TOPEKA, KAN. — On Feb. 22, GO Topeka, an economic development group, announced it has selected 12 pet health and agriculture technology companies for Plug and Play Topeka’s third cohort. The accelerator program helps startups from around the world by fostering partnerships, mentorships and other connections.

Plug and Play Topeka’s third cohort consists of startups from the United States, Israel, Italy, Spain, Chile and the United Kingdom. The companies were selected by the accelerator program’s partners Cargill, Evergy and Hill’s Pet Nutrition after a virtual pitch competition held earlier in February.

“Plug and Play Topeka’s accelerator has shined a light on the local and regional resources powering innovation in northeast Kansas,” said Molly Howey, president of GO Topeka. “GO Topeka is excited to continue our partnership with Plug and Play, as we introduce a new batch of startups to all that Topeka and Shawnee County have to offer. The future of animal-health and ag-tech innovation is being shaped right here in our capital city, and these startups are vital pieces of the puzzle.”

The startups cover a variety of sectors within pet and agriculture industries, including sustainable packaging, animal health, food systems and energy.

  • Pittsburgh-based Adrich, infuses technology within product packaging to provide companies with data on consumer use of their products.
  • California-based Full Cycle Bioplastics tackles plastic pollution, food waste and climate change by transforming waste into non-toxic, compostable, oil-based plastics for use in food packaging.
  • Israel-based Hargol FoodTech is the world’s first grasshopper farm that creates sustainable protein for the food industries.
  • Italian company, Helepet boats a mobile app that allows pet owners to maintain and track their pets food, vaccines, documentation, appointments and more.
  • Chile-based Kauel Technologies provides energy solutions using oil and gas via artificial intelligence, computer vision and data processing.
  • United Kingdom tech company Moolec Science produces sustainable animal proteins from plants using genetic engineering for human and pet food.
  • Spain-based Natural Machines provides advanced and personalized 3D printing of food.
  • California company NovoNutrients produces alternative proteins using carbon dioxide fermentation, hydrogen and naturally occurring microbes. The company also added four technology leaders to its team in January.
  • Washington-based PupPod offers stimulation for pets through its gaming platform of pet puzzle toys and a video feeder.
  • Washington, DC, company TeleTails is a veterinary telehealth platform that provides pet owners with virtual vet visits, including live video, messaging and a payment system.
  • Israel-based W-Cycle produces compostable and renewable packaging materials for the human and pet food industries.
  • Israel company Yoran Imaging uses thermal inspection to create heat-sealing packaging for food.

“We’re excited to invite these 12 startups to participate in our Plug and Play Topeka accelerator,” said Lindsay Lebahn, program manager, Plug and Play Topeka. “Our selection process reflects our partners’ animal-health and ag-tech needs, ensuring the potential partnerships between these companies and startups are that much more impactful – not only for the businesses themselves but for everyday consumers looking for meaningful solutions to some of today’s biggest health-science challenges.”

Since the start of the Plug & Play program in 2021, 20 startups have graduated from the accelerator.

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