Pet owners go bonkers for new take on Tinder
AT JUST 21 years old, Moranbah man Josh Fritz has seen success that most could only dream of.
He has dropped his day job to pursue an idea - one that has grown out of control since it first popped into Mr Fritz's brain two years ago.
PatchPets is a social media app for dogs, allowing users to create a profile for their furry friend, connect with other pet owners and locate dog friendly locations in their area.
It has even been used to set up doggy dates, with users having the ability to 'favourite' other profiles and send messages to set up a meeting - think Tinder for pets.
It was Mr Fritz's dog Quincy that first inspired the app.
"I had just moved from Mackay to Brisbane and I was taking my dog Quincy for walks to the local park every day," he said.
"I wanted to connect with other dog owners and find friends for Quincy, and I realised there was nothing available to help me do that.
"I searched for apps that I could use to create a profile for my dog and I couldn't find anything, so that's how the concept for PatchPets was born."
Mr Fritz said it took about two years and countless meetings to develop and launch the app.
Although the process was lengthy, he said he was stoked with the outcome of all the hard work.
"Technology can be tricky, things are changing so quickly, but I've done what I can to make this business original and make it last," he said.
"I've already got plans for the next phases of the app and I spend all my time focusing on how to improve the service for customers.
"This is now what I do Monday to Sunday so I've had to defer uni and drop my day job. I think if you really want to give something a proper go you have to give it your full attention."
PatchPets now has 5000 users but Mr Fritz said his goal was to reach 50,000 users by the end of the year.
Although the majority of users are based in Brisbane, the app is available worldwide and has already received interest from people in regional Australian towns as well as overseas.
Several users are located in America, Asia, Japan and the UK.
But the success doesn't stop there. Mr Fritz was recently invited to be a guest speaker at the Singapore Vet Expo in October.
"I have been asked to present an hour-long presentation about the power of social media and how to run a business," he said.
"My parents will be travelling overseas with me for that, they are very supportive of everything I do."
Mr Fritz grew up in Moranbah and completed grade 11 and 12 at Whitsunday Anglican School.
He was studying accounting at university but said becoming an entrepreneur was always a goal of his.
"I didn't expect PatchPets to take off the way it has, but my parents built quite a successful business while I was growing up so they inspired me," he said.
"I never really wanted to be an accountant so I think things have ended up the way there supposed to.
"I couldn't be happier with where I'm at right now with my business."
PatchPets is a free app available for download on iOS and Android.