Earlier this week, the second cohort of companies in the Leap Venture Studio graduated from their 12-week program with a Demo Day event, and Michelson Found Animals Foundation and Kinship (a division of Mars Petcare) announced the Leap Venture Academy.
The collaboration between Michelson, Kinship, and R/GA has exceeded expectations for both the partners and founders since its inception in 2018. Michelson Found Animals Foundation brings relationships with hundreds of animal welfare organizations and millions of pet owners, plus hands on experience in software development and pet retail and services. Kinship brings deep worldwide expertise in pet nutrition, veterinary care, and technology; and R/GA brings world-class agency services and the learnings from over a dozen other venture studios.
The combination of these complementary resources has provided the dozen companies of the first two Leap Venture Studio cohorts with unparalleled support to fine-tune their strategy and supercharge their growth. The Venture Studio was designed to provide a springboard for companies that already have a minimum viable product in the market and a team ready to implement program deliverables, and the Leap partners have realized that there is an opportunity to provide even more outlets for the development of pet care startups — particularly those at an earlier stage.
The new Leap Venture Academy is a series of open pre-accelerator and community-building activities for early-stage pet care startups and others in the space. Academy events will be held year round, both in person and online, and include pitch competitions, bootcamps, classes, webinars, meetups, and hackathons. This expanded programming will allow Michelson and Kinship to engage with startups at any stage and connect them to educational and networking opportunities along with potential mentors, advisors, partners, and investors.The kickoff Academy events are now open for registration, including a CEO listening session where participant input will help shape programming. Additional events will be announced over the summer. Sign up for the Leap newsletter to hear more.