A smarter world for pets and their people starts here

Mars Petcare, a global leader in pet nutrition and health care, and Michelson Found Animals Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to keeping animals in their homes, have partnered to launch the first startup-centric accelerator program built to springboard innovation in the growing pet ecosystem.


Introducing the Leap Venture Studio

Leap Venture Studio represents Mars Petcare’s commitment to leveraging a wide spectrum of products and services to make “A Better World for Pets™.” For Michelson Found Animals, a non-profit with programs ranging from a free national microchip registry,  adoption services to animal welfare advocacy, it’s an opportunity to support their mission of “Saving Pets, Enriching Lives.”

Learn more about the Leap Venture Studio from the founders of the first cohort.

How it works

The year-long Studio is split into two programs of six companies each, which may receive up to $200k in investment. Each startups’ engagement will begin with a product and brand assessment, during which companies’ strategic needs are identified to inform a product/market impact plan.


A customized team of R/GA’s award-winning strategists, technologists, designers, and consultants will then collaborate with the company to help execute this plan and preparing them for future milestones including fundraising, pitching, and business development. Founders will also have access to mentors and resources from the Mars Petcare and Michelson Found Animals teams and their extended networks.


The first program concluded with a Demo Event in Portland on October 23, 2018. Applications for the second cohort are currently open and selection will take place in the Winter 2018/2019. We are always looking for innovative companies, and encourage founders to apply throughout the year.

Program details

The program will provide founders with unprecedented access to industry leaders and mentors across the pet and technology ecosystem, and conclude with the opportunity to secure funding from investors within Mars Petcare, Michelson Found Animals, and the broader venture capital community. Activities will be headquartered in at R/GA’s offices in Los Angeles, California.

Areas of Interest

Sample Technologies

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Program partners

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