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Nestlé Purina PetCare along with Active Capital and Cultivation Capital announced today a competition to identify and support early-stage pet care companies in the growing global pet care sector—a $60 Billion market in annual US sales alone.
The Pet Care Innovation Prize will award up to five finalist companies $10,000 in cash, plus immerse them in a multi-day accelerator program where they’ll receive advice, mentorship and access to business partners from Nestle Purina. One Grand Prize winner will get additional cash, services and support to exhibit at the 2017 Global Pet Expo, one of the world’s largest pet industry events.
“Great entrepreneurs have great challenges, too,” said Jay De Long of Active Capital in a statement. “They need access and insights to big markets through relationships and resources that are hard to come by. This partnership provides that, and some capital to execute.”
The competition will focus on companies producing food, nutrition, pet care, play and tech products and services for dogs, cats and their owners.
Finalist selection will be by a judging committee of Nestlé Purina, Cultivation Capital, Active Capital and independent judges. Grand Prize selection will be by Nestlé Purina executives. Services and products will be judged on uniqueness, making sure they solve a meaningful pet care need that improves the lives of pets, revenue and whether the product or service is sold directly to consumers, among other criteria.
“The pet care category is growing faster than many other industries,” De Long said, “and some lucky emerging company could use the Pet Care Innovation Prize and a relationship with Nestle Purina to knock it out of the park.”
To be eligible, companies must have a market-ready product or service and apply by September 9, 2016 at www.petcareinnovationprize.com, where additional information is also available.