The Leap Pet Project Pitch Competition, which supports pet-focused startups, went virtual this year. The contest is sponsored by Leap Venture Academy, a pioneering platform founded by Michelson Found Animals and Kinship, a division of Mars Petcare.
After hearing online pitches from six finalists, judges selected New York City’s The Bark Shoppe as winner of the competition’s $15,000 grand prize. The award will support the company’s planned expansion of its COVID-safe, mobile-grooming fleet.
Going beyond pet grooming and daycare, The Bark Shoppe is inspiring in its focus on building community through its business. “We partner with nonprofit organizations, at-risk youth, and young adults who were previously incarcerated to help them with a paid internship for job-readiness skills and teach them about the pet-care industry,” says The Bark Shoppe’s founder and CEO, Melissa Mitchner.
Leap Venture Academy has a successful track record of investing in innovative pet businesses that have become major disruptors in the pet-care industry.