Innovative pet care startups converge for a transformative week in France

October 27, 2023


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In a move that reflects their commitment to diversity, equity, and innovation in the pet care industry, Leap Venture Academy is proud to announce their upcoming Fellowship for early stage pet care founders. Taking place in Montpellier, France from 6-10 November, this event, in partnership with Royal Canin, will host an extraordinary cohort of 13 innovative startups. 

Montpellier, renowned as the epicenter of innovation in France, serves as the perfect setting and Leap is proud to return to this city to host its Academy fellowship program and be formally welcomed with an opening from the Mayor of the Montpellier Metropole, Michaël Delafosse. 

Having traditionally selected 8-10 companies for their fellowship program, Leap is pushing boundaries this year by welcoming 13 exceptional startups. This amplification of their efforts underscores the company’s dedication to fostering inclusivity and driving transformative change in the pet care landscape.

The 13 pet care startups joining the program include:

  • BistroCat (USA) is the world’s first fully-automated wet cat food feeder that delivers premium meals and monitors your feline’s feeding preferences and behaviors.
  • ControlPoint (USA) is an in vitro diagnostic company developing products to improve animal health around the globe.
  • Edgar (France) strengthens the bond between pets and their parents by offering instant access to expert veterinary advice and support.
  • Furevr byFOMMRE (UK) is an app that makes navigating the end-of-life pet journey easier.
  • Innovative Pet Lab‘s (USA) at home gut health tests provide pet parents and vets scientifically backed tools to detect potential causes of GI issues and offer valuable insights to personalize pet care for healthier, happier and longer lives.
  • Interplay (USA) keeps dog parents in the know with their dog on the go with their crate attachment, the PlayTach.
  • JAMPY (Italy) is a sustainable wellness line for modern dogs.
  • SN Biomedical (Canada) was founded to empower people with simple and affordable diagnostics, and their first product, Kidney-Chek, is a saliva test that allows pet owners to screen their cat and dog’s kidney health at home. 
  • Spot Vet (USA) is a community-centric, lifestyle-focused veterinary service that delivers wallet-friendly pet medications and provides low-cost preventive care during educational and social events, offering pet parents a convenient, affordable, and engaging way to keep their pets healthy.
  • The Coda Group Inc. (USA) is an end-of-life marketplace & resource platform.
  • Veterinary Well-Being Buddy (USA) provides comprehensive health and well-being solutions for individuals, teams, and companies in veterinary medicine.
  • Vidapaw (USA) specializes in tailored stem cell therapies while fueling pharma R&D.
  • VNG Pets (Australia) produces minimally processed and sustainability-driven therapeutic diets and treats for dogs and cats.

The heart of this fellowship lies in the diverse and visionary founders behind each of the 13 participating companies representing six countries. From cutting-edge products to revolutionary services, these startups are poised to shape the future of pet care.

“Having reached a significant milestone of five years at Leap, we take immense pride in hosting our fifth Academy program for early-stage pet care founders,” said Brett Yates, CEO of Michelson Found Animals and key executive at Leap Venture Academy. “This weeklong initiative reflects our unwavering commitment to extending essential resources, expansive networks, and invaluable mentorship opportunities to an ever-expanding global community of pet care entrepreneurs. As we broaden the horizons of the companies we support, we remain dedicated to deepening the impact of our services.”

The fellowship offers a week of immersive programming that includes captivating speaker sessions, collaborative problem-solving, and invaluable networking opportunities. Industry experts will guide founders through dynamic discussions, enabling them to gain insights and connections that will accelerate their businesses.

A highlight of the fellowship is the recognition of exceptional achievements. A peer-voted award of $15,000 will be presented to one standout company, as chosen by their fellow founders. This recognition not only symbolizes the efforts of the chosen startup but also demonstrates the strength of collaboration within the cohort. Furthermore, each participating company will receive $5,000 USD to support their journey.

Rachel Sheppard, Director of Ventures at Mars Petcare and Co-Lead for Leap Venture Studio, expresses her excitement, stating, “We are absolutely thrilled to extend a warm welcome to the remarkable 13 pet care companies joining our Academy program this year. Our gratitude goes out to our valued partner, Royal Canin, whose support allows us to offer founders an extended network of industry experts.”

Stay connected with Leap’s social media channels and official website for updates leading up to the transformative week in France this November. The future of the pet care industry is being shaped, and this diverse cohort of visionary founders is leading the way.

Disclosure: This article mentions a client of an Espacio portfolio company. 


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