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Sous-vide pet food and a sustainable litter box? Meet Purina's latest startup investments.

"Purina is committed to supporting early stage pet care startups"
Credit: SLBJ
Nestlé Purina PetCare Co.'s North American headquarters in St. Louis

ST. LOUIS — St. Louis-based Nestlé Purina PetCare Co. is investing in five early stage startups as part of its annual pet care innovation contest.

Purina on Wednesday announced the five winners of its 2021 Pet Care Innovation Prize. The startups will each receive $10,000, mentorship from Purina and participate in an accelerator boot camp. A virtual pitch competition will be held in March, with the five startups vying for an additional $10,000 cash prize and the chance to partner with Purina on a project.

"Purina is committed to supporting early stage pet care startups," said Blair Morgan, co-lead of Purina's 9 Square Ventures group and vice president of strategy and innovation at Purina. "Our culture thrives on collaboration and mentorship, and by extending that outside of our walls to startups who share our passion for enriching the lives of pets, we are able to both help and be inspired by a new generation of entrepreneurs.”

The five startups receiving investment include:

ClueJay (Denver): It has developed an online diagnostic platform designed to provide the ability for dog and cat owners to order lab tests without going to the veterinarian.

Kitty Sift (Eden Prairie, Minnesota): The startup sells a litter box it describes as a “sustainable alternative” to plastic litter boxes. Its product is made from 100% post-consumer recycled cardboard.

A Pup Above (Austin): It makes and sells sous-vide dog food. Its products are cooked in a fashion designed to make its meat tender and moist. The startup contends its product “delivers on average 72% more protein than other leading gently cooked dog foods.”

Click here for the full story from the St. Louis Business Journal.