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Hill’s Pet Nutrition becomes second founding partner in new Plug and Play office

(WIBW)
Published: Sep. 15, 2020 at 2:56 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Plug and Play has announced that Hill’s Pet Nutrition is now its second founding partner to its new office opening in Topeka.

Plug and Play says it has announced that Hill’s Pet Nutrition is now serving as the second founding partner for its newest location in Topeka. It said Hill’s joins co-founding partner Cargill to support Plug and Play’s work with startups crating ideas to transform health and agriculture. It said Hill’s will focus on innovations surrounding animal health for companion animals.

Plug and Play said, working with the Greater Topeka Partnership, it chose the area due to its being home to over 300 animal health companies which represent the largest concentration in the world.

“Hill’s Pet Nutrition has for decades played a pivotal role in addressing the nutritional needs of pets and continues to make advancements in animal health research and development,” said Kimberly Young, President of KC Animal Health Corridor. “Topeka’s new innovation platform is proving to be quite a promising addition to the Corridor, and with Hill’s' engagement it will only serve to strengthen the resources and opportunities available to everyone in the field of animal health.”

“We are excited to have Plug and Play join the Animal Health Corridor in continuing to build breakthrough innovation and equally as important to continue attracting great talent, investment and resources to the Corridor,” said Yvonne Hsu, Vice-President of Marketing, US Hill’s Pet Nutrition and KC Animal Health Corridor Board Chair.

Plug and Play said its network helps startups enter new locations and helps them find new opportunities and customers. It said Hill’s, whose headquarters is in Topeka, is opening its doors to work with select startups on partnerships and pilots.

“We are delighted to be partnered with Hill’s Pet Nutrition in Topeka to foster a culture of innovation and change across the animal health space. We look forward to further nurturing and connecting the local ecosystem with our global network of startups and corporations,” said Saeed Amidi, Founder and CEO of Plug and Play.

According to Plug and Play, it will select eight to 10 startups twice a year for the program. It said the startups will work one on one with their partners in the Animal Health industry. It said later in 2020 it plans to run its first virtual accelerator in the Topeka location. It said startups will go through a three-month program focusing on business development, mentorship and networking.

“Plug and Play will provide a paradigm shift to research and development.  Hill’s has a rich innovation pipeline and welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with startups to accelerate the delivery of breakthrough innovation for pet nutrition,” said Dave Baloga, Vice President of Science and Technology at Hill’s Pet Nutrition.

“For over a century, Hill’s Pet Nutrition has been a cornerstone in the Topeka business community. They continue to be at the forefront of innovation and are a key driver in Topeka’s role in the animal health corridor. Just last year Hill’s began an expansion of their world-renowned research center to include a new Small Paws center, in Topeka, featuring state-of-the-art facilities dedicated to serving the special needs of small dogs,” said Katrin Bridges, Senior Vice President of Innovation, Greater Topeka Partnership. “We are thrilled about this partnership and the new opportunities it will generate for Topeka and Shawnee County.”

“This partnership is momentous,” said Matt Pivarnik, CEO, Greater Topeka Partnership. “As a significant contributor to the world of animal health science, Hill’s Pet Nutrition’s support will significantly elevate the prestige, as well as increase the opportunities, of Topeka’s first innovation platform.”

Plug and Play said it is a global innovation platform headquartered in Silicon Valley, with accelerator programs, corporate innovation services and an in house VC to make technological advancement progress faster than ever before. It said since it was founded in 2006, its programs have expanded all over the world to include a presence in over 30 locations globally, giving startups the necessary resources to succeed in Silicon Valley and further. It said it has over 30,000 startups and 400 official corporate partners and has created the ultimate startup ecosystem in many industries. It said companies in the community have raised over $9 billion in funding with successful portfolios exits including Danger, Dropbox, Lending Club and Paypal.

For more information on Plug and Play, click here.

Those interested in the Plug and play Animal Health program in Topeka can apply here.

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