Six pet care startups were selected for Leap Venture Studio’s fifth cohort. Created in 2017 by Kinship, a division of Mars Petcare and Michelson Found Animals, Leap Ventures is the first start-up-centric organization built to springboard innovation in the growing pet technology ecosystem. This year, Leap Venture Studio leaders received hundreds of applications from 20-plus countries.
Each one of the six selected companies is making a significant impact on the pet care ecosystem either through sustainable nutrition, improved jobs for the veterinary industry, new platforms to keep pets safe and healthy, or greater access to veterinary care, officials said.
The startups joining the Leap Venture Studio portfolio are:
Minneapolis-based Bright Planet Pet makes 100 percent plant-based dog treats that taste and smell like real meat.
Toronto-based Dog Child is remastering what it means to give pets a home cooked meal by launching a suite of products and an online community to empower pet owners to cook nutrient rich meals at home, officials said.
“We are proud to be selected by Leap Venture Studio and humbled to see Dog Child recognized among the most innovative and promising pet care brands of the future,” said Nicole Marchand, co-founder and CEO at Dog Child. “From our very beginnings, our goal has been to develop a concept that would empower pet parents and make it easy for them to make the best food choices for their dog’s health and happiness. As we are now gearing up for our launch in the coming months, this investment will enable Dog Child to expand its product line and build out our online community.”
Denver-based Hound is making the employee journey awesome with their veterinary employee experience platform, officials said.
Chicago-based Mella is an ecosystem of connected wellness monitoring products for both veterinarians and owners.
Wenatchee, Wash.-based PetHub is a data platform and subscription membership service for pet owners to help keep every family’s pets happy, safe, protected and home for the rest of their lives, officials said.
“We are honored to be chosen from hundreds of companies from more than 20 countries to be part of the Leap Venture Studio’s prestigious and innovative program,” said Lorien Clemens, co-founder and CEO of PetHub. “The growth opportunities available through Leap are invaluable. The collaboration within the cohort, the Leap community and beyond are the most exciting for us. We look forward to exploring those potential strategic partnerships, as well as the knowledge and insights we will gain from the program, to expand our business and help keep every family’s pets happy, safe and home for the rest of their lives.”
Calgary, Canada-based Vetsie is an all-in-one ecosystem and virtual care platform that uniquely serves veterinary clinics, as well as pet owners through a marketplace.
As pet ownership continues to grow around the world, many pet care sectors have experienced significant changes. Specifically, everything from veterinary medicine to animal welfare has become more digitized to better serve pets and their people, officials said. The Leap Venture Studio is excited to support companies that are innovating in new spaces and continuing to create a smarter world for pets and their people.
Throughout the 12-week program, each company will work with a curated team of R/GA Ventures strategists, technologists, designers, and consultants and receive mentorship from executives at Mars Petcare and Michelson Found Animals. The goal of the program is for each company to enhance their business plans, reach fundraising milestones, and prepare for product launch or expansion. Additionally, each company received an investment of up to $200,000 for being accepted into the Studio.
“In our fifth year of programs centered around innovation in pet care, we are more excited than ever about the immense growth in this industry and the impact on animal welfare, health, and sustainability,” said Brett Yates, CEO of Michelson Found Animals.