The world's first pet care accelerator, Leap Venture Studio, takes in founders with a mission to improve pet health and well-being, offering a custom-tailored startup program and $200,000 in funding. The sixth cohort will focus on the highest-potential startups serving the $35 billion European market.
The program is a partnership between Mars Petcare, Michelson Found Animals and R/GA Ventures. This first ever regional, hybrid program will bring in six Europe-focused companies for 12 weeks, from September 26 until Demo Day on December 15, 2022, with 1-2 weeks in-person in London. The deadline for applications is July 3.
“We are excited that Leap Venture Studio is now bringing its support network to the European market, with its huge potential for explosive growth and innovation in pet care,” said Brett Yates, CEO of Michelson Found Animals. “The program will give founders at seed stage - and in some cases pre-seed, seed+ and series A - funding, custom mentorship towards business goals, and invaluable support as they prepare for further raises.”
Leap Venture Studio is looking to partner with startups that are bridging gaps in innovation, including:
- Cat healthcare technology
- Solutions for senior pets
- Digitization of pet parenthood
- Pet wellbeing
- Veterinary professional mental health
- Premium nutrition
- Ending pet homelessless, and more.
“Importantly, for each startup, the program crafts a specialized, custom project to achieve their most essential milestones. For example, a company seeking to expand from France to Spain will receive a tailored plan to prepare for and execute their international growth strategy. In every case, R/GA Venture Studio comes in as an extension of the startup’s team, with its award-winning strategists, technologists, designers, and consultants,” said Rachel Sheppard, director of ventures, Mars Petcare.
Leap Venture Studio’s accelerator program launched in 2018 and has seen its 33 companies go on to raise US$170 million in follow-on capital--US$100 million in 2021 alone. The majority of Leap’s startup founders identify as women or people of color.
Previous European alumni include Barkibu (Spain), Dogo (Germany), Project Blu (UK), THE PACK (UK) and Woof Together (Greece).