San Diego pet food, supplies and services retailer Petco has partnered with Belgium-based pet care provider Mars Petcare to launch a pitch event for entrepreneurs in pet care.

The initiative, called Pet Project, invites entrepreneurs to apply to privately pitch their new service or product in exchange for feedback from industry experts and a chance to win $25,000 cash.

Startups incorporated fewer than two years ago with less than $5 million in revenue may apply at

The event is a collaboration between Petco, Mars Petcare, and two pet tech brands the corporations recently acquired: PetCoach and Whistle, respectively. Mars Petcare, a division of global food manufacturer Mars Inc., owns pet food brands such as Pedigree and Iams and the Banfield Pet Hospital chain.

"As the global pet market continues to grow and consumer behavior evolves, great ideas are going to win," said PetCoach co-founder Brock Weatherup, now executive vice president of strategic innovation at Petco. "Helping founders accelerate innovation is something many of us in the pet industry want to help foster."

Top applicants will be invited to present their ideas in Las Vegas in July to industry experts, including Weatherup, Whistle CEO and co-founder Ben Jacobs, Banfield Pet Hospital Senior Vice President Jeannine Taaffe and Petco's chief information officer, John Zavada.