Ignite Innovators: Darina Tepavitcharova, Founder of Dogs Allowed

Multiethnic group of people having fun in coffee shop with a dog sitting next to the table.


Dogs Allowed is on a mission! We are fetching everything doggy in our brand-new, dog-obsessed app – Dogs Allowed.

We are bringing the dog community together by featuring the coolest local and national doggy events (such as dog festivals, meet-ups, training courses, etc.), sourcing and selecting the best doggy-friendly restaurants and accommodations in the country and abroad, as well as listing all the pawsome dog services in the country (such as dog walkers, dog sitters, vets, groomers, etc.).

My name is Darina and for the past five years I have been heavily involved in the Pet Services. I founded and grew my own company (Walk ‘N Wag Cambridge) in Cambridge and within three years, my team and I quickly became the largest and most sought-after Pet Service company in town. As my knowledge and experience in the market grew, I soon realised there was something missing out there but at first, I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was. Thus, I decided I needed help and guidance in my quest to creating the most pawsome app!

In 2019, I applied for the Ignite programme with only a rough idea in my head, and zero knowledge of how to build an app. Throughout the intensive Ignite week, I was soon challenged and encouraged to nurture my creative side and put my ideas down on a piece of paper – to create a Business Model. The combination of lectures and group workshops helped me immensely in creating an effective plan with the flexibility to pivot at any point.

Following Ignite, I teamed up with two co-founders based in the USA and together we joined a start-up programme at Barclays Eagle Labs. Within six months we created our BETA and launched it to the market to be tested. The feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive with our target audience excited about our idea and product. However, shortly after the Beta launch, the world-pandemic took over and we have since been on hold. 


As the number of cases are once again falling and vaccinations increasing, we are finally starting to see light at the end of the tunnel. And so is our app, Dogs Allowed! During the pandemic and lockdowns, the combination of loneliness and confined living, has resulted in more people acquiring furry companions than ever before. The number of first-time dog owners in the country is at all-time high. But what will happen once the lockdown is over? What will be the first thing most of us will do? My guess is – go on a vacation!

And this where Dogs Allowed will come in handy, as we screen and catalogue the best doggy places out there, from remote glamping sites to five-star luxury hotels, we are the go-to place for any dog owner wanting to get away.

But our pawsomeness does not end there, as we not only display dog-friendly accommodation, but we also list the tastiest dog-friendly restaurants and pubs out there. So once the pubs finally re-open, we will show you the best place to take your furry friend for a well-deserved pint.

Darina is an alumna of the Ignite 2019 programme. Find out more about Ignite >

Darina Tepavitcharova

Darina Tepavitcharova

Darina Tepavitcharova is a lawyer by training and a dog lover by choice! She has spent the last five years bettering the lives of dogs, from rescuing puppies to creating Dogs Allowed. She is passionate about what she does and is a strong advocate for animal rights. In addition to Dogs Allowed, Darina is both Cambridge University and Edinburgh University alumna and will be happy to answer all your questions at [email protected].
Darina Tepavitcharova

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