LOS ANGELES — Leap Ventures launched its Leap Venture Academy Bootcamp program on Oct. 21 as part of its ongoing collaboration with Kinship, a Mars Petcare division, and Michelson Found Animals. The inaugural weeklong program is focused on supporting the growth of emerging pet companies led by women entrepreneurs.
Throughout the week, 13 women representing a range of pet industry startups from nutrition to technology will participate in workshops, discussions and networking events. The event is invite-only.
"For the inaugural Leap Venture Academy Bootcamp, we chose to exclusively support women-led startups," said Alya Michelson, co-founder of Michelson Found Animals. "It is a very personal moment for me as a musician and artist working in areas heavily dominated by men. I recognize the value and importance in having gender-diversity within the pet industry and creating a pipeline of women-led startups for investment."
The Leap Venture Academy Bootcamp is hosting women leaders from pet food startups, including Chippin, a pet food and treat company using sustainable proteins such as crickets, and NewRoad Foods, a direct-to-consumer, subscription based baked pet food brand using human-grade and GMO-free ingredients.
Other companies include Brainy Pup, a subscription service for enrichment toys for dogs; Dig, “The Dog Person’s Dating App;” Dogdrop, a modernized dog daycare service; How I Met My Dog, a dating app-style rescue app matching adoptable dogs to prospective owners based on behavior and lifestyle; K9 Align, a line of therapeutic wearables for dogs with mobility issues; iMyK9 from PAWS by O-no, a temperature monitor for dogs to prevent overheating and heatstroke; Pet Parent, a pet adoption platform; PetHospice, a tele-health company providing support and education for end-of-life pet owners and veterinarians; Petminded, a travel planner for pet owners and their pets; SKYPaws, a wireless device that monitors a dog’s vitals such as ECG, heart rate, temperature and oxygen saturation; and TEEF!, a liquid prebiotic dental solution to enhance oral health in dogs.
"The pet care industry's explosive growth shows no signs of abating, and there are boundless opportunities for brands to grow innovative solutions that improve the lives of pets," said Ben Jacobs, head of ventures and partnerships at Kinship. "Since we launched Leap in 2017, we've been able to help springboard hundreds of startups through our Academy and a dozen companies through our exclusive accelerator program. The Bootcamp provides another opportunity for us to help early-stage companies advance to the next stage."
Read more about products and brands shaking up the pet food and treat market.