Pet Care Startups: Last Call to Apply for Leap Venture Studios spring accelerator

December 6, 2022


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Leap Venture Studio’s team will assess the applications and select seven early-stage startups to participate in the 12-week program. Applications close December 22, 2022. 

Pets may be our best friends, but if we are to befriend the planet, we must figure out a way to do it without the landfills accumulating  300 million pounds of plastic waste from pet products.

The global pet care industry is worth $260 billion, and is projected to grow to roughly $350 billion by 2027. As pet ownership continues to rise – as it did during the pandemic – it is now vital that the industry become sustainable. 

To that end, the world’s first pet care startup accelerator, Leap Venture Studio, is inviting startups to work towards that future together. Founded as a partnership between the largest pet care organization in the world Mars Petcare and leading animal welfare organization Michelson Found Animals, and services platform R/GA networks, Leap Venture Studio is focused exclusively on investing in early-stage and seed-stage pet care companies.

“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.

Co-founded by Stephen Plumlee, Winson Wong, and Aimee Gilbreath in 2018, the accelerator 

Director of Ventures at Mars Petcare, Rachel Sheppard /Image courtesy: Leap Venture Studio

is dedicated to investing in companies that are working toward more sustainable solutions that also make pet parenthood more accessible.  

This is how it works: 

Seed-stage pet care startups are invited to apply to the program by Dec 22, 2022, by filling out the application online with detailed information about their company’s goals, mission, innovative solution, team members, and funding stage. 

Then, Leap Venture Studio’s team will assess the applications and select seven early-stage startups to participate in the 12-week program. The selection will be based on the startup’s unique business model, commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and a drive to elevate the lives of pets and their people. 

Selected startups will participate in the accelerator’s seventh cohort – a 12-week accelerator program that will run between March and June 2023. 

The hybrid program will take place online, as well as in-person sessions in Austin, Texas and Nashville, Tennessee in the US. And, selected startups will receive US$200,000, custom mentorship, and support in preparing for future fundraising. The program will conclude with a Demo Day where founders pitch their companies to top investors from the Mars, Michelson Found Animals, and R/GA networks.

Since its launch in 2018, Leap Venture Studio’s program has fostered over 40 companies and raised US$170 million in follow-on capital – US$100 million in 2021 alone, and two exits, driving significant impact in the industry. 

Applications close December 22, 2022. 

Disclaimer: This article features a client of an Espacio portfolio company.


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