SAN DIEGO and SAN FRANCISCO, June 7, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Breakout pet tech brands, PetCoach, the leading pet advice website and app, and Whistle – makers of the best selling all-in-one pet tracker, today announced Pet Project 2017, the first pitch event designed to help innovators in pet care transform their concepts into a high-impact business. The inaugural venture program invites entrepreneurs to pitch a new service or product in a private forum for the chance to win a $25K "no strings attached" cash prize, and get feedback from industry experts within Mars Petcare and Petco.
"As the global pet market continues to grow and consumer behavior evolves, great ideas are going to win," said Brock Weatherup, executive vice president of Strategic Innovation at Petco. "Helping founders accelerate innovation is something many of us in the pet industry want to help foster."
The $60+ billion pet industry continues to see significant growth each year, and pet parents are looking for better ways to meet the present and future needs of their pets. Brock Weatherup, PetCoach co-founder, and Ben Jacobs, co-founder & CEO of Whistle, recognized that the pet space is ripe for innovation and teamed up to help new pet ventures clear the traditional hurdles of bringing an idea to such a large marketplace.
"The rest of our lives have become smarter, and we now have the opportunity to create a smarter way to care for our pets," said Ben Jacobs. "We are believers in bold, new businesses and are hosting this pitch event because we know that when great concepts meet opportunity, results are sure to follow."
Pet Project 2017 is open to entrepreneurs building pet care businesses that are in their early stages. The top applicants will be invited to Las Vegas to present their ideas in a private pitch to a judging panel of pet industry experts from Mars and Petco. The event will take place on July 25, 2017, during the pet industry's biggest show of the year. One winning idea will receive a cash prize of $25,000 to help accelerate their business, and the opportunity to network with successful pet care leaders. Online submissions are now being accepted at www.petproject2017.org.
Eligibility: Early stage startups with less than $5M in revenue and less than 2 years since incorporation are encouraged to apply for $25,000 in "no strings attached" venture funding.
Judges (4): Joining Jacobs and Weatherup as expert judges are Banfield Pet Hospital SVP, Jeannine Taaffe, and Petco CIO, John Zavada.
Pet Project is a collaboration of Pet Coach, Whistle, and is made possible through Mars Petcare and Petco. For more information or to apply, visit, www.petproject2017.org or join the conversation on Twitter with #petproject2017.
About Petco and the Petco Foundation
With more than 50 years of service to pet parents, Petco is a leading pet specialty retailer that focuses on nurturing powerful relationships between people and pets. We do this by providing the products, services, advice and experiences that keep pets physically fit, mentally alert, socially engaged and emotionally happy. Everything we do is guided by our vision for Healthier Pets. Happier People. Better World. We operate more than 1,500 Petco and Unleashed by Petco locations across the U.S., Mexico and Puerto Rico; prescription services and pet supplies from the leading veterinary-operated pet product supplier, Drs. Foster & Smith; digitally-delivered pet health advice through PetCoach; and petco.com. The Petco Foundation, an independent nonprofit organization, has invested more than $185 million since it was created in 1999 to help promote and improve the welfare of companion animals. In conjunction with the Foundation, we work with and support thousands of local animal welfare groups across the country and, through in-store adoption events, help find homes for more than 400,000 animals every year.
WHISTLE® is the pet tech brand born out of a love for pets. Founded in 2012 by Ben Jacobs, Steven Eidelman, and Kevin Lloyd, Whistle is on a mission to equip pet owners with simple tools that help them stay connected to their pets from anywhere. Today, Whistle leads the industry in innovation with Whistle 3 GPS pet tracker & activity monitor, the most reliable all-in-one pet device. For more information about Whistle visit www.whistle.com, www.facebook.com/whistlelabs or www.twitter.com/whistlelabs.
About Mars, Incorporated Boilerplate
Mars is a family-owned business with more than a century of history making diverse products and offering services for people and the pets people love. With almost $35 billion in sales, the company is a global business that produces some of the world's best-loved brands: M&M's®, SNICKERS®, TWIX®, MILKY WAY®, DOVE®, PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, WHISKAS®, WHISTLE®, EXTRA®, ORBIT®, 5™, SKITTLES®, UNCLE BEN'S®, MARS DRINKS and COCOAVIA®. Mars also provides veterinary health services that include BANFIELD® Pet Hospitals. Headquartered in McLean, VA, Mars operates in more than 80 countries. The Mars Five Principles – Quality, Responsibility, Mutuality, Efficiency and Freedom – inspire its more than 85,000 Associates to create value for all its partners and deliver growth they are proud of every day.
To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/first-ever-national-pet-project-pitch-competition-offers-chance-to-win-25000-for-innovative-ideas-to-propel-the-pet-industry-300469946.html