TOPEKA, KAN. — Plug and Play, an accelerator program for animal health and agriculture technology startups, announced Sept. 21 it has selected 10 early- and mid-stage companies to participate in the second cohort of the program.

“It’s exciting to see what this next startup batch will bring to Topeka, and how it will impact our innovation ecosystem,” said Katrin Bridges, senior vice president of innovation at GO Topeka. “GO Topeka is excited to work with the Plug and Play Topeka team to introduce these businesses to our community. Their expertise, along with our recently announced innovation campus and the commitment to startup success in our community, will make this region a sought-after environment for future business to grow.”

These 10 companies are:

  • Aegis Packaging: a manufacturer of regenerative high-barrier coating for flexible packaging.
  • Birdstop: employs drones and ground nodes to inspect remote infrastructure.
  • ISO Thrive: manufacturers microfood that nourishes gut bacteria to curate the microbiome supportive to human and animal health.
  • Kenzen: offers a biometric platform monitored through a smart wearable patch that keeps workforces safe from heat, fatigue and overexertion on the job.
  • Lumin: designed a circuit breaker panel that changes the fundamental element of a building’s electrical distribution system making ordinary circuits smart, responsive and efficient.
  • Maven: provides off-grid communication technology that doesn't require data service costs from telecom providers.
  • Nanox: manufactures a natural antimicrobial product line derived from nanotechnology that contains silver as an active ingredient.
  • Pepperi: created a B2B commerce platform that serves the sales force and customers of manufacturers and wholesale distributors.
  • Sniffypet: offers a mobile-first veterinary telemedicine platform enabling visits via text chat and video consultations to pet owners.
  • Tarot Analytics: provides last-kilometer route optimization and a delivery management SaaS platform for enterprise.

These companies represent a wide range of industry focuses, ranging from packaging to food safety to worker health and safety.

“Each selected startup is based on our partner’s needs, so we are able to include incredible companies in a variety of areas such as B2B sales, sustainable packaging, and mobility to our animal health vertical” said Lindsay Lebahn, program manager for Plug and Play Topeka. “It also gives each startup the exposure and opportunity to break into new industries… an overall benefit to everyone involved."

Each of the 10 companies will benefit from mentorship, financial resources and office space provided by GO Topeka and Plug and Play. The accelerator program will span the course of three months.

“We are so excited to have 10 startups join the second batch of our animal-health program in Topeka,” said Stephen Fay, director of corporate partnerships at Plug and Play. “These are some of the most innovative startups we have seen in the region, and we are confident that they will bring some of the brightest ideas to the industry.”

Plug and Play was founded in the summer of 2020 after Cargill partnered with the entity to support ag tech and animal health startups. Shortly after this partnership was formed, Hill’s Pet Nutrition joined the ranks to support Plug and Play as well.

Plug and Play launched its inaugural pitch competition in October 2020, in which Bond Pet Foods, Inc., a biotechnology company developing lab-cultured, meatless pet food proteins, was invited to participate.

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