Europe’s most creative new pet care businesses have been invited to partner with Purina for the latest edition of its landmark innovation accelerator.
Powered by the Purina Accelerator Lab, Unleashed identifies disruptive pet care start-ups that focus on innovative products and services, helping them to grow. This year, judges will prioritise start-ups using technology to help address global challenges in sustainability.
The accelerator will look to support entrepreneurs and small businesses who deploy regenerative agriculture, zero waste systems and sustainable pet food innovations such as alternative proteins, and upcycled ingredients. Places will also be reserved for pet care start-ups helping to strengthen the pet-human bond.
Each start-up selected into Unleashed will be supported by a chosen selected team of Purina experts to accelerate their growth through a structured, funded project over 24 weeks.
The scheme has previously backed entrepreneurs including the team of BorrowMyDoggy, the fast-growing UK dog sharing scheme, which helps pet owners find a supportive community of dog lovers in their local neighbourhoods. Since being accelerated by Unleashed, BorrowMyDoggy has gone from strength to strength, with the recent launch of BorrowMyDoggy for Work, an employer scheme that allows workers to find trusted borrowers in their local area to help with their dog during the working day.
This new programme is now in operation at over 18 companies including some large corporates and employee platforms, plus seven universities across the UK.
Rikke Rosenlund, BorrowMyDoggy founder, said: “Prior to joining the Unleashed programme, we had only tested out the potential for a B2B launch on a very small scale and with only a handful of companies. But building a close relationship with the Purina team, and benefiting from their knowledge and resources, meant we were able to enhance our work and prepare to formally launch BorrowMyDoggy for Work.”
In its third year, Unleashed is hunting for committed and passionate start-up entrepreneurs with a creative spirit, who have proven a concept in the field of sustainability in nutrition, service or technology, and who want to develop it further in the pet industry.
Start-ups will be evaluated on the relevance of their idea and the scalability and sustainability of their business model. In a uniquely designed process, the selected start-ups will have the opportunity to leverage Purina’s expertise to help them understand consumer centricity, product- market fit and the actions needed to prove their business traction.
Up to six start-ups will be selected to benefit from the support of a multi-disciplinary Purina team with the expertise required for their development. During the programme, the entrepreneurs and Purina employees will work together on a value exchange project, with funding of up to CHF50,000 available to support the acceleration objectives.
Kim Bill, head of the Purina Accelerator Lab said: “2021 will be the third year of the Unleashed programme and it has demonstrated just how both the start-ups and the Purina teams have truly benefited through the unique design of our accelerator, which calls for a sincere goal of partnership to test and learn.
“Our mantra is win-win-win, for our start-ups, for Purina and ultimately for our consumers, and this is the basis of our success. I look forward tremendously to our third cohort and encourage all disruptive sustainability and pet start-ups to apply.”