A considerable number of startups revolutionizing the way we care for our furry friends have emerged across the world. From providing sustainable pet food to offering on-demand pet care services, innovators are striving to make it easier and more convenient for pet owners to ensure their pets are healthy and happy.
But startups need access to the right resources and network to succeed. The Leap Venture Studio is the first and largest pet care-specific startup accelerator in the world; it was launched as a partnership between Mars Petcare and Michelson Found Animals, and is supported by a world-class services firm, R/GA Ventures. Leap aims to advance innovation in the industry to improve the lives of pets and their people. So far, it’s completed six cohorts and has a robust portfolio of 40 companies, spanning 10 countries, which have raised over $170M in follow-on funding. Two of the portfolio companies have made successful exits (PetHospice and Lacuna Diagnostics). This year we received an overwhelming response to our studio program from 34 countries!
The seventh cohort of the Leap Venture Studio kicks off on March 6. Here are the six innovative pet care startups joining the portfolio:
- Bundle x Joy is on a mission to deliver premium pet nutrition, curated product bundles, and endless joy to every pet person. Every purchase helps fund women with their 3% giveback.
- Blue Pet Co is a range of clean, marine- powered dog supplements, enriched with seaweed extracts designed to meet a dog’s specific health needs, naturally and sustainably.
- Dr. Cuddles is a vet- founded pet care company looking to revolutionize the industry by making Vet Sense Common Sense — empowering pet owners to better care for their pets through trusted education and innovative products.
- MI:RNA is a veterinary diagnostic testing company using cutting edge science and artificial intelligence to diagnose disease in the early stages to help vets care for our pets.
- Oncotect is a biotech startup committed to pioneering early screening of cancer risks in dogs using their urine.
- Tobipets.com is a one-stop-shop that connects pet brands, services, and vets with pet parents.
The annual program spans 12 weeks, during which each company works with a curated team of R/GA Ventures’ strategists, technologists, designers, and consultants and receive mentorship from experts at Mars Petcare and Michelson Found Animals. At the end of the program each company has an enhanced business plan, is investment ready, and is prepared for product launch or expansion. Most importantly, companies receive $200,000 in funding.
“We are thrilled to launch this accelerator program and provide startups with the resources they need to scale,” said Brett Yates, CEO of Michelson Found Animals. “Our goal is to support and empower the next generation of entrepreneurs and help them bring their innovative ideas to life to give pets an improved quality of life.”
The seventh cohort will follow a hybrid-programming approach with two weeks in-person and ten weeks of virtual access to the world’s leading pet care experts. It will culminate in an online Demo Day where the companies will present to investors, industry leaders, media and the startup community on June 8, 2023.
“This year‘s cohort is a great mix of industry segments. We have companies working on scaling diagnostics and at-home pet health care, nutrition brands putting the planet and women founded businesses at the forefront of their business model, and a D2C platform bringing solutions to pet parents in Costa Rica,” said Rachel Sheppard, Director of Ventures at Mars Petcare and co-lead of the Leap Venture Studio & Academy.