Pet Care Innovation Takes a “Leap” Forward: Introducing the Fifth Cohort of the Leap Venture Studio

Leap Venture Studio & Academy
3 min readFeb 7, 2022


The 6 innovative pet care startups joining us in our 5th cohort of the Leap Venture Studio.

The Leap Venture Studio is proud to announce the six pet care startups that are joining its fifth cohort. The Leap Venture Studio is the first pet care-specific startup accelerator and represents the commitment of Mars Petcare and Michelson Found Animals to improving the lives of pets and their people. This year, after receiving hundreds applications from 20+ countries, Leap Venture Studio leaders identified 6 innovative companies to join the program.

Each one of these companies is making a significant impact on the pet care ecosystem either through sustainable nutrition, improved jobs for the veterinary industry, new platforms to keep pets safe and healthy, or greater access to veterinary care.

Here are the innovative startups joining the Leap Venture Studio portfolio:

  • Bright Planet Pet (Minneapolis, MN): Bright Planet Pet makes 100% plant-based dog treats that taste and smell like real meat.
  • Dog Child (Toronto, Canada): Dog Child is remastering what it means to give our pets a home cooked meal by launching a suite of products and an online community to empower pet parents to cook nutrient rich meals at home.
  • Hound (Denver, CO): Hound is making the employee journey awesome with their veterinary employee experience platform.
  • Mella (Chicago, IL): Mella is an ecosystem of connected wellness monitoring products for both veterinarians and parents.
  • PetHub (Wenatchee, WA): PetHub is a data platform & subscription membership service for pet parents to help keep every family’s pets happy, safe, protected and HOME for the rest of their lives.
  • Vetsie (Calgary, Canada): Vetsie is an all-in-one ecosystem and virtual care platform that uniquely serves veterinary clinics, as well as pet parents through a marketplace.

As pet parenthood continues to grow around the world, many pet care sectors have experienced significant changes. Specifically, everything from veterinary medicine to animal welfare has become more digitized to better serve pets and their people. The Leap Venture Studio is excited to support companies that are innovating in new spaces and continuing to create a smarter world for pets and their people.

Throughout the 12-week program, each company will work with a curated team of R/GA Ventures strategists, technologists, designers, and consultants and receive mentorship from executives at Mars Petcare and Michelson Found Animals. The goal of the program is for each company to enhance their business plans, reach fundraising milestones, and prepare for product launch or expansion. Additionally, each company received an investment of up to $200,000 for being accepted into the Studio.

“In our fifth year of programs centered around innovation in pet care, we are more excited than ever about the immense growth in this industry and the impact on animal welfare, health, and sustainability,” shared Brett Yates, CEO of Michelson Found Animals.

The Leap Venture Studio has seen huge success from our portfolio of 27 companies. To date, two of companies have exited (PetHospice and Lacuna Diagnostics) and in 2021 alone, our portfolio raised more than $100M in follow-on capital.

Leap Venture Studio 2021 Annual Review

The fifth cohort will bring an exciting opportunity to launch our new hybrid-programming with in-person and virtual access to the world’s leading pet care thought leaders and culminating in an online Demo Day where the companies will present to investors, industry leaders, and the startup community on April 28, 2022.

“We are thrilled to be working with founders who are tackling key issues for pet parents and vets alike, including improved access to veterinary care and pet wellness, support for veterinarians, sustainable food options including vegan treats and at-home cooking, and making sure pets are happy & safe at every point of their life,” shared Rachel Sheppard at Director of Ventures, Mars Petcare.

Follow along as these companies increase their impact, launch their products, and grow with the help of the Leap team. Find us on Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.



Leap Venture Studio & Academy

A smarter world for pets & their people starts here. Partnership between Michelson Found Animals and Mars Petcare.