Global Petcare company Purina is calling for applicants for its 2021 ‘Unleashed’ accelerator programme. The programme, entering its second consecutive year, will provide professional support plus a financial boost of approximately £40,000 (CHF 50,000) to fund the acceleration of each project of up to six winning start-ups from across Europe. Entries are required by 31st March 2021.
The Unleashed programme, powered by the Purina Accelerator Lab, facilitates collaboration between industry experts and pet tech entrepreneurs to find the next transformational PetCare product or service that will improve the wellbeing of pets and those who love them. Through the programme, Purina aims to offer new products and services that are convenient, useful and that strengthen the bond between pets and their owners.
The winning start-ups will benefit from 24 weeks of dedicated support from a Purina team with a cross section of expertise who can help accelerate their products or services. In addition, they will receive training, learning and networking opportunities, alongside the project funding amount.
Purina is looking for up to six committed and passionate start-up entrepreneurs with demonstrated success and knowledge in the field of nutrition, service, or technology, and who want to develop it further. Start-ups will be evaluated on the relevance of their idea, the scalability and sustainability of their business model.
Winners from 2020 include BlueNalu Innovations, Natu, Petable, OneMind Dogs, BorrowMyDoggy and Cat in a Flat. From cell-based seafood, to connecting dog owners with local dog borrowers, the Unleashed winners of 2020 included winners across a range of categories within pet care innovation. This is what they had to say:
Rikke Rosenlund, Founder of UK based BorrowMyDoggy, an online community that connects dog owners with trusted borrowers: “It’s been great working with PURINA. The Unleashed programme is very well structured and it’s a great experience to work with the whole team. During the programme, we have made progress on some of the projects we have been wanting to move forward for some time, especially in terms of developing our B2B business. We have a lot of potential in this area and it is exciting to see how much we can do with PURINA in the future, as we share many beliefs.”
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Kathrin Burckhardt, Cofounder of UK and Germany based cat sitting start-up Cat in A Flat: “I worked for many years with large corporations in marketing before becoming an entrepreneur – I do know the scale and nature of companies like Nestlé and Purina which can make it difficult for innovators to connect with them. I am hugely impressed how Unleashed enabled the introduction and support for small start-ups to work with Nestlé and Purina and allow cross-pollinating engagements. I have never seen this before in my professional life as a marketer and entrepreneur. This program is great and so well organised. We really appreciate the whole experience and the great professionalism behind it.”
Calum Macrae, BEO for Nestle Purina Petcare UK&I: “We were delighted by the success of the inaugural Unleashed cohort and it was fantastic to see some truly innovative UK winners, who we have worked closely with to help develop and grow their services. We are incredibly excited to see what year two will bring and would encourage anyone working in a start-up within the pet care sector to submit an application. With shared passion, the right resources and by working collaboratively towards solid goals within a specific timeline, we can achieve great results together.”
To apply for Purina’s Unleashed accelerator programme submit your application by the 31st March at: www.unleashedbypurina.com. The 2021 winners will be announced on 24th June with the programme taking place from 25th June- 2nd December 2021.