The Pet Innovation Challenge, hosted by Factory and sponsored by New Hope Network, is a new event which will highlight innovative and emerging pet health brands and tackle the opportunities and challenges of the current pet health industry. The event recently took at Factory in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and attracted pet lovers, industry members, entrepreneurs and investors.

Ten pre-selected, cutting-edge pet health companies kicked off the event with a live pitch slam competition. The winner of Pitch Slam was Shameless Pets, a different way to enable concerned pet owners to do their part for the planet. As the winner, Shameless Pets received a cash prize, six months of entrepreneur services from Factory, and a free booth at Natural Products Expo East 2020. The other competing brands included  Animal Biome, microbiome testing and supplements for health and wellness; Because Animals, a biotechnology company creating pet food made with cultured meat; Chippin, the “Beyond Meat of Pet Food;" Hachi Tami, a smart cat litter box that helps early detection of chronic kidney disease; Jiminy’s, dog food and treats using insect protein; Maranda, veterinary-approved lab tests from home; Mella Petcare, a first-generation thermometer device that allows for non-rectal temperature readings; Obe, a patented pet health and wellness system using smart technology for personalized dog wellness and nutrition; Primal Health, a patented, clinically-proven drinkable dental prebiotic.

The event also included the Innovation Challenge  bringing pet health leaders, entrepreneurs, and industry veterans together for hands-on problem solving in a mastermind solutions event.

The winners of the Challenge were:

  • 1st Place: Teef - a potentially breakthrough scientific idea addressing a universal problem with a simple consumer proposition
  • 1st runner up:  Because Animals - a big idea that deserves all the help it can get to make it a reality
  •  2nd runner up: Chippin - a platformable idea to address the increasingly salient climate change issue, by millennials for millennials

Animal health expert Dr. Katy Nelson, veterinarian and host and executive producer of “The Pet Show with Dr. Katy” led the keynote address discussing the state of the pet industry and her work with pet-related companies from Fortune 500 corporations to pet start-ups.

The ten pet health brands presented their biggest challenges to the larger group, and then attending participants were  assigned to groups based on their experience and skillsets to brainstorm and collaborate on finding real-time solutions.