FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 12, 2015) – Which great new businesses will be discovered in Kentucky this year? We’re about to find out.
Back by popular demand, Gov. Steve Beshear today announced the Kentucky Innovation Network will host its second-annual entrepreneur pitch competitions over the next four months.
Similar to the hit television show “Shark Tank,” these competitions will feature Kentucky entrepreneurs presenting their business ideas to a group of local angel investors, individuals who provide capital for startup companies. Winners will receive cash prizes and the opportunity to present their business plans to the entire Kentucky Angel Investors Network (Kentucky Angels) in November.
“There are so many great ideas throughout the Commonwealth,” said Gov. Beshear. “The competition will help bring those visions to life in the form of real businesses. I can’t wait to see more companies being formed and more jobs created as a result of these events.”
This year, the Kentucky Innovation Network will host 11 regional competitions in Ashland, London, Morehead, Pikeville, Murray, Elizabethtown, Richmond, Covington, Lexington, Paducah and Louisville. Morehead, Paducah and London are new competition locations this year.
“The success of last year’s pitch competitions exceeded our expectations, and we expect even bigger things this year,” said Mandy Lambert, commissioner of business development at the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. “Small businesses are job creators and the backbone of Kentucky’s economy. This is a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to network with potential investors and get their businesses off the ground. We want to expose more people to investment opportunities right here in the Commonwealth.”
The competition is sponsored by the Kentucky Angel Investors Network and the Kentucky Innovation Network, which is operated by the Office of Entrepreneurship within the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development.
Chris Bailey and his team took home the top prize in last year’s competitions. Their product, GearBrake, is designed to sense deceleration in motorcycles and automatically flash the brake lights, which could prevent up to 90 percent of rear-end collisions.
“Thanks to the competition, we have received a ton of state and national exposure for our product,” Bailey said. “Plus, pitching our product in front of an audience of investors will really pay off down the road.”
The pitch competitions will make the following appearances:
Covington: May 27, 2015, UpTech, 112 West Pike St., 5 p.m.-7 p.m. ET
Lexington: June 10, 2015, Commerce Lexington, 300 East Main St., 5 p.m.-7 p.m. ET
Morehead: June 18, 2015, Innovation Launchpad, 149 East Main St., 5 p.m.-7 p.m. ET
Louisville: June 24, 2015, Greater Louisville Inc., 614 West Main St., 5 p.m.-7 p.m. ET
Ashland: Aug. 4, 2015, Park Place Building, 1701 Central Ave., 9 a.m.-11 a.m. ET
London: Aug. 18, 2015, KHIC Center, 440 Old Whitley Road, 1 p.m.-3 p.m. ET
Pikeville: Sept. 10, 2015, UPIKE College of Business, 118 College St., 5 p.m.-7 p.m. ET
Richmond: Sept. 18, 2015, Central Bank, 350 West Main St., 11 a.m.-2 p.m. ET
Elizabethtown: Sept. 23, 2015, Brown Pusey House, 128 North Main St., 12:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. CT
Paducah: Sept. 24, 2015, location TBD, 5 p.m.-7 p.m. CT
Murray: Sept. 25, 2015, location TBD, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. CT
Interesting in pitching your business or attending an event? Visit kyinnovation.com/pitch to learn more.
Kentucky Angels brings new ventures and accredited investors together via monthly online meetings, providing investors access to form deals and partnerships with entrepreneurs statewide. Membership is open to those accredited investors in and outside the state who are passionate about investing in Kentucky companies. To learn more about Kentucky Angels, visit www.kyangels.net.
The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development is the primary state agency responsible for encouraging new jobs and investment in the state. New capital investment announced in Kentucky in 2015 totaled a state record $5.1 billion, spurring more than 16,000 projected new jobs. Information on available industrial properties, workforce development assistance, incentive programs, community profiles, small business development and other economic development resources is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com.