What is the mission of the Leap Venture Studio?
Mars Petcare, Michelson Found Animals, and R/GA are dedicated to supporting the $100B pet care industry by fostering the growth and development of the startup ecosystem.
Who is the Michelson Found Animals Foundation?
Michelson Found Animals Foundation is a leading animal welfare non-profit organization committed to keeping pets safe at home with the pet parents who love them. With a mission of Saving Pets, Enriching Lives, Found Animals is advancing the health and safety of pets through the first free, national microchip registry, solutions-based programs addressing pet adoption, microchipping, low-cost spay neuter services and grants for research into non-surgical spay and neuter methods. The foundation provides educational resources for pet parents and support for a variety of animal welfare organizations. Generously funded by Dr. Gary Michelson and Alya Michelson, Found Animals has helped more than 1.5 million pets since it was founded in 2005.
Mars Petcare is a growing segment of approximately 50 brands, made up of about 75,000 Associates in more than 55 countries who serve the nutrition and health needs of dogs, cats, horses, fish and birds every day.
Mars Petcare has been in operation for more than 75 years and now includes three of the top five pet food brands in the world - PEDIGREE®, WHISKAS® and ROYAL CANIN®. Mars Petcare is also home to the brands NUTRO®, GREENIES®, SHEBA®, CESAR®, IAMS® AND EUKANUBA®.
Mars Petcare is the world's biggest veterinary health group with hospitals such as BANFIELD®, BLUE PEARL®, PET PARTNERS®, and VCA® - making Mars the largest veterinary operation in the North America.
Connected Solutions, Mars Petcare's newest business division is the hotbed for future innovation with WISDOM PANEL® HEALTH patented genetic technology testing for dogs and the WHISTLE® dog tracker.
What role is R/GA going to play in the program?
As part of the Venture Studio, startups will participate in an assessment during which their strategic needs are identified to inform a product/market plan. A customized team of R/GA’s award-winning strategists, technologists, designers, and consultants will then collaborate with the company to execute—providing the same transformative services offered to the agency’s Fortune 50 clients, and preparing them for future milestones including fundraising, pitching, and business development. At the end of the Studio, they'll have the opportunity to pitch to investors and industry leaders on Demo Day.
What role are Mars Petcare and Michelson Found Animals to play in the program?
Studio startups will have access to resources and mentors from both the Mars Petcare and Michelson Found Animals and from their extended networks.
In addition to assessing and selecting Studio startups, Mars Petcare and Found Animals will work closely with the startups to help with potential collaboration and investment opportunities directly and with the industry.
What sort of networking and marketing opportunities will be available to Studio companies?
Throughout the program, startups will have access to curated networking opportunities, industry events, and other marketing opportunities.
Studio leaders will organize a variety of one-on-one and group meetings and workshops with entrepreneurs, angel investors, legal experts, venture capitalists, investment bankers, and other relevant industry players.
The Studio Managing Director will work with each founder individually to select the mentors that meet their needs and business development goals.