Pet Wellness Partners is an early-stage investment and management company dedicated to the animal health and nutrition industry. Pet Wellness Partners teams with entrepreneurs, startups, technology developers, and early stage companies in nutritional science, natural products, product development, and sales and distribution of products related to health of companion animals and equines.
The founding Partners have many years of experience in nutrition, the pet business, the natural products industry, and early stage and corporate investments in growing companies.
Pet Wellness Partners is building a portfolio of early-stage pet health and wellness products in food, supplements, toys, accessories, and pet care items that support the well-being of companion animals and equines—from pasture buddy to performance horse.
Early-stage companies in emerging categories face many business challenges. While access to capital is important, building a solid and committed team of advisors, board members and investors can be even more valuablein helping entrepreneurs scale their businesses and realize their dreams.
Pet Wellness Partners was founded to provide capital, advisory services, and team support to early-stage companies offering natural, effective and science-based alternatives to traditional pet food and pet supply products.
Pet Wellness Partners believes all early stage companies benefit greatly from expertise in product development, branding, distribution, online & digital sales, regulations & labeling, management, financing, and company structure & governance. It’s never too soon to start preparing small companies for big growth, a major investment or even a strategic exit.
There is no shortage of strategic partners and professional investors willing to acquire or invest in large, profitable companies, but few are willing to address the challenges of supporting early stage entrepreneurs. Pet Wellness Partners was founded to bridge this investment and advisory gap for the hundreds of companies active in the emerging and dynamic category of pet wellness.
Founders & Directors
Tom Aarts is an entrepreneur and early-stage investor with over 20 years in the nutrition and pet industry. He was co-founder of Nutrition Business Journal (NBJ) and Nutrition Capital Network; serves as chairman of the NBJ Summit, an annual meeting of leaders in the supplement industry; and is managing director of Nutrition Business Advisors, a strategic business advisory company supporting the corporate development, investment and merger-and-acquisition activities of strategic players and investors in the nutrition and health & wellness industries. The last 18 years of Tom’s life have been dedicated to Bo, his black lab, who had the privilege of testing and sampling as many as 50 pet nutrition and pet care products over the last 10 years of his life. Bo lived to the ripe old age of 19.
Grant Ferrier was co-founder of Nutrition Business Journal and founder and managing director of Nutrition Capital Network, an organization that connects early-stage companies with investors in the nutrition and health and wellness industry. Grant is also an early-stage investor in nutrition and natural products companies, as well as an advisor to investors and strategic players in the nutrition and health and wellness industries. Grant is a life-long cat lover and shares his home with three felines and reveres his oldest daughter’s English Bulldog as his grandson.
Mike Uckele is a third-generation owner of Uckele Health & Nutrition, a supplement manufacturing company with 50 years of experience using proven advances in science to research and develop unique formulations that address basic and specific nutritional needs for animals and people. He is a founding member of the National Animal Supplement Council and was elected to the Board of Directors in 2010 and 2013 and 2016. Mike earned his diploma as a Certified Nutritionist, as well as a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, from Michigan State University, and in 2011 was recognized as the Michigan Small Business Person of the Year. Mike has partnered with several of his Uckele Health & Nutrition clients and now seeks to offer broader support and financing to the industry through Pet Wellness Partners.
Erin Terjesen is Partner and Principal at Propel Communications, a firm she started in 2008 to support early stage pet companies in a broad array of growth initiatives. In addition to her 18 year individual history serving the pet industry and working amongst strong networks of investors, manufacturers, retailers, pet industry professionals, inventors, and media, Propel’s tactical specialties and project engagements as an agency-partner include: public relations, social media management, influencer / engagement marketing, website development, creative/design, advertising, promotions, e-marketing and event planning.