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February 7, 2019

Entrepreneurship Student Creates a Safer Dog Leash for Chico Trails

Giovanni Galasso holding his dog, Balboa.

Recent California State University, Chico graduate, psychology major, and entrepreneurship minor Giovanni Galasso (19) wanted to find a safer way to take his dog, Balboa, out on the trails. While mountain biking with Balboa, traditional leashes would cause issues as they would frequently get caught in Galasso’s bike tires, pulling him off the path. These mishaps almost led to multiple injuries and caused plenty of frustration. The problem was in need of a solution, and Galasso decided he was going to do something about it.

As a result, Galasso created the product Boa Leashes. Boa Leashes are mechanically retractable dog leashes that attaches to the user’s waist, which protects both the owner and their dog with hands-free safety features. These include a roaming distance of four feet, six feet of maximum retraction, and a ramping feature that provides an increase in resistance as the dog walks or runs further away from the user. This product allows users and their dogs to safely explore the outdoors without worry of injury or complications.

Boa Dog Leash logo over a silhouette drawing of a person walking a dog.

Over the course of about a year, Galasso developed several prototypes using the Makerspace on campus, working with Chico State’s 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing Club, and eventually investing in his own 3D printer. The innovative design scored a first place win at the Center for Entrepreneurship’s Business Concept Competition, before placing second at the Future Four & More, a regional business concept competition for Northern Californian community and state colleges.

Galasso was also awarded $10,000 in funding from the Center for Entrepreneurship’s Accelerator Fund. He plans to use a portion of his earnings to help build a team of mechanical engineering students to develop a fully functional prototype in their capstone class this spring semester.  

“I didn’t want to have an idea and sell an idea,” says Galasso. “I wanted to build a product and sell a product.”

Interested in testing out Boa Dog Leashes for yourself? Visit their website.

Charlette Daigneault
Center for Entrepreneurship