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 diverse and growing business with 75,000 Associates across 50+ countries dedicated to one purpose: A BETTER WORLD FOR PETS. With 75 years of experience, our portfolio of almost 50 brands serves the health and nutrition needs of the world’s pets – including brands PEDIGREE®, WHISKAS®, ROYAL CANIN®, NUTRO™, GREENIES™, SHEBA®, CESAR®, IAMS™ and EUKANUBA™ as well as The WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition which has advanced research in the nutrition and health of pets for over 50 years.
Mars Petcare is also a leading veterinary health provider through a network of over 2,000 pet hospitals including BANFIELD™, BLUEPEARL™, PET PARTNERS™, VCA™ and Linnaeus. We’re also active in innovation and technology for pets, with WISDOM PANEL™ genetic health screening and DNA testing for dogs, the WHISTLE™ GPS dog tracker, and LEAP VENTURE STUDIO accelerator and COMPANION FUND™ programs that drive innovation and disruption in the pet care industry. As a family business and guided by our principles, we are privileged with the flexibility to fight for what we believe in – and we choose to fight for: A BETTER WORLD FOR PETS.
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.