SUNNYVALE, Calif., Sept. 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Global innovation platform, Plug and Play, today announced that Hill's Pet Nutrition will serve as a founding partner for its newest location in Topeka, Kansas. They join co-founding partner Cargill to support Plug and Play's work with startups that are creating ideas to transform animal health and agriculture. Hill's Pet Nutrition will primarily focus on innovations surrounding animal health for companion animals.
Hill's is located within the KC Animal Health Corridor, an area anchored by Manhattan, Kansas, and Columbia, Missouri. Working with the Greater Topeka Partnership, Plug and Play chose the area because it is home to more than 300 animal health companies, representing 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's network helps startups enter new geographic locations and to find new opportunities and customers. Hill's Pet Nutrition, with their global headquarters in Topeka, is opening their 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.
Twice a year, Plug and Play will accept 8 to 10 startups for this program to work one-on-one with their partners in the Animal Health industry. Later this fall, Plug and Play Topeka will run their first virtual accelerator in this location. Startups will go through the three-month accelerator program focused 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."
About Plug and Play Plug and Play is a global innovation platform. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, we have built accelerator programs, corporate innovation services, and an in-house VC to make technological advancement progress faster than ever before. Since inception in 2006, our programs have expanded worldwide to include a presence in over 30 locations globally, giving startups the necessary resources to succeed in Silicon Valley and beyond. With over 30,000 startups and 400 official corporate partners, Plug and Play has created the ultimate startup ecosystem in many industries. Companies in our community have raised over $9 billion in funding, with successful portfolio exits including Danger, Dropbox, Lending Club and PayPal. For more information, visit https://www.plugandplaytechcenter.com/
About Hill's Pet Nutrition At Hill's, our decades of science and research guide us in creating nutrition that's a step ahead — so pets and pet parents can enjoy every day together. As the US #1 Veterinarian Recommended pet food brand, knowledge is our first ingredient with 220+ veterinarians, PhD nutritionists and food scientists working to develop breakthrough innovations in pet health. Hill's Prescription Diet therapeutic nutrition plus our everyday foods, Hill's Science Diet, Hill's Healthy Advantage and Hill's Bioactive Recipe, are sold at vet clinics and pet specialty retailers worldwide. For more information about Hill's, our products and our forward-thinking approach to nutrition, visit us at HillsPet.com or HillsVet.com, or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.