Fourth batch of Plug and Play Topeka startups announced

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – A dozen companies have been chosen to join the fourth batch of Plug and Play Topeka.

GO Topeka recently announced that Plug and Play Topeka, a global innovation platform creating industry-specific accelerator programs, has chosen 12 new startups to participate in its fourth cohort of the animal health and ag-tech program.

GO Topeka indicated that the early-to-mid-stage startups come from all over the globe – including Singapore, Canada, Spain, the UK and Israel. It said companies were chosen after a pitch competition was held virtually earlier in September.

Chosen by partners of the program, – including Cargill, Evergy and Hill’s Pet Nutrition – GO Topeka noted that the startups represent a broad range of innovations in areas like AI tech, sustainable packaging, food safety, and pet and livestock health.

GO Topeka said entrepreneurs who represent the startups will participate in a 3-month accelerator program to connect them to resources and help their businesses get off the ground.

According to GO Topeka, the 12 startups in the fourth cohort include:

  • 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 the 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.

GO Topeka noted that the Plug and Play Topeka accelerator is meant to bring global innovation to the Midwest and facilitate opportunities for business development, mentorship pilots and POCs between chosen startups and founding partners.

“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.”

GO Topeka said the Capital City is centrally located within the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor – the world’s largest concentration of animal health and related industries. It said more than 300 animal health companies between Manhattan and Columbia – including four the top 10 animal health companies in the world – generate 56% of the total animal health, diagnostics and pet food sold globally, totaling around $21.5 billion each year.

“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 US as a whole. It is imperative that we continue to push forth this type of innovation through programs like Plug and Play.”

Since the program started in 2021, GO Topeka said 41 startups have graduated from the accelerator program. Each year, it said the program will develop two accelerator groups – both of which are made up of 10-12 animal health and ag tech startups.

For more information about Plug and play’s fourth cohort, click HERE.

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