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September 25, 2020

3 min read

$90,000 in Grants Awarded to 15 Startups Founded by Diverse Founders at Leap Bootcamp

Fifteen of the most promising pet care startups collectively received $90k in funding after graduating from the Leap Venture Academy Bootcamp today. The weeklong annual Bootcamp connected founders who identify as female and/or as a person of color with the resources and mentorship needed to get their startups to the next stage in their business.

WoofTogether was awarded $20k to grow its startup.

The Bootcamp represents Leap’s renewed commitment to support early stage pet care startup founders who identify as female and/or as a person of color — groups historically underrepresented in the industry and investment. The Leap Venture Academy Bootcamp is a joint educational initiative between Michelson Found Animal Foundation and Kinship, a division of Mars Petcare.

Today, on the final day, Bootcamp participants were asked to vote for one of their peer companies to receive a $20k award from Leap. The founders were asked to vote for the one startup that would have the biggest impact on pet care, was most representative of the Leap community, and whose startup would be most impacted by the $20k award.

Leap announced that the company selected to receive the award totaling $20k is Woof Together a startup from Athens, Greece focused on creating pet standards in the hospitality industry.

In a surprise announcement, Leap organizers also announced that the other 14 Bootcamp founders would receive awards of $5k each to encourage diversity in the pet care industry.

Participants in Leap Bootcamp

The 15 pet care startups that were selected to participate in this year’s Bootcamp were:

Participants in Leap Bootcamp

Leap Venture Academy’s Bootcamp is a free weeklong startup program for underrepresented pet care entrepreneurs working on an early stage idea or company. Over the course of the week, founders participate in a variety of programs including: classes, workshops, and fireside chats. Advisors and mentors included members of the Leap partner companies (Kinship and Michelson Found Animals) as well as from members of Leap Venture Studio portfolio companies like AnimalBiome, Bark Buildings, Dogdrop, Native Pet, and PetPlate. All programs were aimed at helping early stage pet care startups get to the next stages in their business.

BY Isabel Havens

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