Plug and Play, Cargill launch platform focused on animal health, agricultural technology

Published: Jul. 29, 2020 at 1:24 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Plug and Play is teaming up with Cargill to launch an innovation platform focusing on animal health and agricultural technology.

Plug and Play, a global innovation platform, says it is teaming up with Cargill in Topeka to focus on animal health and agricultural technology. The two say through the partnership they will work with startups creating new technologies and products to build successful food and agricultural businesses and communities.

“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.”

The Greater Topeka Partnership says the new team will create global innovation around animal health and agricultural technology from Kansas and the Kansas City animal health corridor, playing on both company’s strengths. The organization says Plug and Play’s global reach helps startups enter new locations, find new customers and grow, while Cargill will bring scale, expertise and the strength of a global food supply chain.

“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 CEO of Plug and Play.

Plug and Play says it will bring eight to 10 startups to Topeka every six months and later in the fall will run its first virtual accelerator. It says the startups will attend three-month-long accelerator programs that help businesses launch, providing mentorship, resources and office space.

According to Plug and Play, there is a 70% average success rate for those that go through its accelerator program which is measured in follow-on capital raised.

“Topeka proudly welcomes Cargill as the first founding partner of the Plug and Play Platform. 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,” commented Mayor Michelle De La Isla.

“We are thrilled to welcome Cargill as the first founding member of the Topeka Animal Health and Agtech focused innovation platform powered by Plug and Play. 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,” said Katrin Bridges, Senior Vice President of Innovation for Greater Topeka Partnership.

The Greater Topeka Partnership says those interested in the Plug and Play Animal Health and Agtech program can apply here.

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