SUNNYVALE, CALIF. — Cargill partnered with Plug and Play, a global innovation platform, to establish an animal health and agriculture technology center in Topeka, Kan. The two companies will work with startup-level companies to develop new technologies and products in those two industries.
The partnership will highlight both companies’ strengths, with Plug and Play offering global reach and geographic expansion for emerging companies, and Cargill providing supply chain and business scaling expertise.
"Cargill is partnering with Plug and Play to bring together some of the brightest minds and boldest ideas in agriculture and protein production," said Rob Stewart, president of growth ventures and emerging markets in Cargill's North America protein business. "Together we will leverage our unique expertise to help new companies across the food supply chain identify market opportunities, attract customers and accelerate growth."
Eight to 10 startups in animal health and agriculture technology will be selected to join Plug and Play and Cargill for six months at a time to participate in a three-month accelerator program, gaining access to mentorship, resources and office space.
"Plug and Play is incredibly excited to launch this program in partnership with Cargill as our first founding partner. Their support and dedication will lay the foundation for entrepreneurs and startups to access the best resources available, beginning with industries such as Animal Health and Agtech," said Saeed Amidi, founder and chief executive officer of Plug and Play.
According to Plug and Play, 70% of companies that go through its accelerator program are successful and continue to raise capital.
"Topeka proudly welcomes Cargill as the first founding partner of the Plug and Play platform,” commented Topeka Mayor Michelle De La Isla. “This investment is a vital step; it will propel our community forward as we work to become a hub for animal science and agtech research. I am grateful to our partners in GOTopeka for making this possible, and am excited to watch a new generation of startups and entrepreneurs find their success in our great city.”
Katrin Bridges, senior vice president of innovation for the Greater Topeka Partnership, added, “Cargill has made significant investments in innovation throughout Kansas over the last decade and we are proud to collaborate with this organization and help shape the future of agriculture for our State. Plug and Play's proven innovation platform will create substantial economic impact for the entire region.”
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