Even with the emergence of major companies in the space, pet startups still suffer from underinvestment and lack platforms to support them as they scale. The Leap Venture Studio & Academy is one of the first programs designed to ignite meaningful growth across the pet care startup ecosystem.

Leap is a partnership between Michelson Found Animals (MFA) and Mars Petcare. Together, the two companies represent the most innovative thinkers in the pet care industry. MFA and Mars Petcare recognize the immense value of the pet care sector and want to foster innovation and growth from the bottom-up.



Michelson Found Animals Foundation is a leading animal welfare non-profit organization working at the nexus of pets, people and policy. With a mission of Saving Pets, Enriching Lives, Found Animals combines social entrepreneurship, innovative philanthropy, thought leadership and investment to accelerate pet startups to improve the lives of pets and their people. Programs include the first free national microchip registry, two retail Adopt & Shop stores and programs and resources for pet owners and pet professionals. With the Leap Venture Studio, Found Animals is supporting start up innovation in the pet care industry. Policy initiatives include research and advocacy to advance the ways that pets intersect and positively impact our lives and society. Generously funded by Dr. Gary Michelson and Alya Michelson, Found Animals has helped more than 5 million pets since it was founded in 2005.

Learn more at foundanimals.org.

Mars Petcare supports the industry’s boldest new ideas and startups by leveraging resources, capabilities and data in one place, one platform. It is focused on spring-boarding innovation in the pet care space and is making the lives of pets and their owners better through evolution in science.

By working together with a coalition of business and research partners, Mars Petcare is finding new ways to realize the promise of digital health, data analytics, machine learning, and other transformational technologies to create a brighter future for pets around the world.

Learn more at mars.com/made-by-mars/petcare

R/GA Ventures helps industry leaders embrace disruption, connecting them with emerging startups, technologies and consumer behaviors to drive their businesses forward.

Since 2013, the R/GA Ventures portfolio has grown to include more than 100 companies across a variety of verticals. R/GA Ventures and R/GA are part of the Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE: IPG), one of the world’s largest advertising and marketing services organizations.

Learn more at ventures.rga.com


Ben Jacobs

Mars Petcare

Brett Yates

Michelson Found Animals

Dylan Boyd

Managing Director, Leap Venture Studio
R/GA Ventures

Guillaume Crétenot

Global Strategy, Transformation, Ecosystem and Venture VP
Mars Petcare

Paige Ellen Headshot

Paige Ellen

Sr Program Manager, Leap 
Michelson Found Animals

Phil Kim

Managing Director
Michelson Impact Ventures

Rachel Sheppard

Director – Ventures
Mars Petcare