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Plug and Play is the ultimate innovation platform, bringing together the best startups and the world’s largest corporations.

Topeka and Shawnee County are cultivating a world-class animal health ecosystem and Plug and Play is helping us become the center of innovation. Plug and Play is pairing Silicon Valley tech with the region’s industry leading research & development, skilled workforce, and animal health companies to turn Topeka into the innovation hub of the Midwest. 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 35+ 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/

The Topeka Animal Health Accelerator, announced in 2020 is supported by founding partners Cargill, Evergy, and Hill’s Pet Nutrition.

In 2021 Plug and Play selected its first batch of startups for its animal health and ag tech program in Topeka. Ten early- and mid-stage startups from numerous U.S. states, Canada and Singapore were selected after a pitch competition in March 2021.

These startups represent a broad range of innovations designed to disrupt the animal health and ag tech industries, including food safety, pet and livestock health, technology and energy. Entrepreneurs will participate in a three-month “accelerator” program in Topeka aimed at helping businesses get off the ground, providing mentorship, resources and office space.

Selected companies include:

  • Ampcontrol – New York, New York: AI-powered software for electric vehicles.
  • BIOPSIN – Singapore: Microbial detection system.
  • GBatteries – Ottawa, Canada: Electric vehicle battery charging.
  • Heila – Somerville, Mass.: Simplifies the installation and operation of complex DER systems.
  • NanoSpy – Ames, Iowa: Rapid pathogen detection biosensors.
  • Nutrivert – St. Louis, Mo.: Development of postbiotics intended to provide an alternative to livestock antibiotics.
  • Obe, Inc. – San Francisco, Calif.: Digital pet health and wellness.
  • Resilient Biotics – Berkeley, Calif.: Microbiome-based solutions to combat respiratory infectious diseases in animal and human health.
  • StenCo – Birmingham, Ala.: Compostable oxygen barrier technology to extend shelf life in the single use packaging industry.
  • Veloce Energy – Los Angeles, Calif.: Reducing physical and financial barriers to EV charging infrastructure deployment.

 

“This first batch of startups is a great representation of the variety of industries animal health encompasses, as well as the reach and opportunities this program promises,” said Lindsay Lebahn, program manager, Plug and Play Topeka.

“Obe is thrilled to join the first animal health cohort,” said Hilary Jensen, founder and CEO of San Francisco-based Obe, Inc. “The program opens opportunities for new partnerships and a network specific to our focus on companion animal health and wellness, not to mention great peers to learn from.”

Roughly two-thirds of the companies that Plug and Play invests in will have an exit, such as an acquisition, merger or initial public offering. This is a leading performance metric compared to other early-stage investors and accelerators.

“Resilient Biotics is extremely excited to be selected as part of Plug and Play’s inaugural Animal Health batch,” said Chris Belnap, CEO and co-founder, Resilient Biotics in Berkeley. “Participation in the program will enable direct contact with big strategic players in the industry. We look forward to being part of the Plug and Play ecosystem.”

“These startups are coming from all over the world to spend time in the Capital City and we foresee great things to come,” said Katrin Bridges, SVP of Innovation, GO Topeka. “What’s more, this first batch is really setting the stage for Plug and Play’s presence in Topeka. It will be exciting to see the impact innovation can have on this region.”

 

Learn More

Topeka innovation success stories

Topeka is made up of doers – innovators who see a problem as just another challenge to overcome. Our community of entrepreneurs and innovators have stepped up during the COVID-19 outbreak to fight back. They have retooled their factories to create hand sanitizers and masks, while others are sourcing 3D blueprints to print masks from home. These stories are those of people looking out for each other.

Resources for Entrepreneurs

Resources are crucial to innovators and startups and with Plug and Play’s network, the resources in Topeka and Shawnee are unmatched. Resources include ebooks, webinars with industry leaders and experts, case studies on emerging trends and more. Find all the resources to make your startup successful with Plug and Play in Topeka.