Leap Venture Studio announces applications for the latest cohort of its seed-stage accelerator program for pet care startups. Up to seven early stage pet care companies will be selected to participate in the 12-week program, running from March 6 until Demo Day on June 9. The hybrid program will take place online, as well as in-person sessions in Austin, Texas, and Nashville, Tennessee, in the US.
Leap Venture Studio & Academy was started as a partnership between Mars Petcare (the largest pet care organization in the world) and Michelson Found Animals, a leading animal welfare organization. The Studio program is supported by world-class services platform R/GA Ventures. Together, they are driven by their mission to make the world a better place for pets by making pet care more accessible, affordable, and sustainable for pet parents.
The accelerator offers a highly-customized experience to each startup joining the program. Throughout the program, each startup receives tailored support to achieve their goals, from top industry leaders and award-winning strategists, technologists, designers and consultants from the Leap Venture Studio team. All founders receive US $200,000, custom mentorship, and support in preparing for future fundraising. The program consolidates with a Demo Day, where founders pitch their companies to top investors from the Mars, Michelson Found Animals and R/GA networks.
Essential selection criteria for entrants into the program include: a unique business plan, commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and a drive to elevate the lives of pets and their people. Proudly, 70% of past program founders have been women or people from underrepresented minority groups. After the success of their European cohort, Leap Venture Studio wanted to open the next applicant pool up to global entrants to further its commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Former accelerator graduates are driving forward innovation in sustainability, care for senior pets, digitizing pet services, pet and vet mental health, cat healthcare, premium nutrition and ending pet homelessless. Since launching in 2018, the 40 companies who have gone through the accelerator have gone on to raise US$170 million in follow-on capital--US$100 million in 2021 alone, and two exits.
“As a pet care industry, we have the wonderful opportunity to make pet parenting more accessible and joyful for all; to achieve this we are looking for mission-driven founders all around the world with diverse, effective and sustainable solutions to make a better world for pets.,” said Rachel Sheppard, director of Ventures at Mars Petcare.
If you’re an early-stage pet care startup that is driving meaningful change in the industry, apply now for the Spring 2023 edition of the Leap Venture Studio accelerator program. Applications close December 18, 2022.