This week’s episode of The Topeka Capital-Journal’s “It’s Your Business” podcast is the first of many to feature a startup participating in innovation platform Plug & Play’s Topeka accelerator program.
Darin Heisterkamp, president of NanoSpy Inc., an Iowa-based startup, spoke with The Capital-Journal’s India Yarborough and The Greater Topeka Partnership’s Katrin Bridges for this co-hosted episode of the show.
NanoSpy is one of 10 startups focused on innovation in the animal-health and agricultural-technology realms to be chosen for Plug & Play’s inaugural Topeka cohort, which kicked off its three-month-long session at the beginning of April.
On the “It’s Your Business” podcast, Heisterkamp discussed the creation of NanoSpy, which has developed a state-of-the-art biosensor that can detect bacteria and pathogens in food, returning results within 20 minutes.
Heisterkamp said the technology developed by NanoSpy uses lower-cost materials and less manufacturing than devices currently on the market.
“The company got its start, actually, at Iowa State University in the department of mechanical engineering,” Heisterkamp said. “My two co-founders are both professors on faculty at Iowa State University, and they collaborated to invent and develop this technology.”
He indicated a benefit of standing up the business in the Midwest is that NanoSpy is near many of the food-processing companies that comprise much of its customer base.
“There is a certain amount of convenience and a certain amount of quality of life that comes with staying here, keeping the technology here close to its point of origin,” Heisterkamp added.
“The Midwest as a region,” he said, “has definitely a lot going for it — a lot of resources, a lot of technology development and the ability to be a very successful economic engine for this part of the United States.”
Plug and Play’s presence in Topeka is expected to enhance the region’s resources when it comes to animal-health and agricultural innovation.
Moving forward, Plug & Play is expected to bring a cohort of at least 10 startups to the capital city every six months for sessions aimed at connecting the entrepreneurs with resources needed to grow and sustain their businesses.
To listen to the full conversation with Heisterkamp, search for “It’s Your Business” wherever podcasts are found, or listen at the link in this story. New episodes of the show are released every other Wednesday, with the next one coming June 2.