Silicon Prairie – mapping the startup scene of Topeka
Topeka, the state capital of Kansas, is an under-the-radar emerging hub of innovation. The city has worked to generate momentum over the last few years with organizations like GoTopeka – part of the Greater Topeka Partnership – cultivating innovation growth to unlock economic opportunities for all. Topeka and Shawnee County. The greater Topeka area which has strengths in industries such as agtech and animal and human health sciences is a key part of what is known as the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor.
An open-access platform for more transparency in the startup industry
Part of the Silicon Prairie – the Midwest innovation community, which f compromises Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri – Topeka’s innovation ecosystem is now easily skimmed through online on the Kansas innovation platform, powered by Dealroom.
This open-access platform is specifically designed to support scaling tech communities, with reliable intelligence and novel insights. The platform is an ongoing collaborative project. Any startup, investor, or ecosystem stakeholder can add their own company and organization details, and enhance their profile – providing open access to real-time data for the community. More accuracy and transparency in tech and investment industry data will not only improve local ecosystem connectivity, but will also help put the region on the map as a young promising tech hub.
We are eager to take advantage of Kansas Innovation Dealroom to better support and promote our ecosystem and engage with our existing and potential stakeholders. Tech startups are a major driver for new-jobs growth and importation of capital, as well as for enhancing our region’s ability to be competitive in the global marketplace.
Innovation Center and District
Downtown Topeka will soon enjoy a new Innovation center. The center will fortify the city’s role as a leader in animal health and startup entrepreneurship.
The Astra (Animal Science, Technology, Research, and Agriculture)Innovation Center will be a 60,000-sf project. This campus is being developed to take advantage of 20 global startups participating each year in the city’s new Plug and Play Animal Health accelerator program.
The ASTRA Innovation Center will offer world-class facilities, including wet labs, flexible work and meeting spaces. It will feature office space for business research and innovation, as well as a rooftop venue for events.
Plug & Play is building a world-class animal health ecosystem by pairing Silicon Valley technology with the Kansas region’s state-of-the-art industry R&D, workforces, and animal health companies. Topeka is home to the animal health and ag tech vertical for Plug and Play which strengths extending out also to industries such as sustainable energy and logistics. Corporate partners, including HIll’s Pet Nutrition, Evergy and Cargil, are strong partners in building out this innovation accelerator in Topeka.
Utilizing our strong partnerships with Plug and Play and our local and regional corporations, while leveraging existing innovation-related strengths in industries such as animal health, food systems, sustainable energy and fintech — we see this launch as a big opportunity to draw further attention to our innovation ecosystem and to help us grow that ecosystem through better data.
Kansas City Animal Health Corridor
More than 300 animal health companies are located between Manhattan, Kansas, and Columbia, Missouri, including four of the top 10 animal health companies in the world. Example of key startups/corporates with Topeka locations: Hill’s Pet Nutrition (HQ), J.M. Smucker Co, Mars, Bimini Pet Health (HQ)
Companies located in the Animal Health Corridor represent 56% of the total animal health, diagnostics, and pet food sold worldwide, totaling $21.5 billion in sales. (Source)
Close to talent and major academic institutions
Topeka is located close to several of the region’s leading universities and comprehensive educational system. The city benefits from leading universities like Washburn University, and its affiliate Washburn Institute of Technology. Topeka is also in proximity to The University of Kansas, Kansas State University which are ranked university research institutions and active in advancement new technologies.