Drafted by the Carolina Panthers after an Ivy League education, Mitch Marrow had planned on a career playing in the National Football League.
But a serious back injury cut short his dream. Now, after more than a decade on Wall Street managing hedge funds, Marrow is hoping to score big in an unlikely enterprise, an high-end doggy day care business in New York.
Marrow, a University of Pennsylvania graduate, opened the Spot Experience earlier this year, offering a combination of day care, overnight boarding, training, grooming, retail and even dental care for the city's many dog lovers.
With dogs substituting as children in many families, Spot taps into an industry that is growing despite the flailing economy. Owners spent an estimated $51 billion this year on their pets, up from $48 billion last year, according to the American Pet Products Association. That includes $3.65 billion on services such as boarding and grooming.