Kim Bill
Head of Purina Accelerator Lab
Connect on LinkedIn or Email

Apply now →

The Unleashed Team
Nestlé Purina PetCare
Avenue Nestlé 55, 1800 Vevey


What is Unleashed?

Unleashed is the first petcare specific accelerator in Europe, run by The Purina Accelerator Lab. This is the 4th year of operations, after 3 highly successful cohorts, where 18  petcare startups were accelerated.

The goal is to help petcare startups grow. We identify disruptive petcare startups, to work on a value exchange project together with a team of Purina experts to ‘prove the concept’ of the startup within 20 weeks.

What is the advantage for the startup to apply to Unleashed ?

Purina is a leading global petcare player with global footprint, over 100 years of history and powerful commercial and R&D expertise. We have over 500 scientists, as well as pet colonies throughout the world. 

You will have access to the different competences at Purina, to our networks, training, learning and networking opportunities.

  1. High visibility for your company throughout the Purina organisation- even if you are not selected, the information about your technology and capabilities will be transmited to the relevant R&D and commercial departments for potential partnerships
  2. If you are selected, you will benefit from a close working relationship with the relevant Purina team with the correct expertise and resources, to help you grow
  3. The project that you work on will be funded for up to CHF 50k by Unleashed
  4. You will have high visibility with the Senior Management at Purina and Nestle

What is the process of selecting the start-ups?

The start-ups will be evaluated for the robustness of their Product- Market fit and meeting a true consumer pain point. Purina internal experts as well as external independent evaluators will serve as judges. 

As we can only accept up a limited number of startups per cohort to ensure we provide them with adequate support and resources, we intend to invite all qualifying start-ups to apply so that they may be chosen for the next cohorts.

What are the timelines for 2023?

The cohort of 2023 will be confirmed in March, and the acceleration programme will be from March to July 2023.

When will I know I’ve been selected?

There are 3 rounds of judging and the selected startups will be contacted for interviews and pitches on Teams.

Does my team need to be located in Switzerland during the acceleration?

Unleashed is a non-residential program. With some exceptions, the team assigned to you will usually be located in your country.

What happens during the programme?

Each start-up will have a carefully selected multi-disciplinary Purina team, with commercial and subject experts to support their acceleration objectives, with predetermined KPIs to prove their concept within 20 weeks. This Scope of work, which should have a value exchange between the startup and Purina will be mutually agreed prior to the final selection.

What happens after the acceleration?

A trusting and bonding relationship will be built. Upon the achievement of the goals of the collaboration, Purina may further invest in the company or continue a commercial or R&D collaboration. After the acceleration period, if there is no mutual agreement to continue the collaboration, the start-up can continue to work independently.

How can my start-up protect our technology?

You are protected. Conditions are quite standard. 

Will Purina invest in the start-ups?

During the acceleration, Purina will fund the mutually agreed value exchange project with up to CHF 50.000 to achieve the pre-determined KPIs. Upon completion of the acceleration, and the validation of the relevance of the start-up’s technology to pets and their parents, Purina may invest further in the company.

Is there a contract that I will need to sign? What are the conditions?

Yes, as with all accelerator programs, there is an agreement with Unleashed. Conditions are quite standard.

Is Purina planning to create synergies between these start-ups and other start-ups/companies that Purina has acquired/invested in the past?

Reliable and trusted networks of like-minded entrepreneurs is a very valuable resource for start-ups. We will facilitate connections with our businesses to help the start-ups to network, find synergies, inspiration and support as relevant.

What is the geographical scope?

The scope is in Europe, Middle East, North Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Japan. Also, start-ups who feel that Europe could be an entry point for their business are welcome to apply.