INNOVATION SHOWDOWN 2018


The 2018 Innovation Showdown is a collaborative project bringing the nation’s top animal welfare organizations together to invest in lifesaving innovation. Do you have the idea that will save more animals? Do you think your lifesaving idea will make the cut? Are you ready to be the future of animal welfare? Get started today and submit your best lifesaving idea for a chance at $350,000 in funding! Three finalists will be selected to pitch live on stage at HSUS’s Animal Care Expo to the Innovation Investors representing the country's top animal welfare organizations.
Deadline to apply is 5:00 PM CST on Friday, February 16, 2018

investing organizations

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

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.

Meet the 2018 Investors

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

innovation showdown

Please read the details below before applying
Deadline to apply is 5:00 PM CST on Friday, February 16 2018

  • 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 16 through March 30.

    Purchasing votes or providing incentives for voting in the Wild Card voting round is prohibited.



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