Catching up with Catherine Dennig ’15

Written by
Claire Shin '25
Jan. 26, 2022

In 2020, we showcased startups of six stellar Princeton alumnae: Xina Quan *86 (PyrAmes), Stacy Blain ’89 (Concarlo Therapeutics), Jeannie Tarkenton ’92 (Funding U), Christine Marzano ’07 (BODS), Margarita Womack *09 (Latin Goodness Foods/MasPanadas), and Catherine Dennig ’15 (Fursure). Ahead of the 2022 Princeton Women Founders Showcase on January 27, we caught up with Dennig, who was voted “Audience Choice” at the 2020 Showcase.

Dennig is the co-founder of pet insurance startup Fursure, whose goal is to “help the millions of pet parents around the United States take the very best care of their furry friends.” Fursure was selected by the audience at the 2020 Showcase as top startup. She pointed to the exorbitant price of pet insurance as a large motivator for founding the company, working to help pet parents find the best plans for their pets’ specific medical needs. 

Since the 2020 Showcase, Dennig said that Fursure has raised its first round of funding, which brought on a variety of partners and investors. One of them is Geoff Yang ’81, founder of Redpoint Ventures, who she says is also a “fantastic sounding board.” Dennig’s tailored, consumer-first approach has allowed the company to increase its sales tenfold. Fursure has additionally increased in size from just Dennig and co-founder Keji Xu ’15 to having seven full-time employees across the country. 

Dennig’s numerous other victories during the past year also include being featured on the Forbes’ 2022 30 Under 30 List) for Consumer Technology, and winning a 2021 Tiger Entrepreneur Award from Princeton Entrepreneurship Council. She was recommended for the award by Ed Zschau ’61 P86, formerly the long-time professor of the highly sought-after High Tech Entrepreneurship course in the Keller Center and according to Dennig, “the ultimate entrepreneur and enabler of many generations of entrepreneurs.”

She also expressed amazement at how many of her Princeton peers are now entrepreneurs. “Daphne Hoppenot ’10, Vaidhy Murti ’15, Allan Amico ’13, Dalia Katan ’15, and many of our 2014 Silicon Valley TigerTrek class are now founders too: Charlie Jacobson ’16, Darshan Desai ’17, Jessica Ma ’15, Pranav Gokhale ’15, Max Greenwald ’17, among many others,” she said. She has connected with many of them during the pandemic  to get and share advice.  

Dennig credits much of her success to Princeton and the strong network of entrepreneurs and founders she made during her time on campus. During our interview, she thanked PEC executive director Anne-Marie Maman ‘84, Jim Cohen ’86 and Mark Poag ’93 from Fitz Gate Ventures, who all gave her encouragement during the tough journey of building a startup. Brian Stuart ’84, Senior Vice President at insurance broker Andreini and Company, whom Dennig and Xu reached out to during Fursure’s initial stages, has sent them multiple customers, and he has also been a valuable source of information about the insurance and healthcare industries.

Despite the company’s plethora of wins, Dennig says that there have also been many hurdles. The most significant one so far, she says, has been prioritizing tasks. “The biggest challenge we have faced is doing as much as we can with very few resources,” Dennig said. “When there are ten things that are super reasonable and worth doing, how do you pick the one that you’re going to do first?”

In terms of how the Princeton ecosystem can aid her entrepreneurial journey, Dennig emphasized exposure. Fursure plans to launch a new product aimed at all pet owners across the country. The company is also planning to launch an internship program for Princeton students in engineering, data analytics, marketing, and more fields. More information about Fursure can be found at getfursure.com.

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