Tips & Tricks for Applying to the Leap Venture Studio
Today, our Leap Venture Studio applications open for our 4th accelerator for pet care startups. The program will be entirely online and run from February to May 2021.
Leap’s mission is to create a smarter world for pets and their people. Our investments in startups reflect our commitment to that mission. Over the past three cohorts, we’ve supported sustainable treats for dogs, better end of life care for our pets, and platforms & services that make it easier to care for our pets with the love they deserve. Each year, we are in awe of the innovation and creativity in the pet care industry.
This year, we are especially focused on the ways that companies push this industry forward — by focusing on the health of our planet, prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion, and making the world a better place for our pets.
Each year we assess hundreds of startups via an application process before accepting 6–7 to join our Leap Venture Studio program. All pet care startups, regardless of stage, are encouraged to apply (here). Before you do, here are some tips & tricks to keep in mind to best highlight your company in the application:
- Less is more! Many of the application questions do not have a word limit, but this doesn’t mean you should write as much as you can. The more concise you are, the better we will understand your product or service.
- Make sure you answer every question (check this twice!).
- Your deck shouldn’t have more than 15 slides.
- Be very thoughtful and spend a lot of time on the questions about diversity, equity, and inclusion. For Leap to support the best innovation in pet care, we also have to support companies who are creating positive change and increasing diversity.
- When selecting what stage your company is at, be honest and straightforward. We accept companies at various stages, but we can’t provide helpful feedback if we don’t know your accurate monthly revenue or traction.
- Be specific when you describe your customers (even if you haven’t launched). Not all pet owners will use your product or service, so be intentional about who you want to target.
- Is that really your total addressable market? Be realistic in your calculations.
- Having competition isn’t a bad thing! But make sure you know who else is tackling the same problem as you in a similar way.
These are just suggestions to guide your responses — the most important thing is to spend time on the application and be thoughtful in your responses. We don’t start reviewing until the applications close on October 15th, so take your time.
Beyond our premier Studio program, Leap wants to help every founder prepare their company to grow and scale, which is why we launched our Leap Venture Academy just over a year ago. Our webinars have helped founders learn new skills, our Slack channel has built connections between founders, and our pitch competitions and bootcamps have provided funding and mentorship.
We are grateful for your tireless efforts to push the pet care industry forward and can’t wait to read your application!
By Isabel Havens, Leap Coordinator for Michelson Found Animals