Out-of-the-Box Thinking Scholarship

AutoPets will accept applications from May 1, 2017 through September 15, 2017 for the 2017 Out-of-the-Box Thinking Scholarship.

The program will offer three higher education awards to eligible applicants.


Grand Prize $1,500 Scholarship

Second Place $1,000 Scholarship

Third Place $500 Scholarship


Applicants must be current students at an accredited university, community college, certificate program, graduate school, or equivalent institute within the United States. High school students enrolling 2017 are also eligible. Winners will be asked to submit verification of their student status (transcript, letter of acceptance, course list with your name, or equivalent).

About Our Company

AutoPets is dedicated to the design and manufacture of highly functional, easy-to-use products with a modern aesthetic, that make caring for your pet more enjoyable. We understand that pets are more than just animals; they are parts of our lives and members of the family. Our company takes a fresh-eyes, open-minded approach to everything we do. AutoPets is pet care, reimagined.

AutoPets is the inventor, manufacturer, and online retailer of the Litter-Robot—the automatic self-cleaning litter box for cats. Find out more at www.litter-robot.com.

Essay Topic

Imagine you work at AutoPets on developing the pet products of the future. You are tasked with coming up with the company’s next brilliant idea that can be either a physical product (litter box, toy, leash, etc.) or a new software product (apps for mobile or tablet, websites, etc.). We want to see you think creatively about what products you would want for your pet, either in the physical or digital world.

In your essay, describe a digital or physical pet product that you could bring to market to fulfill a need in an innovative way. Include what inspired you and your thought process as the idea was conceptualized. Describe why pet parents need it, what makes your product unique, who the target market is, what the marketing and retail strategies would be, and anything else that might help sell your idea.

You’re welcome to include drawings or graphics to illustrate your idea, but they are not required.


In a minimum of 400 words, submit an essay including the following:

1. The Inspiration & Description of the Product

How did you think of your product idea?

What is the product, how does it function, what does it look like, how does the user interact with it, etc.

2. How Your Idea Is Unique

What sets your product apart from its competitors? What gap in the market does your product fill? Why do pet owners need your product?

3. The Marketing Strategy

Target Market: Toward what segments of the market will you focus your marketing efforts?

Retail Strategy: Online/social, in-person, locations, merchandising, etc.

4. Anything else that will help sell your product.

The winning entries will succinctly describe a unique and innovative pet product that makes pet care more enjoyable and completely fulfills the essay requirements.

Submit Your Essay Here

Upload your entry as a .pdf file using the link below.

AutoPets Scholarship Upload – 2017

Past Winners



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