Unleashed, the start-up accelerator launched by Nestlé Purina in 2019, has supported 18 start-ups from the pet supplies sector in the last three years. The business ideas have ranged from cell-based fish to services pairing pet owners with local pet sitters. Preparations are currently underway for the fourth edition of the start-up accelerator.
At a networking event on 16 March in Linz, Austria, Unleashed will bring founders and investors with a passion for pets from Germany, Austria and Switzerland together for the first time. The aim of the event is to create an active pet start-up community, exchange knowledge about relevant technologies of the future and jointly develop innovative solutions for pets and their owners.
Hubert Wieser, the director of Purina Central Region, is looking forward to the event: “With Unleashed, we are expanding our ecosystem of all things pet and developing the sector together. The aim of our event in Linz is to offer start-ups a platform and facilitate an exchange with investors wishing to invest in pet-tech companies.”
The host of the first Unleashed Pet Tech meet-ups is the Austrian company Tractive. Since it was established in 2012, its team has been working for the safety and well-being of dogs and cats worldwide. The company’s GPS tracker now has around 1 million active users.
On Tractive’s corporate campus, company founder, CEO and investor Michael Hurnaus will share his experiences with the participants along with other experts from the pet start-up community. “I know from my own experience how important it is to have mentors at your side to lend support on the exciting journey to founding a company – financial support, but also know-how and their network,” says Hurnaus.
Apart from Wieser and Hurnaus, Ella Wales Bonner will also be present in Linz. She is an investor with JamJar Investments, Great Britain’s most active investor in consumer brands. JamJar invests in innovative and successful brands such as Deliveroo, Toney's Chocolonely, Oatly and Tails.com.
Interested start-ups and investors still have time to apply by 31 January at www.unleashedbypurina.com. Applications from the Unleashed Pet Tech community and the German-speaking countries will be given priority consideration, according to Purina.