Evolving the Venture Studio Model with PepsiCo

We’re looking for 12 Founders-in-Residence to develop and test product concepts in a 12-week program.

Last Updated: June 9, 2021

Published: December 16, 2020


We’re looking for aspiring founders with great entrepreneurial instincts, a learning mindset, and a background in product development or go-to-market strategy in the consumer sector to join us for our new Founders-in-Residence program, sponsored by PepsiCo and announced today via TechCrunch. Apply here, and learn more about our program below.

Today, M13 is excited to announce our first Founders-in-Residence program, which kicks off March 1 and will focus on launching new businesses in consumer health and wellness. Twelve Founders-in-Residence (FIRs) will join us for a virtual program that enables talented operators with entrepreneurial agility and DTC expertise to develop and market test new product concepts and secure seed funding in just 12 weeks. 

We are proud to announce PepsiCo as our official sponsor for our first cohort of FIRs. PepsiCo executives and advisors will participate in Launchpad’s FIR program by sharing innovation, infrastructure, market expertise, scale, and CPG expertise.

We are thrilled to partner with M13 on its efforts to ideate with and build scalable companies that have the potential to make a significant impact on consumers’ lives. M13 shares our commitment to nurturing and learning from breakthrough innovations and entrepreneurs while supporting their growth.

Jen Saenz, President, PepsiCo Global Foods

The M13 Launchpad was created to leverage M13’s deep experience in investing in and helping grow household DTC brands, with an investment portfolio including Lyft, Thrive Market, Ring, Daily Harvest, FabFitFun, Rothy’s, and others. The FIR program builds on Launchpad’s success in bringing new brands to market, including our first internally developed company Rae, an inclusive line of affordable women’s wellness products available at Target, Anthropologie, and Urban Outfitters. M13 has also launched three companies with Procter & Gamble Ventures including the premium beauty tech OPTE, Kindra menopause products, and Bodewell for sensitive skincare.

As Anna discussed in her post about joining M13 from last month, she’s excited to bring her background of leading successful accelerator programs for the past four years to this program, which will operate even earlier in the innovation cycle but will be anchored in the same principle: letting founders lead and empowering them to take risks and ask the right questions.  Maximizing the diversity of our FIR cohort across all dimensions will be critical to our success as we know from experience that successfully building for a diverse customer base requires a diversity of viewpoints at inception.  

Entrepreneurs create a better future, and we need a better future now more than ever.

Anna Barber, Partner & Head of Launchpad, M13

The challenges of 2020 have turbocharged growth in certain sectors of the economy, including health and wellness. This FIR program couldn’t be launching at a better time; we’ll be looking at everything from software products to help manage nutrition, energy, and sleep to new food and beverage products that address specific health and wellness goals. We have a bank of ideas under consideration and look forward to hearing where our FIRs see the biggest consumer needs. What motivates us is making the world better: in this case, the focus is on making health and wellness more accessible and easier to achieve for more consumers.   

M13 has a passion for turning great ideas into extraordinary companies. The VC landscape is undergoing a major shift, and our model acknowledges that founders do not need to be experts in everything; instead, they need access to experts who fill gaps, provide insights and help the team overcome roadblocks. This is why our Propulsion team—a purpose built team of industry leading, vertically focused partners—works collaboratively with founders to manage macro and micro risk, maximize opportunities, and drive successful outcomes. During the FIR program, these partners serve as an extension of the founding teams, giving them tremendous leverage. 

Each FIR receives a $10,000 monthly stipend, and each team will be funded with a testing budget sufficient to understand the real potential of the idea they are developing. Upon successful graduation, each new company will receive seed funding to launch their product or reach the next milestone. The program will focus on building high-functioning founding teams, concept validation, programmatic testing for product efficacy and demand, story development and go-to-market planning. We’ll draw on resources from within PepsiCo and M13, as well as advisors, mentors, and resources from our broader network to accelerate learning and progress.  

We’re looking for founders with great entrepreneurial instincts, a learning mindset, and a background in product development or go-to-market in the consumer sector.  If you are an experienced entrepreneur who wants to build something that helps people live healthier, better lives, we invite you to explore doing that with us. We’re going to make a difference in 2021 and we’d love for you to be part of it.  

Apply now