Rarebreed is proud to announce that our own co-founders, Dan Espinal and Sean Miller, have been recognized as finalists in the Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2021 New England Awards program.
It’s nice to be recognized, but hey, we’d keep doing what we’re doing even if no one was looking—reimagining the veterinary experience.
The story unfolds with a thinker.
Soon after graduating from MIT business school, Dan Espinal began to think about entrepreneurship, amazed at what people around him were accomplishing. He thought about pet care, a growing field as animal companions were playing an increasingly vital role in people’s lives.
Enter Sean Miller.
In 2015, Dan went to work for IDEXX, a veterinary diagnostics leader, where he met a like-minded, entrepreneurial, tech-savvy and creative colleague named Sean Miller. In the years that followed, Dan and Sean worked closely together, gaining unique perspectives on the veterinary profession. They recognized that the veterinary practice market was changing. Consolidation companies were buying practices, rebranding them, and taking over operations. With a view on short-term profitability, these companies were destroying cultures and replacing them with overworked and undervalued employees.
Knowing they had the passion, grit and determination to flip the veterinary profession on its head, Dan left his job in 2018, and Sean in 2019, to reimagine the veterinary experience. Rarebreed Veterinary Partners was born to create a network of modern and tech-enabled practices that would value healthcare teams, provide excellent and compassionate patient care, and offer hospitals the tools needed to thrive. It was a big risk, but they were fortunate to find investors who believed in their vision— If we build exceptional practice cultures, we will drive better outcomes for everyone. By the end of 2019, they had partnered with seven hospitals. Their aim was sure, their wit was quick, and they stayed true to the journey ahead.
In 2020, Rarebreed partnered with its first specialty hospital, Maine Veterinary Medical Center in Portland. As the COVID pandemic worsened and the debt capital markets dried up, they returned to the equity markets, raised more capital, and hired people to fill key positions. With just two years of experience, their young team underwent intense financial scrutiny and emerged victorious.
During this time, with people afraid to work as frontline essential workers, Dan and Sean saw an opportunity to exemplify two of Rarebreed’s core values – love and respect. They gave hazardous duty pay, continued to invest in their practices, and didn’t cut back on people. They gave back a Paycheck Protection Program loan. The impact on their teams was powerful, so they doubled down and introduced staff bonuses, a unique innovation in veterinary medicine. Those actions helped them earn the trust of the teams.
Rarebreed would be honored to achieve this award. But when it comes down to it, it wouldn’t change anything. Dan would still be the CEO you’d like to have as your best friend, and Sean would continue to be the COO who makes you laugh until your sides hurt. They will continue to lead with common purpose and uncommon passion.
This is the Rarebreed Way.