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How Nestlé Purina Fosters Opportunities for Entrepreneurs

Creating a better world for pets and humans isn’t just a goal, it’s our way of life. By partnering with the Pet Care Innovation Network (PCIN), the only peer-to-peer organization for innovative and high-potential founders of pet care businesses, we’re able to foster opportunities for entrepreneurs to come together to share experiences, build relationships, and receive the support needed to grow their pet-focused, start-up businesses.


Since 2016, ‘The Pet Care Innovation Prize’ is the leading way we’ve been able to push innovation to the next level in pet care. A collaborative effort of our 9 Square Ventures and the investing leaders at Active Capital, the Innovation Prize takes us front and center with start-ups who possess the same outlook and goals we have—creating innovative products that promote pet health and wellness through services, technology, food, treats, and litter.


Year over year, hundreds of applications are submitted from startups across North America, The Pet Care Innovation Prize is awarded annually to five deserving start-ups and winners are awarded $10,000 to help with getting their product from conception to launch. Furthermore, winners are provided a once in a lifetime opportunity to attend an accelerator-style bootcamp hosted at our St. Louis, Missouri headquarters. Here, they’ll receive mentorship from our Pet Care Innovation teams with a primary focus on exposing the entrepreneurs to relevant and intricate parts of Nestlé Purina. Activities include a mock pitch competition where Nestlé Purina coaches provide valuable feedback that helps refine messaging and emphasizes on nailing down their pitch, known to be the most critical piece to landing investors, as well as guidance on closing a contract. The winner of this competition is awarded an additional $10,000 to invest in their startup company.


Groundbreaking products presented each year range from solving the on-going issue of bad dog breath, to creating nutritional pet food free of yeast and cultured meat, to designing an emergency triage open 24/7, and even using an app on your iPhone or Android to track your dog’s health and to meet local dog parents. All these emerging innovations start with an idea, and we’re honored to help bring these ideas to life with entrepreneurs all over the U.S.


If you’re empowered to or have built a business from the ground up, and have a vision for what it will become, we encourage you to learn more by visiting our website, Pet Care Innovation Prize and Network | Powered by Purina.