GO Topeka, the economic development group for Kansas’ capital city, recently announced that Plug and Play Topeka, a global innovation platform that creates industry-specific accelerator programs, has selected 12 startups to participate in the fourth cohort of its animal health and ag-tech program. These early-to-mid-stage startups hail from countries all over the world, including Singapore, Canada, Spain, the UK and Israel. The companies were selected following a pitch competition held virtually this month.
Chosen by partners of the program, including Cargill, Evergy and Hill’s Pet Nutrition, the startups represent a broad range of innovations in areas like AI technology, sustainable packaging, food safety, and pet and livestock health. Entrepreneurs representing these startups will participate in a three-month-long accelerator program to connect them with resources and help their businesses get off the ground.
The 12 startups selected for the program are:
BioTip – Produces sticker technology that gives an exact freshness indicator.
Evanesce – Designs, develops, and manufactures sustainable packaging and service ware solutions using the latest advancements in material science that are certified compostable, commercially scalable and cost-competitive.
Kibus Petcare – The first device that cooks healthy dog food automatically.
Matrixspec – A global leader in hyperspectral imaging for the food processing industry.
Metalchemy – Produces durable, organic packaging using nanotechnology that helps food stay fresh for longer.
Mighty Petz – Offers premium quality and healthy pet supplements and treats for dogs and cats.
PetHub – A pet database and pet parent membership service.
Protenga – Develops data-driven Insect technology that enables a circular, regenerative economy along the food supply chain and produces best-in-class, sustainable insect products for pet food, animal feed and plants.
Precision Livestock Technologies – Uses artificial intelligence and machine vision to deliver data to boost production, increase quality and improve animal well-being.
SGMA – Specializes in coatings and advanced materials using sol-gel process and develops sustainable solutions for today’s global problems.
Sphinx – The first of its kind automatic wet feeder helping pets, people and the planet.
Vizit – The global leader in predictive visual analytics, helping the world’s largest brands measure, manage and optimize image effectiveness through AI-powered visual brand performance software.
The Plug and Play Topeka accelerator aims to bring global innovation to the Midwest by facilitating opportunities for business development, mentorship pilots and POCs between the selected startups and founding partners of the program: Cargill, Evergy and Hills Pet Nutrition. Topeka is centrally located within the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor, the world’s largest concentration of animal health and related industries.
“We have a great group of startups that represent the breath of the animal health industry,” said Lindsay Lebahn, program manager for Plug and Play Topeka. “Because these startups were hand selected by our partners, we have already helped facilitate some meaningful conversations we hope will form into partnerships and pilots that will help shape the future of our industry.”
More than 300 animal health companies located between Manhattan, Kansas, and Columbia, Missouri, including four of the top 10 animal health companies in the world, generate 56% of the total animal health, diagnostics and pet food sold globally, totaling $21.5 billion in annual sales.
“Kansas is well known for its animal health and ag-tech successes, and Topeka is proud to further support the industry’s growth through mentorship and business development provided by the accelerator,” said Stephanie Moran, senior vice president of innovation at GO Topeka. “By finding new ways to support animal health and agriculture, we can support the economy of Kansas, the Midwest and the U.S. as a whole. It is imperative that we continue to push forth this type of innovation through programs like Plug and Play.”
Since the start of the program in the spring of 2021, 41 startups have graduated from the Plug and Play Topeka accelerator program. Each year, the program will develop two accelerator groups, both of which are made up of 10-12 animal health and ag-tech startups.
About GO Topeka
GO Topeka creates county-wide economic success for all companies and citizens through implementation of an aggressive economic-development strategy that capitalizes on the unique strengths of the community. GO Topeka operates under the Greater Topeka Partnership and is the leading economic development agency in the region. For more, visit GoTopeka.com.
About Plug and Play
Plug and Play is the leading innovation platform connecting startups, corporations, venture capital firms, universities and government agencies. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, we’re present in 40+ locations across five continents. We offer corporate innovation programs and help our corporate partners in every stage of their innovation journey, from education to execution. We also organize startup acceleration programs and have built an in-house VC to drive innovation across multiple industries where we’ve invested in hundreds of successful companies including Dropbox, Guardant Health, Honey, Lending Club, N26, PayPal and Rappi. For more information, visit https://www.plugandplaytechcenter.com/