This accelerator wants to ease the vet shortage with helpful pet tech and funding for pet care startups
Currently, the United States is suffering a shortage of both veterinarians and their vet techs. Adding this to the rising costs of pet care, one of the smartest things for pet parents to do is to focus on prevention.
It’s for this reason that Leap Venture Studio, the world’s first pet care startup accelerator, is committed to investing in companies that make life easier and more affordable for pet parents. Past companies have included Moggie, an AI-enabled wearable for cats that help pet parents track their health, and Vetsie, a Canadian app that connects pet owners to all sorts of services, including telehealth appointments with vets.
In continued pursuit of this mission, Leap Venture Studio announced today that applications are now open for their seventh cohort of seed-stage pet care startups looking to participate in a 12-week accelerator program.
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.
Throughout the program, each startup receives tailored support to achieve its goals, from top industry leaders and award-winning strategists, technologists, designers, and consultants from the Leap Venture Studio team. Selected startups will receive US$200,000, custom mentorship, and support in preparing for future fundraising. The program concludes 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 their 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 homelessness. 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.
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 the 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.
To date, Leap Venture Studio’s accelerator program has seen its 40 companies go on to raise US$170 million in follow-on capital – US$100 million in 2021 alone, and two exits.
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.