Unleashed is the first and only petcare specific accelerator with a focus on Europe, Middle East and North Africa, run by The Purina Accelerator Lab.
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 24 weeks.
Purina is a leading global petcare company with global footprint, over 100 years of history and powerful R&D, with over 800 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.
Purina is a large global leader in petfood and petcare but we do not need to nor can do everything ourselves, especially in areas where startups excel due to the fact that they are agile and not a big corporation. Purina is looking to test and learn, much like startups, in areas that are not core to our business. We would like to build relationships and networks and find partners through a value exchange project. Another benefit is encouraging internal mindset shifts and entrepreneurship through agile ways of working.
Your online application is very important as judges will be using that to evaluate your fit. Take time to make sure it is complete and reflects your startup accurately.
Applicants will be evaluated for the robustness of their Product- Market fit and meeting a true consumer pain point.
Purina will only select startups that they feel they can help and that there is a clear value exchange.
Purina internal experts, from global, region and the local markets, as well as external independent evaluators serve in 3 rounds of judging.
We can only accept up to 6 companies per cohort to ensure we provide them with adequate support and resources.
We read all applications closely and provide them with visibility throughout Purina for potential opportunities, even outside Unleashed. We also invite all qualifying start-ups to apply in subsequent years to be considered for inclusion in the next cohorts.
Applications will open on the 1st of February of the year and will close on the 31st of March.
There are 3 rounds of judging. If you get to Round 2, you will be contacted for a pitch and interview by May. If you get to Round 3, you will be contacted for a deeper discussion.
The final selection will be announced by mid June.
We also update applicants through the messaging on the F6S platform.
There is no formal pitch event where all the finalists are invited but there will be individual pitch meetings that will be organised between May - June.
Unleashed is a non-residential program. With some exceptions, the Purina team assigned to you will usually be located in your country.
Each start-up will have a carefully selected multi-disciplinary Purina team, with commercial and subject experts to support the start-up’s acceleration project objectives, with predetermined KPIs to prove their concept within 24 weeks. This Scope of work will be mutually agreed prior to the final selection.
A trusting and bonding relationship will be built during the acceleration period. 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.
Purina will support the start-ups in the acceleration phase by funding with up to CHF 50.000 the work required 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 on mutually agreeable terms.
Yes, as with all accelerator programs, there is an agreement with Unleashed with standard conditions, including the protection of your background IP.
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.
The scope is in Europe, Middle East and North Africa (Purina’s EMENA region), hence priority will be given to start-ups with businesses in EMENA.
Get inspired! Unleashed has an EMENA petcare / pet tech startup community on Slack. Most major pet startup founders in EMENA are members. It is by invitation only and for networking amongst pet startups. Free pet specific events are organized, including interviews with founders, investors as well as talks on emerging trends, consumer insights, animal behavior, just to name a few. Get an invite from here.