Pet health, agro safety focus of animal tech startups

Smart ear tags for livestock and a central database microchipping for companion animals were among the ideas pitched during Plug and Play Topeka’s inaugural selection day.

The biannual digital event saw 10 early- and mid-stage global animal health and agriculture startups present their animal tech products to an audience of corporate executives and venture capitalists.

The program, Plug and Play says, aims to bring innovative startups from around the world to Kansas to help advance the region’s growing animal health industry. The companies go through three-month “accelerator” programs, aimed at helping their businesses get off the ground. Once selected, they receive benefits, including office space, mentorship, business development, pitch polishing, deal flow, and potential investment.

The companies that presented are:

Ceres Tag (Queensland, Australia), which demonstrated smart ear tags for livestock;
Rapid Genomics (Gainesville, Fla.), which focuses on DNA genotyping and genetic analysis;
Andes Ag (Emeryville, Calif.), which uses microbes to develop novel seeds for regenerative agriculture;
Peeva (Buffalo, N.Y.), a universal pet identification and central database microchip company;
Waggit (Boulder, Colo.), which has developed smart health and a GPS tracking system for dogs;
Volta Greentech (Stockholm, Sweden), which aims to reduce methane emissions from cows to aid in global warming;
Pitpat (Cambridge, U.K.), a dog activity monitor and fitness tracker company;
Bond Pet Foods (Boulder, Colo.), biotechnology company that manufactures animal-free, protein-rich pet food;
ProAgni (New South Wales, Australia), which produces antibiotic- and ionophore-free nutritional products for sheep and cattle; and
Dinbeat (Barcelona, Spain), which produces wearable technology to monitor pet health in real time.

Dubbed the KC Animal Health Corridor, Topeka’s surrounding region is home to more than 300 animal health companies, representing the largest concentration in the world, Plug and Play says.

“As the animal health, agtech, and bioscience industries come together, it is the ideal time to create this incredible innovation platform in Topeka,” says the platform’s founder and CEO, Saeed Amidi. “With our wide grasp of technologies and solutions across different industries, we are very excited to explore and foster the animal health and ag tech ecosystem here in Topeka.”

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