Pet Food Press Releases

Leap Ventures launches Bootcamp Program

Leap Ventures (Leap) announced the launch of Leap Venture Academy Bootcamp, a weeklong program that is an extension of the successful collaboration between Kinship, a division of Mars Petcare, and Michelson Found Animals Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to keeping pets safe at home with the pet parents who love them. Through the Bootcamp program, these established pet care leaders will provide support to female-led, early stage ideas and startups looking to make an impact and break into the booming pet care industry.

The weeklong Leap Venture Academy Bootcamp program includes workshops, fireside chats and networking opportunities designed to foster growth and inspiration. The first Leap Venture Academy Bootcamp, being held October 21 – October 24, 2019, is invitation-only but free to attend, and is being held at the Los Angeles headquarters of Michelson Found Animals Foundation. Participants are female leaders from 13 companies spanning an array of pet-related verticals including, food, technology, wellness and more.

"For the inaugural Leap Venture Academy Bootcamp, we chose to exclusively support women-led startups," stated Alya Michelson, co-founder of Michelson Found Animals Foundation. "It is a very personal moment for me as a musician and artist working in areas heavily dominated by men. I recognize the value and importance in having gender-diversity within the pet industry and creating a pipeline of women-led startups for investment."

"The pet care industry's explosive growth shows no signs of abating, and there are boundless opportunities for brands to grow innovative solutions that improve the lives of pets," said Ben Jacobs, Head of Ventures and Partnerships at Kinship. "Since we launched Leap in 2017, we've been able to help springboard hundreds of startups through our Academy and a dozen companies through our exclusive accelerator program. The Bootcamp provides another opportunity for us to help early-stage companies advance to the next stage."

The 13 startups participating in the Leap Venture Academy Bootcamp include:

  • Brainy Pup is a subscription-based service in which dog guardians rent premium enrichment toys for a flat monthly fee, giving dogs stimulating fun while protecting their brain health.
  • Chippin is pet food powered by sustainable and underutilized proteins, such as crickets, plants and fish.
  • Dig - The Dog Person's Dating App is the best way for dog-lovers to find a compatible match, plan a dog-friendly date, and connect with local dog-friendly businesses.
  • Dogdrop is a new kind of dog daycare based around convenience and flexibility featuring a variety of membership plans and multiple retail locations.
  • How I Met My Dog custom matches to prospective dog guardians with adoptable dogs based on behavior and lifestyle so the dog you fall in love with is a dog you can truly live with.
  • K9 Align develops innovative affordable wearable therapeutics for canine hip dysplasia and related mobility issues.
  • NewRoad Foods' makes human grade, non-GMO pet foods that are baked to order and delivered fresh each month.
  • iMyK9 from PAWS by O-no is an app enabled monitor and temperature tag for your dog to prevent them from dying of heat stroke in vehicles.
  • Pet Parent is a pet adoption platform that facilitates the end to end process, making it easier for pet parents and rescues. It starts with one common application and ends with taking home your new best friend.
  • PetHospice is a Telehealth and education platform focused on quality of life and end of life support for veterinarians, pets and their families offering 90-minute Telehealth consults with experts in veterinary hospice, a free video-based education library, and a free online support community moderated by vets, nurses and social workers.
  • Petminded is a travel planner for pet guardians who want to experience safe and memorable travel with their pets. They provide pet friendly recommendations and booking links for accommodations, activities, local veterinary care and trusted pet sitters.
  • SKYPaws is a wireless vitals monitoring device that measures ECG, heart rate, temperature, and oxygen saturation.
  • TEEF! is an innovative pet dental care product that's designed to create a healthier mouth to prevent dental disease.

Leap Venture Academy Bootcamp is an opportunity to support Michelson Found Animals Foundation's mission of "Saving Pets, Enriching Lives" and represents Kinships and Mars Petcare's commitment to leveraging a wide spectrum of products and services to make "A Better World for Pets™." For more information, please visit:

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