After a launch in 2016, the Pet Care Innovation Prize (PCIP) is back this year with new benefits for pet care entrepreneurs. Powered by Nestlé Purina PetCare, the PCIP is a competition that aims to support and connect innovative early stage companies with products and/or services. In this competition, up to five finalists win cash, business support and recognition to grow their business.
Because innovation and pet food entrepreneurship help the entire industry adapt to changing consumer expectations, the PCIP helps entrepreneurs and startups that have distinctive pet care products, insights, intellectual property, or experience with recognition and support to accelerate their growth.
Emerging pet care companies give none of their own equity or intellectual property away in entering the Pet Care Innovation Prize. In 2016, out of 84 applications from 11 countries, Obe was recognized as the grand prize winner, while Ewegurt, FetchFind, K9 Fit Club and PupPod were finalists. All won valuable support to help their business grow. In 2017, the value to early stage pet care entrepreneurs is even greater:
Early stage business evaluation – Every entry goes in front of at least a dozen pet care industry experts, serial entrepreneurs, and investors who rank the entries to find our finalists. All applicants, not just finalists, will see how their entry compares to dozens of other early stage pet care companies in uniqueness, potential in the industry, likelihood to get industry support, and team strength.
Cash and coaching – In addition to US$10,000 in cash, up to five finalists get an all-expenses-paid three day intensive boot camp on growing and pitching innovative pet care companies, held in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. The boot camp includes mentoring and educational content by pet care entrepreneurs and Nestlé Purina experts.
New in 2017: Industry recognition and validation – Following the boot camp, the finalists will travel all-expenses-paid to New York City to pitch their company to more than 100 pet industry influencers and media contacts at Nestlé Purina’s private Better With Pets event.
Support to accelerate growth – While in New York, Finalists will also be judged by senior Nestlé Purina PetCare executives, industry leaders and pet care investors to determine who will win the Grand Prize – a free booth at Global Pet Expo 2018, courtesy of the American Pet Products Association, and up to US$10,000 in support to showcase their business there.
This year’s PCIP will also include a series of free pet care entrepreneurship webinars, co-presented with Pet Age, featuring industry experts sharing some of the skills and insights needed to succeed as a food, treat, pet-tech, pet product or pet service business.
By Lindsay Beaton
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By Lindsay Beaton