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The race to be the next explosive pet brand is the ultimate competition

– with passionate innovators seizing nascent opportunities and overcoming tremendous obstacles. In the $140 Billion global pet care industry however, winning takes more than a novel idea and personal grit.  It requires re-writing the rules of the mega-brands that built it.

The Pet Innovation Challenge challenges the idea that entrepreneurs are often left to ‘go it alone’ in their quest to do better by our pets and our planet. It’s a new kind of gathering, bringing together those creatives and industry mavericks who know how to make an impact with the innovative entrepreneurial ideas that will define the future. Together, we will tackle the greatest challenges our entrepreneurs face, and create a new rule book along the way. Will you accept the challenge?

October 2nd & 3rd

Bethlehem, PA

October 2nd – Pitch Event

Attention pet-lovers – attend our pet innovation pitch where you’ll see the entre-pet-neurs in action! Discover the ideas that are changing the pet-care landscape and experience some twists and turns that will keep you and our presenting companies on their toes as they compete for some hefty prizes. Plus, all proceeds of the event will go to support a local animal shelter.

October 3rd – Innovation Challenge

Industry leaders, entrepreneurs and investors: be ready to roll up your sleeves. In our mastermind solutions event, you’ll make new relationships, solve our entre-pet-neur’s challenges, and be inspired by the brightest young minds in one of the world’s fastest growing industries.

Click here to view the agenda

paw prints

Meet the Presenting Companies

Animal Biome
Microbiome testing and supplements for health and wellness.

Because Animals
A Biotechnology company creating pet food made with cultured meat. 

The “Beyond Meat of Pet Food”

Hachi Tama
A smart cat litter box that helps early detection of chronic kidney disease.

Dog food and treats using insect protein

Veterinary-approved lab tests from home

Mella Petcare
A first-generation thermometer device that allows for non-rectal temperature readings.

A patented pet health and wellness system using smart technology for personalized dog wellness and nutrition.

Primal Health
A patented, clinically-proven drinkable dental prebiotic.

Shameless Pets
The first brand to focus on upcycling within pet treats.

paw print path

About Factory

Factory is a team of experienced operators with $250M of investable capital who acquire meaningful equity stakes in high potential food, beverage and pet health companies, and partner with them to rapidly build value. 

Our 31 team members have expertise in sales, marketing, product development, food science, manufacturing, distribution, supply chain, logistics, package engineering, food safety, consumer insights, social media, finance, and legal.

We are based in a one-of-a kind, custom-built, 40,000 sq. ft. innovation and scale-up facility in Bethlehem PA, where we provide partner companies with support and resources so invested capital can be used for growth, not SG&A.

About New Hope Network

New Hope Network is at the forefront of the healthy lifestyle products industry. With solutions for the complete supply chain from manufacturers, retailers/distributors, service providers and ingredient suppliers, the network offers a robust portfolio of content, events, data, research and consultative services. Through its mission to grow healthy markets, the New Hope Network helps businesses identify the people, products, partnerships and trends that create opportunities to grow businesses and bring more health to people.


Pet Innovation Challenge Agenda
Thursday, October 3rd

View the Parking Map

Dress Code: Casual

Thought Mode: Intense and helpful

8:30am – 9:30am: Networking Breakfast
Mix, mingle, and meet industry leaders 

9:30am: Welcome
Rich Thompson, Founder, Factory LLC

9:40am: Featured Speaker
Dr. Katy Nelston, Veterinarian and Host of The Pet Show

9:55am: Pet Industry Data Download
Amy Kerr, Client Development Director of Pet, SPINS

10:10am – 12:00pm: Challenge Introduction & Presentations
Each of our selected presenting companies will be prepared to bring their biggest challenge to the group. Attending participants will be assigned groups based on their experience and professed skillsets. 

Format: 3 minute pitch, 2 minute Challenge Statement, 5 minutes questions from the panel

12:00pm – 1:45pm: Working Lunch and Breakouts
The functional areas of the Factory will be available for your use as well as materials such as whiteboards, post-its, and craft supplies. A Group Leader, Mentor and Notetaker will be assigned for each group.

  • 12:00pm Clarifying Questions Session
  • 12:30 Group Mastermind Sessions
  • 1:15 Solutions Recap

1:45pm-2:00pm: Re-gather

2:00pm – 2:35pm: Sharing of results
It’s the results that matter in the rapid fire game of challenge-solving. What did you accomplish? 3 minute report on outcomes.

2:45p – 3:00pm: Closing remarks

3:00pm – 4:00pm: Networking and Happy Hour