In a significant stride towards promoting diversity and innovation within the pet care industry, Leap Venture Academy is introducing its upcoming Fellowship programme for early-stage pet care founders.
Taking place from 6-10 November in Montpellier, France, this event, held in partnership with Royal Canin, will convene an extraordinary cohort of 13 pioneering startups. Montpellier, renowned as a hub of innovation in France, serves as the ideal backdrop for this transformative initiative, with an official welcome from the Mayor of Montpellier Metropole, Mickaël Delafosse.
Pushing Boundaries: Expanding the Fellowship
Traditionally, Leap has selected 8-10 companies for its Fellowship programme. However, this year, they are pushing boundaries by welcoming 13 exceptional startups. They hail from various countries and are poised to reshape the future of pet care. They include:
- BistroCat (USA): The world’s first fully-automated wet cat food feeder that delivers premium meals and monitors feline feeding preferences and behaviours.
- ControlPoint (USA): An in vitro diagnostic company developing products to enhance animal health globally.
- Edgar (France): Strengthening the bond between pets and their parents by offering instant access to expert veterinary advice and support.
- Furevr byFOMMRE (UK): An app that eases the end-of-life pet journey.
- Innovative Pet Lab’s (USA): Provides at-home gut health tests for pets, offering valuable insights for personalised pet care.
- Interplay (USA): Keeps dog parents informed with their dog on the go using the PlayTach crate attachment.
- JAMPY (Italy): Offers a sustainable wellness line for modern dogs.
- SN Biomedical (Canada): Empowers pet owners with affordable diagnostics, with products like Kidney-Chek, a saliva test for kidney health.
- Spot Vet (USA): A community-centric veterinary service providing wallet-friendly pet medications and low-cost preventive care during educational and social events.
- The Coda Group Inc. (USA): 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): Specialises in tailored stem cell therapies while supporting pharma R&D.
- VNG Pets (Australia): Produces minimally processed and sustainability-driven therapeutic diets and treats for dogs and cats.
Empowering Visionaries in Pet Care
The essence of this Fellowship lies in the diverse and visionary founders behind these startups, representing six countries. From cutting-edge products to revolutionary services, these startups are seeking to shape the future of pet care.
Brett Yates, CEO of Michelson Found Animals, expressed pride in hosting the fifth Academy programme. He said: “This initiative reflects our commitment to extending essential resources, expansive networks, and invaluable mentorship opportunities to an ever-expanding global community of pet care entrepreneurs. As we broaden our support, we deepen our impact.”
The Fellowship offers a week of immersive programming, featuring 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.
Recognising Innovative Startups
One 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 fellow founders. Each participating company will also receive £5,000 to support their journey.
Rachel Sheppard, Director of Ventures at Mars Petcare, expressed her excitement, saying, “We are absolutely thrilled to extend a warm welcome to the remarkable 13 pet care companies joining our Academy programme 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.”