Five pet care startups from across the U.S. and Canada have been selected as the 2023 winners of the seventh annual Pet Care Innovation Prize powered by Purina. From a pet age test that provides easy and accurate at-home age estimations for dogs and cats, to an app that uses artificial intelligence to measure how your pet is feeling, the 2023 class of Pet Care Innovation Prize winners represents some of the latest technology in the $123 billion* pet care industry.
The 2023 Pet Care Innovation Prize Winners are:
Phoenix, Arizona-based Artie is the only countertop appliance system in the U.S. to prepare artisan-inspired, home-cooked meals for dogs at the touch of a button. Artie Harvest Bowls are a mix of highly nutritious meals featuring whole proteins, vegetables, fruits, grains, and essential vitamins.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based EpiPaws is the maker of a pet age test kit that can help determine a pet’s estimated birthday with a quick oral swab. Once the pet’s age is determined, EpiPaws offers nutrition, behavior insights, and other helpful information based on the pet’s life stage for proactive healthcare management.
Happy Bond (HappyBond.com)
Los Angeles, California-based Happy Bond makes preservative-free dog food with no fillers, and no additives. Each jar is filled with premium, human-grade ingredients and doesn’t need to be refrigerated until it’s opened. The company also makes supplements to support healthy hips and joints based on a pet’s age.
PDX Biotech (orastripdx.com)
Huntsville, Alabama-based PDX Biotech is the creator of OraStripdx, a first-in-class, rapid screening test for veterinarians to detect periodontal disease in dogs and cats early in the disease, while it is invisible. Results are returned in 10 seconds so that proper care can be quickly recommended.
Calgary, Alberta Canada-based Sylvester.ai creates predictive visual healthcare products using artificial intelligence. The company’s first app, Tably, uses AI trained on vet-approved pain scales to see how a cat is feeling, based on subtle facial cues. It’s especially useful after a procedure, to make health-related decisions.
Nearly 140 companies from across the United States and Canada applied for the 2023 Pet Care Innovation Prize. Each of the five startup winners will receive $25,000, mentorship from the Pet Care Innovation team, and will participate in an accelerator boot camp at Purina’s headquarters in St. Louis, MO, featuring pet experts from across Purina and the pet care industry.
During a culminating pitch competition in March at Global Pet Expo, an annual trade show in the United States presented by the American Pet Products Association and the Pet Industry Distributors Association, the five finalists will present their businesses to an audience of industry influencers and investors. A grand prize winner will be chosen to receive an additional $25,000 in cash.
“Enriching the lives of pets and the people who love them is our purpose and our passion at Purina. Working with startups who share our passion for pets and the tireless pursuit of innovation allows us to inspire and help each other on this journey,” said Blair Morgan, co-lead of Purina’s 9 Square Ventures group, and vice president, strategy and innovation for Purina. “This year’s class of winners showcases the breadth of opportunities that exist in the pet industry, and our team is excited to help mentor and support them as they grow.”
As Purina’s corporate venturing group, 9 Square Ventures is focused on connecting with pet care startups. The team’s mission is to leverage Purina’s knowledge, experience, and financial resources to help emerging pet care startups scale their businesses and make a positive impact on the lives of as many pets and their owners as possible. The group has been steadily investing millions of dollars in a diverse set of early-stage pet care startups since it was founded in 2014.
The Pet Care Innovation Prize is a collaborative effort of Purina’s 9 Square Ventures group and investing leaders Active Capital to support and connect with early stage pet care startups that are currently in market with an innovative business addressing pet and pet owner needs in the areas of pet health and wellness, services, technology, and food, treats or litter.
*American Pet Products Association