SIX COMPANIES JOIN MARS PETCARE’S ACCELERATOR PROGRAM
Mars Petcare, Michelson Found Animals Foundation and R/GA Ventures have unveiled
the six companies that will participate in the first cohort of the Leap Venture Studio—the
first startup-centric accelerator program built to springboard innovation in the growing
pet technology ecosystem.
The companies include a diverse mix of next-generation entrepreneurs and startups
looking to shape the future of pet care across nutrition, veterinary diagnostics, on-demand
services, and medicines and supplements.
The participating companies are:
• AnimalBiome, which assesses pet microbiomes and makes an oral supplement from
material sourced directly from healthy cats and dogs to restore balance.
• CuidaMiMascota, which connects pet owners with trusted pet sitters that offer cage-free, safe and cost-effective care in Latin America.
• Lacuna Diagnostics, a cloud-based
platform that connects veterinary hospitals to board-certified clinical pathol-ogists for rapid diagnostic results.
• Mixlab, a modern veterinary compounding pharmacy that creates personalized meds and wellness products for pets.
• PetPlate, a subscription service that delivers fresh-cooked, veterinarian-designed, human-grade dog food in pre-portioned, microwavable containers.
• Wild Earth, which is challenging the status quo of pet food with cultured protein that
is good for pets and the environment.
The Leap program provides the opportunity for selected companies to access strategic,
financial and creative resources to accelerate product development, develop industry partnerships and refine their business plans. Customized teams
of R/GA strategists, technologists, designers and consultants will collaborate with the
startups to enhance their business plans and prepare them
for future milestones including
fundraising, pitching and business development. Additionally, the startups will receive
mentorships from executives at
Mars Petcare, Found Animals
and their extended networks of
The Leap program will be
hosted at the R/GA office in
Portland, Ore. The program
will conclude in October with
a demo event at which each
startup will present to industry
leaders, partners, investors, and
customers from the technology
and innovation community.
The Leap Venture Studio
is currently accepting applications for the second cohort and
selection will take place this fall.
HEALTHY TREATS RECEIVES
VisioCap has invested in
Healthy Treats, a Naples, Fla.-
based premium, all-natural
pet treat company that makes
Dogs Love Kale, Dogs Love
Snapeas and Dogs Love Hum-
mus Chews branded products.
VisioCap invested in part-
nership with Paula Sava-
rese and Dawn Ward, who
co-founded Healthy Treats in
2014. The company produces
dog treats in a variety of fla-
vors and forms and distributes
its products through pet retail
stores across the U.S. and cer-
tain international markets.
Going forward, the com-
pany will operate under the
name Dogs Love Us.
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