A smarter world for pets and their people starts here

Mars Petcare (Kinship), 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.

A smarter world for pets and their people starts here

About Leap Venture Studio

Leap Venture Studio represents Mars Petcare’s (Kinship’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.

About Leap Venture Studio

How it works

Each program consists of six companies, which may receive up to $200k in investment. The startups’ engagement begins 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 (Kinship) and Michelson Found Animals teams and their extended networks.

The program concludes with a Demo Event where founders have the opportunity to pitch to industry leaders, investors, and the Los Angeles startup community. We are always looking for innovative companies, and encourage founders to apply throughout the year.

How it works

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 (Kinship), 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

  • Pet Nutrition and Fitness
  • Pet Health and Medical
  • Pet Diagnostics
  • Solutions, Platforms, and Services for Pet Owners and Vets

Sample Technologies

  • AI/Machine Learning
  • Advanced Analytics
  • Connected Products and Spaces
  • Genetics
Program details


  • Oct 01 2018
    Applications Open
  • Dec 07 2018
    Application Deadline
  • Jan 31 2019
    Selected Companies Notified
  • Mar 04 2019
    Program Begins
  • May 21 2019
    Demo Day

Introducing Leap Venture Academy

Leap Venture Academy connects pet care entrepreneurs with the resources they need to create innovative products and expand their businesses in the fast growing pet industry. Our goal is to engage with startups regularly and connect them to educational and networking opportunities, potential mentors, advisors, partners, and investors.

Events are free and open to the public.

Introducing Leap Venture Academy

Studio partners

Michelson Found Animals
Mars Petcare
R/GA Ventures

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