Plug and Play, a Silicon Valley-based firm that provides venture capital funds to startups, and had a role in the growth of Dropbox, PayPal and other ventures, named Topeka a startup accelerator city in the areas of animal health and ag tech. The city will host about 20 startup companies per year while they go through the three-month accelerator program.
“Plug and Play will leverage their global innovation platform to attract animal health/ag tech startups to Topeka which will have a tremendous economic impact on Shawnee County and the entire region,” said Katrin Bridges, the Greater Topeka Partnership’s senior vice president of innovation, in a press release.
Founded in 2006, Plug and Play accelerated 562 startups this year, with checks to firms averaging $147,000. A majority of the funds it allocates go toward seed-stage investments. The firm, which has accelerator programs in about 50 cities around the world, also partners with about 250 major corporations to help boost their innovation efforts.
“Topeka is uniquely positioned to take advantage of the agricultural assets in the region which provide fertile ground to spark innovation both through accelerating startups and creating partnerships with corporate players,” said Plug and Play CEO Saeed Amidi. “We feel that there is great momentum building for this initiative and look forward to bringing our experience and global network to the table.”