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Leap Venture Studio and Black Pet Business Network to Award a $10,000 Prize to Winning Startup at SuperZoo Pitch Competition

Leap Venture Studio will also be supporting emerging brands through an investor panel, a fireside chat and a networking event.

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(PRESS RELEASE) LAS VEGAS — Leap Venture Studio, the world’s first and largest pet care-specific accelerator, announces that five exceptional finalists have been selected for the SuperZoo Pitch Competition to showcase their innovative solutions in pet care for a chance to win a $10,000 prize. The event will take place in Las Vegas on Friday, August 18th, from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm at the Emerging Brands Stage during SuperZoo, the leading trade show for professionals in the pet industry.

Attendees will have the opportunity to witness the passion and dedication of the following five finalists:

  • Founder Sharon Tuggle of 5 Element Food Therapy, a line of pet food supplements based in Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine to help nourish the bodies of pets, companions, and best friends everywhere.
  • Co-Founder Jaime Cooper of D.R.E.A.M Pet Food, a hip-hop-inspired natural pet food treat that represents the culture and creates an experience for pet owners to enjoy and share with their pets.
  • Founder Jonaie Johnson of Interplay, a crate accessory and mobile app that allows pet owners to interact with their pets while they’re away from home, including video and audio access, music and sound features, and food and water dispensers.
  • Founder Kayla Oliver of The Girl Who Speaks Dog, a boarding and training service in Atlanta, Georgia, that specializes in human-dog relationships.
  • Founder LaShaun Chapman of Vybe House Industries, a unique dog training and tracking system that can correct unwanted behaviors while also collecting biometric data to keep your pet healthy.

Immediately following the pitch competition, from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm, Leap Venture Studio will host an Investor Panel on the Emerging Brands Stage. The panel discussion will focus on fundraising strategies and provide valuable tips to empower entrepreneurs in raising the capital necessary to propel their businesses forward.

“Our joint commitment to equity and inclusion is creating a more inclusive place for people of color in the pet industry. Partnering with Leap has been an exciting opportunity,” said Lashonda Geffrard, Founder of Black Pet Business Network.

Furthermore, Leap Venture Studio will be supporting two other noteworthy events:

  • Bundle x Joy’s “Bubbles x Beats” SuperZoo Networking Event:
    • Date: Thursday, August 17th, 2023
    • Time: 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm
    • Location: Booth #1846
    • Description: Join us at the Bundle x Joy’s “Bubbles x Beats” networking event, celebrating women in the pet industry. This event will feature bubbly drinks, industry networking opportunities, and a unique tattoo station. Additionally, at 3:30 pm, the community will gather for a memorable group photo.
  • PetPlate Presents A Seat at the Table: A Fireside Chat with Retail Buyers and Founders of Color
    • Date: Thursday, August 17th, 2023
    • Time: 10:00 am to 11:00 am
    • Location: Booth #1148
    • Description: PetPlate, a Leap Venture Studio Alumnus (2018) and a Black-founded pet brand, will host a fireside chat between emerging underrepresented brand founders and established retail buyers. This open and honest conversation will shed light on what attracts buyers to newer brands and how emerging brands can increase their visibility and secure shelf space with the right partners.

Leap Venture Studio is committed to fostering innovation and diversity within the pet industry. By providing a platform for entrepreneurs to showcase their ideas, sharing valuable insights through panel discussions, and supporting networking events, they aim to empower emerging brands and contribute to the industry’s growth.

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About Leap Venture Studio

The Leap Venture Studio & Academy is one of the first programs designed to ignite impactful growth for pet care startups. The program represents Michelson Found Animals and Mars Petcare’s commitment to improving the lives of pets and their owners through science, technology, and innovation. Leap Venture Academy is a series of pre-accelerator, community-building programs for early-stage pet care startups and innovators. These activities include fellowship programs and pitch competitions.

About Black Pet Business Network

BPBN is a community based, non-profit organization with a mission of supporting the growth and development of black-owned businesses and leaders in the pet and animal industry.

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