2018 Innovation Showdown

The Innovation Showdown is a collaborative project bringing the nation’s top animal welfare organizations together to invest in lifesaving innovation. In early 2018, three finalists were selected from hundreds of entries to pitch their ideas live on stage at HSUS’s Animal Care Expo to the Innovation Investors representing the country’s top animal welfare organizations for a chance to receive up to $350,000 in funds.

Congratulations to Front Street Animal Shelter whose lifesaving idea earned them a $250,000 investment.

investing organizations

ASPCA Best Friends Animal Society The Jackson Galaxy Project Maddies Fund Michelson Found Animals The Petco Foundation Watershed Animal Fund

2018 Finalists

Hearts Speak

Cloud-based tool helps animal shelters effectively promote to engage communities

Front Street Animal Shelter

Help lost pets find their way back home

St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center

Wildcard Winner
Hands up approach to fighting euthanasia in animal shelters

Meet the 2018 Investors

These animal welfare leaders will decide which of the finalists receive investments. Each investing organization is contributing $50,000 in lifesaving funds for a total of $350,000!

Matt Bershadker Julie Castle Jackson Galaxy Mary Ippoliti-Smith Amiee Gilbreath Susanne Kogut Christy Counts

2017 Showdown

The Petco Foundation and The Jackson Galaxy Foundation teamed up to create the Innovation Showdown in 2017 to give animal welfare professionals the opportunity to pitch their most innovative lifesaving ideas. Modeled after Shark Tank, the critically-acclaimed reality show that has reinvigorated entrepreneurship in America, the Innovation Showdown is designed to spark lifesaving creativity in the animal welfare community. Watch our 2017 finalists make their pitch at last year’s Innovation Showdown to learn about the ideas that earned an investment.

innovation showdown

Please read the details below before applying

  • How to apply (click to expand)

    To apply, you’ll need a brief description of your idea, your organization’s data (the questions asked in the online application here) and a link to a 1-3 minute video of you pitching your lifesaving idea. This does not need to be a professional video—it can be shot with your phone or camera. We want to hear you directly tell us about your idea and why it is needed, and also get a sense of how you’ll perform under pressure, pitching in front of a live audience. This is your opportunity to shine and raise money to save lives!

    If you have questions about the application portal, please view our tutorials here.

  • Selection process (click to expand)

    We’ll select 2 finalists with the best ideas to pitch to our innovation investors live at HSUS’ Animal Care Expo and we’ll choose 4 to 10 additional ideas to compete for our Wild Card spot. The Wild Card winner will join the other two finalists on stage at Animal Care Expo. All finalists will be notified by March 16.

  • Rules and other details (click to expand)

    All finalists will need to be available between March and May to work with us on an event video and their pitch. They must also be able to attend Animal Care Expo May 14 – 17. All travel expenses for two organization representatives will be paid by the Petco Foundation and conference registration will be covered courtesy of HSUS.

    The Innovation Showdown is open to nonprofit organizations and for-profit companies. Pitches must come from an authorized representative of the organization or company. Any investment to a for-profit company will be restricted for use applied to the animal welfare lifesaving idea.

    Organizations can submit up to 2 ideas but only one can be selected as a finalist.

    Finalists and submitters from last year are encouraged to submit their ideas again with an improved pitch.

    U.S. based nonprofit or municipal animal welfare organizations with a primary mission of saving companion animals (including community cats) and for-profit entities with a primary purpose of saving animal lives are encouraged to apply.

    Deadline to apply is 5 PM CST Friday, February 16.

    Winners must be willing to attend the Animal Care Expo May 14-17 in Kansas City, Missouri and work with the Petco Foundation to provide photo and video assets to support their pitch. Innovation starts with initiative, so please do your best to complete the application without our assistance. We cannot guarantee responses to all inquiries.

    The Wild Card Voting Round will take place March 26 through April 9.

    You may only vote once and must use a valid email address. Votes without a valid email address will not count toward the total. Purchasing votes or providing incentives for voting in the Wild Card voting round is prohibited.



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2017 highlights