Thiago Moreas is both an entrepreneur and an equine veterinarian. His startup, Galloper, is an on-demand marketplace for horse transportation. Download the brand new app on iTunes today!
What part of Arizona do you call home?
Cave Creek is my primary residence, and I have a hideaway cabin in the mountains of Prescott when I need to escape.
What sparked an initial interest in tech?
Problem solving. Every time I see a problem, I’m always thinking about how I can fix it or improve it.
What was your very first entrepreneurial venture?
My very first entrepreneurial venture was not tech related. It was breeding, buying, and selling cattle back at our family farm in Brazil. That’s how I was able to buy a piece of land at age of 14.
As far as tech goes, it was a SaaS platform for mobile veterinarians (VacoVet). I was working as a veterinarian in Scottsdale at the time, and had a lot of clients and a lot of horses. Every day, after spending 14-16 hours working with horses out in the field, I had to spend all night catching up on all of the paperwork and record keeping (the problem). It dawned on me that there had to be a better way. So I designed a software that would do everything for me, from record keeping and reporting to communicating with the owners through a mobile app (the solution). I drew everything on cartoon papers, took pictures, and had a friend of mine from Brazil develop the software. Unfortunately the timing wasn’t right (this was right after the economy crashed), and I had to focus on growing my veterinary business. The software took a back seat, but I still have it on the shelf and hope to introduce it in the future.
How did you come up with the idea for Galloper?
Over my years working as veterinarian, I’ve seen the struggles my clients face when trying to find reliable and legal horse transportation. It wasn’t until last year when I bought a horse myself in Texas and needed to transport him to Arizona that it all came together. I spent a lot of time searching for a hauler to bring my horse to Arizona. I couldn’t find anybody who was driving that route (who I trusted) and who could transport my horse in a timely manner. My horse had to stay in Texas four weeks longer than expected. A friend of mine (a certified hauler) just so happened to call me asking I knew of anyone in need of a haul from the north Texas area because he was coming home with an empty trailer.
That was it! The lightbulb went off. Why did we have so many people looking for horse transportation and so many haulers traveling with empty or half empty trailers? After researching more, I found out the problem was even bigger than I initially thought. It was at that point I decide to build a platform to solve this issue.
What is your favorite part about running a business?
Running the business! Really, I love everything about it. I love the chaos, decision making, solving problems, pitching, networking. . .everything!
What was the biggest challenge in executing the idea for Galloper?
Choosing the right developers and closing the tech gap in the equine industry.
How long have you lived or worked in Arizona?
I’ve lived and worked as a veterinarian in Arizona for 7 years now. I’ve only been involved in the tech world for about a year, but it’s clear to me how strong and generous the tech-startup community is here. Networking is amazing and there are a lot of people out there ready to help by making introductions, pointing you in the right direction, providing feedback, etc.
If you could only describe your city with one word, which word would it be?
What’s your favorite thing about living in Arizona?
The amount of public land to explore. From desert and snow to mountains and lakes, we have it all.
What’s your least favorite thing about living in Arizona?
Traffic in the winter season and not having a beach.
In what area do you think Arizona still has a long way to go?
PR and marketing all the good things the state has to offer. (Other than our nice winters.)
The foodie scene is growing bigger and bigger by the day here in Arizona. What is your favorite place to get breakfast in your city?
Butters Pancakes & Café in Scottsdale.
What’s your favorite place to grab lunch?
Brian’s Black Mountain Barbecue in Cave Creek.
What’s your favorite dinner spot?
Hands down, Andreoli Italian Grocer in Scottsdale
What’s your favorite place to work in your city, aside from your office?
The Seed Spot office or Lola Coffee Bar.
Best place for a meeting over drinks?
The Living Room Wine Cafe in DC Ranch.
What is your favorite memory from Arizona?
On my very first trip to the US, I arrived in Phoenix and went straight to the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show (the biggest Arabian horse show in the world). As we pulled into the showgrounds I saw thousands of horses, people, and trucks everywhere. All of that was just a very special moment for me. I knew I was in the right place.
What is a common misconception about Arizona?
A common misconception is that everything is a desert. Many times I show people pictures of the National Forest, and all the lakes, creeks, snow, and waterfalls, and most of them don’t believe it’s Arizona. I love the fact we can drive an hour and a half north and be in the middle of the woods.
Any tips for new Arizona residents?
Explore! There is a lot to do and see in this great state.