Startup accelerator Leap Venture Studio has created Leap Venture Academy, the first-ever business support programme geared towards early-stage pet care startup companies. The initiative provides resources, activities, and training to help those in the pet industry expand their businesses for free.
“We were thrilled at the demand for Leap Venture Studio from pet care startups, and learned that we needed to create more outlets for development and growth,” Ben Jacobs, head of ventures and partnerships at Kinship, said in a press release. “Leap Venture Academy will help the earlier stage developing startups get the resources and support they need to prepare them for the future.”
Leap Venture Studio is a competitive startup accelerator that provides up to $200,000 in funds for pet care entrepreneurs to develop groundbreaking products and services.
The programme is a collaboration between the Kinship division of Mars Petcare, a global leader in pet health and nutrition, and Michelson Found Animals Foundation, a non-profit focused on placing and keeping pets in caring homes.
The six companies chosen for each cohort are given access to a team of award-winning consultants, designers, strategists, and technologists to address their strategic needs, execute an impact plan, and works towards eventual milestones in business development, fundraising, and pitching.
The programme also provides access to mentors and resources from Michelson Found Animals, the Kinship division of Mars Petcare, and other companies in the industry.
After the success of the first two business cohorts, the studio decided to open its resources up to the pet community at large through the Leap Venture Academy. The goal of the free business initiative is to connect startups to networking and educational opportunities and engage with founders and others in the space regularly.
“With the introduction of the Leap Venture Academy plus the third Leap Venture Studio cohort, we are excited to continue and expand our support for the growing community of innovators in our industry with a range of resources for companies at all stages of development,” said Aimee Gilbreath, the executive director of Michelson Found Animals Foundation. “And we’re also pleased to continue to host the third Leap program here in Los Angeles, our home market and the source of a wealth of innovation.”
The academy offers pre-accelerator and community-building events and activities all year round for early stage pet care startups. Bootcamps, classes, webinars, meetups, pitch competitions, and hack-a-thons will be offered to the community online and offline. Leap Venture Academy also aims to connect early stage startups to potential partners, mentors, advisors, and investors.
Upcoming events will cover themes such as animal welfare, a female CEO roundtable, a CEO listening tour, and several informational webinars.