M13 Venture Studio Launchpad Opens up First Cohort with PepsiCo
Francesca Billington is a dot.LA editorial intern. She's previously reported for KCRW, the Santa Monica Daily Press and local publications in New Jersey. Before joining dot.LA, she was a communications fellow at an environmental science research center in Sri Lanka. She graduated from Princeton in 2019 with a degree in anthropology.
In one of Anna Barber's first moves since taking over M13's year-old venture studio Launchpad, the former Techstars managing director is opening up applications for its first founders-in-residence program.
Funded by PepsiCo, one of the world's largest beverage companies, the 12-week program is aimed at founders and entrepreneurs with backgrounds in food, nutrition or consumer products.
Unlike traditional VC funds that invest in other founders, the venture studio starts companies of its own. The model has become increasingly popular.
Barber says she wants to cultivate wellness companies that are accessible to most consumers and envisions a range of applicants, from serial founders to health and wellness experts without startup experience.
"It could open up the opportunity to people that might not have previously considered it," Barber said. "There's always a gap between when you decide to start something and when you raise capital and can pay yourself. This will allow you to begin the founder journey immediately."
Barber, who joined M13 two weeks ago, said Launchpad is looking to build companies like Rae, the women's wellness brand that stocks supplements in Target, Athropologie and Urban Outfitters. It was the first startup to be internally incubated at M13.
Since the studio began last year, three companies have launched in partnership with Procter and Gamble Ventures — skincare companies OPTE and Bodewell along with menopause supplement brand Kindra.
"It's not enough to invest capital in companies," Barber said. "We really need to help them grow faster by asking and answering the right questions, and to give them unfair advantages in the form of knowledge and access and platform."
The program, which begins in March, provides $10,000 monthly stipends to 12 individuals. Applications are slated to close Jan. 4.
Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.
On this week's episode of Office Hours, you'll hear from Ynon Kreiz, the CEO of Mattel since 2018. Prior, he served on Mattel's Board. We discuss the Barbie movie in production, just one product that's leveraging the iconic brand's IP, what Mattel is doing towards achieving environmental sustainability and the priority Mattel places on DEI. Also, hear the answer to a burning UNO game question hotly-debated in my family.
- Beauty Counter's Gregg Renfrew Sees Makeup as a Movement - dot ... ›
- Office Hours Podcast: Bill Gurley On Startups, Venture Capital and ... ›
Michael Jones and Peter Pham, the founders of Science Inc., officially joined the SPAC frenzy on Tuesday, with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) of their own valued at $270 million.
In an announcement, Jones and Pham said their SPAC, Science Strategic Acquisition Corp. Alpha, would debut on the NASDAQ today by selling 27 million units at $10 a share. The SPAC plans on merging with a company in the direct-to-consumer (DTC) services space and/or mobile and entertainment sectors.
Michael Jones is the co-founder of Science Inc.
- Arrive Outdoors Raises $4.75 Million Seed Round - dot.LA ›
- Liquid Death Creeps Raises $23 Million in Series B Funding - dot.LA ›