After pitching the startup to an audience of investors, retailers and the pet care leaders at Purina at Global Pet Expo, the pet industry’s largest trade show, Because Animals emerged as the grand prize winner of the 2020 Pet Care Innovation Prize. The Philadelphia-based startup is a biotech company creating nutritious pet food without harming animals with cultured ingredients like probiotics, nutritional yeast, and cultured meat. As the 2020 Pet Care Innovation Prize grand prize winner, Because Animals will receive a cash prize and mentorship from Purina.
“Two years ago, we came to Global Pet Expo and could barely get a meeting. This year, we’re Pet Care Innovation Grand Prize winners,” said Shannon Falconer, CEO of Because Animals. “It’s been quite a journey, and we have Purina to thank for all the help along the way!”
Although Because Animals earned the title of grand prize winner, the rest of the Pet Care Innovation Prize Class of 2020 won as well, receiving cash and a weeklong boot camp accelerator experience from Purina earlier this year. Each startup focuses on improving the health and wellness of pets. The other 2020 winners are:
- Berkeley, California-based PetHospice provides comfort and care to pets and their families when end of life nears. Their full-service support includes in-home hospice and palliative care, euthanasia, telehealth services, grief counseling, free education and an online community.
- Minneapolis-based TEEF! by Primal Health, LLC is a companion animal dental care product line made using Protektin42™, their canine-specific formulation that contains highly pure, human grade ingredients in powder form that can be added to a dog’s drinking water.
- Fort Collins, Colorado-based Lacuna Diagnostics is diagnosing cancer and infections at the speed of digital. Much like radiology, Lacuna has created a point-of-care solution that moves images of microscope slides through the cloud to our specialists for rapid diagnosis. Faster diagnosis means better outcomes for veterinary patients.
- San Juan Capistrano, California-based NewRoad Foods is a canine nutrition company specializing in human-grade kibble – made from scratch, baked to order and delivered fresh each month.
“The Pet Care Innovation Prize is Purina’s way of supporting pet care entrepreneurs in the industry that our founder helped create,” said Bill Broun, Co-Lead of Purina’s 9 Square Ventures Division and Vice President of Personalization and Business Development at Purina. “We congratulate Because Animals and all of the 2020 winners, who share our passion for pets and commitment to their health and wellness.”
The Pet Care Innovation Prize is a collaborative effort of Purina’s 9 Square Ventures division with investing leaders, Active Capital, to support and connect with early stage pet care startups addressing pet and pet owner needs in the areas of pet health and wellness, services, technology, nutrition and emerging innovations.
About Active Capital
Active Capital is a St. Louis-based impact investing leader, helping startups and investors come together to grow innovative products and initiatives. Active Capital manages the Pet Care Innovation Prize.
Nestlé Purina PetCare promotes responsible pet care, community involvement and the positive bond between people and their pets. A premiere global manufacturer of pet products, Nestlé Purina PetCare is part of Nestlé S.A., a global leader in nutrition, health and wellness.