she established Spock’s Sanctuary. She and Cole Reiman (‘21 agricultural and life sciences education and learning) opened this animal rescue procedure at their residence in Fontanelle, Iowa, to rehabilitate and rehome reptiles and amphibians that beforehand acquired insufficient attention. They also attempt to train pet house owners about animal wellness and welfare.

“We actually prioritize education and learning and make certain individuals know what they are getting into when they adopt an animal,” Schafer claimed.

One way she and Reiman connect their mission is by community education. They give displays about some of their rescued topics at neighborhood events to endorse Spock’s Sanctuary and advise the viewers about proper pet administration, principally for geckos, lizards and snakes.

Schafer also features pet entrepreneurs dietary guidance to make sure animals are eating correctly. In reality, she has created a line of pet food called Nutri-Cubes, which are pre-portioned servings of blended elements. Schafer initially started making these cubes for her very own lizard just before growing her achieve to the relaxation of the unique pet industry.

“Nutri-Cubes is not like anything at all that at this time exists on the market place,” Schafer mentioned. “The elements present all the natural vitamins and minerals animals will need from organic resources, and I’m working on refining my recipes so they are unique to distinct species.”

Ahead of declaring a significant in animal ecology, Schafer researched dietetics and kinesiology. She explained discovering about human physiology and evaluating it animal physiology has been instrumental to her invention of Nutri-Cubes.

In addition to rescuing reptiles and consulting consumers, Spock’s Sanctuary delivers boarding services. These brief- and very long-time period care possibilities are particularly popular amid higher education pupils who take a semester off to perform at an internship, total a co-op or research abroad.

Schafer characteristics a significant portion of her startup’s achievement to her involvement in Start Some thing Faculty of Agriculture and Lifestyle Sciences. This initiative in just the Faculty of Agriculture and Lifetime Sciences allows pupils with startups fortify their company versions and scale their operations to financially rewarding levels.

As a section of Start off One thing CALS, Schafer attends weekly meetings for the University student Incubator System. There, she interacts with other university student company entrepreneurs to request thoughts about her own endeavors and master from theirs. Schafer explained the group’s conversations typically lead to breakthroughs and new ideas, and she appreciates the perception of community.

“To be in a room with other people today who understand what it is like and are going by way of what you are likely by way of is really wonderful,” she claimed. “We are capable to occur up with options to each and every other’s issues mainly because of our diverse perspectives and ordeals.”

Kevin Kimle, director of Get started Anything CALS, claimed the University student Incubator Plan was made to mentor youthful business owners with startup concepts or established modest organizations. He typically arranges visitor speakers to sign up for the team and give tips to profit their businesses, but often college students like Schafer are the kinds with the most useful insight.

“Cameryn definitely understands that a big section of the entrepreneurial process is supporting other individuals,” Kimle stated. “She’s functioning on the frontline of this trending difficulty of rescuing reptiles, but she is often curious about what other people are functioning on, far too.”

Schafer also attends pitch competitions, networking functions, and different workshops by the Alter-Maker Academy. This application inside of Begin Some thing CALS awards scholarships to learners to participate in the very least 10 of these on-campus chances for the duration of the school year.

“Networking events are genuinely useful to master from individuals who have by now designed development in their firms. Pitching has also helped me determine out how to articulate my possess business and what I do,” Schafer explained. “The scholarship is just a cherry on leading.”

She and Reiman have been also a aspect of the 2022 CyStarters Cohort. This accelerator by Iowa Condition University’s Pappajohn Heart for Entrepreneurship is intended to assistance students advance their startups and raise their brand identities. For the duration of the 11-week program, they targeted on strengthening their promoting procedures. Right now, Spock’s Sanctuary at this time has a web site, Facebook webpage, TikTok account (@Spocks.Santuary) and YouTube channel in which users can seek info about caring for lizards, geckos, snakes and far more.

Searching in advance, Schafer desires to proceed to mature Spock’s Sanctuary and increase its capacity to accommodate rescued animals. She is also looking ahead to launching Nutri-Cubes, which will be on the market as soon as next thirty day period.