Backed by Kentucky Innovation Network, 16th Annual IdeaFestival Sweeps into Louisville

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Network to teach how to turn ideas into businesses       

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 29, 2015) –For the second year, the Kentucky Innovation Network takes the presenting-sponsor role in IdeaFestival, the forum beginning today in Louisville for thinkers, doers, innovators, students, entrepreneurs and some of the world’s most creative minds.

 

The event, now in its 16th year, takes place through Oct. 2 at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts. It includes more than 40 presenters discussing topics including the future of business, technology, science, the arts, education, innovation, philosophy, the universe and more.

 

“The Kentucky Innovation Network is proud to be this year’s presenting sponsor of IdeaFestival, which has become to be more than just an event. It has become a magnet for the most innovative and creative minds in the world,” said Mandy Lambert, commissioner of business development at the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, which created the Network. “It is the Network’s goal to cultivate these ideas and dreams and turn them into real-world companies. We know that with the right support and guidance, all things are possible, and they are possible right here in Kentucky.”

 

Through its 13 offices across the state, the Kentucky Innovation Network works with local partners to promote entrepreneurism, build relationships between businesses and help grow startups. The Network backs IdeaFestival as part of its mission to encourage thinkers, idea people and students to translate their flashes of brilliant insight into new business ventures.

 

At IdeaFestival, the Kentucky Innovation Network and its experienced professionals will showcase the steps needed to start and expand a business. Attendees can stop by the Network’s booth to learn more about getting a startup off the ground and growing an established company.

 

The agenda includes more than 30 events over the four-day affair, featuring a number of presentations and discussions, as well as film-screening and book-signing opportunities.

 

Follow @ideafestival and @kyinnovation on Twitter for updates and join in the conversation at #staycurious and #IF15.

 

For the complete lineup of events at IdeaFestival, visit www.ideafestival.com and to find out more about the Kentucky Innovation Network, go to www.kyinnovation.com.

 

Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com.Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion on Facebook or follow on Twitter. Watch the Cabinet’s “This is My Kentucky” video on YouTube.

           

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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 2014 totaled a state record $3.7 billion, spurring more than 15,000 projected new jobs. The Commonwealth also received Site Selection magazine’s nationally acclaimed Governor’s Cup for most economic development projects per capita last year. 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.

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Udeo.Me Wins Elizabethtown Entrepreneur Pitch Competition

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Company provides on-demand live video streaming services

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. (September 24, 2015) – With smartphone technology quickly sweeping the globe, one Kentucky company is poised to capitalize on the market. Udeo.Me won the latest Kentucky Innovation Network regional pitch competition in Elizabethtown yesterday, earning a $1,000 prize and an invitation to pitch to the Kentucky Angel Investors Network in Frankfort this fall.

Owensboro-based tech company Udeo.Me provides on-demand, live video streaming services to smartphone users. With a projected 2.5 billion people gaining access to smartphones by 2018, live streaming represents a market poised for massive growth. With Udeo.Me’s technology, users will have access to thousands of live video services in as few as 60 seconds. Among the platform’s services are viewer-requested video streams, an ad-supported revenue model and the option for broadcasters to charge pay-per-view fees for live streams.

In addition to winning the network’s latest regional pitch competition, Udeo.Me is in the middle of a $300,000 seed round of funding. And the company is developing a growth strategy for domestic and overseas markets.

“The Owensboro office of the Kentucky Innovation Network is proud and honored that Udeo.Me was chosen to represent our region at the Kentucky Angel Summit in December,” said Joe Berry, executive director of the network’s Owensboro office. “We have enjoyed watching Grant Gipe and his talented team at Udeo.Me grow their platform and marketplace and are excited to share that story with the Commonwealth. The network’s statewide pitch competition truly provides a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs to gain valuable feedback, networking and potential funding for their ideas. The combination of efforts between the Bowling Green, Elizabethtown and Owensboro offices has made this regional event something that entrepreneurs and investors look forward to every year and we are already excited to see what next year will bring.”

“Udeo.Me is humbled to be chosen as the winner of the Elizabethtown/Bowling Green/Owensboro regional pitch competition,” said Grant Gipe, CEO of Udeo.Me. “As an entrepreneur in the technology space, it is gratifying to network and interact with other like-minded business owners and creative individuals from around the state. The competition provides a wonderful forum for the exchange of ideas, and we are grateful to the Kentucky Innovation Network for the positive reception and opportunity to compete at the forthcoming state competition.”

“The Elizabethtown office was happy to serve as our regional host once again,” said Lisa Williams, executive director of the network’s Elizabethtown office. “All five teams were great contenders. We had great attendance and community support from the local venture group was fantastic. I heard many remarks about what a wonderful event this was.”

“The participants of this event are enthusiastic clients of the Kentucky Innovation Network. The quality of the teams participating in only the second year of this program is a testament to the great ideas and entrepreneurs we have throughout the state,” said Douglas Rohrer, executive director of the Bowling Green office. “These types of companies deserve the attention and support of investors and mentors around the Commonwealth to grow and prosper.”

Elizabethtown’s pitch competition was the latest in a series of 11 events being held throughout the state. The remaining pitch contests are scheduled in Paducah and Murray. Earlier this summer, Covington, Lexington, Morehead, Louisville, Ashland, London, Pikeville and Richmond held regional competitions.

The next regional pitch contest is scheduled today at the WKCTC Emerging Technology Center at 4810 Alben Barkley Drive in Paducah from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. CDT.

The pitch competition, now in its second year, is sponsored by the Kentucky Innovation Network, the Office of Entrepreneurship within the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and the Kentucky Angel Investors Network. For more information on the competition, visit kyinnovation.com.

The Kentucky Angel Investors Network 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, visit www.kyangels.net.

 Consisting of 13 offices throughout the state, the Kentucky Innovation Network offers extensive resources for small and new businesses. Assistance can range from funding initiatives, marketing and sales assistance, small business advocacy and resource referrals, along with a variety of financial and incentive programs to encourage investment and job growth. All services are provided free of charge.

The Kentucky Innovation Network is an initiative of the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development’s Office of Entrepreneurship. The goals of the Office of Entrepreneurship are to develop an entrepreneurial climate in Kentucky, provide guidance and support to startups and assist existing small businesses with growth opportunities. To learn how the Kentucky Innovation Network is helping create and grow Kentucky’s small businesses, visit www.kyinnovation.com.

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 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 2014 totaled a state record $3.7 billion, spurring more than 15,000 projected new jobs. The Commonwealth also received Site Selection magazine’s nationally acclaimed Governor’s Cup for most economic development projects per capita last year. 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.

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“Unuselessness” and the Entrepreneur

 

THE REINVENTION OF NORMAL from Liam Saint-Pierre on Vimeo.

The problem with innovation is that people too often believe they understand the question being asked, and are deceived.

Christopher Jobson recently posted the video here to his phenomenally successful visual culture website Colossal. Watching inventor-artist Dominic Wilcox, one is reminded not only of the long history of absurdest comedy – Monty Python of course comes to mind – but also of the Japanese practice of ‘chindōgu,’ or of purposely making a product hard or embarrassing to use.

Chindōgu are sometimes described as ‘unuseless’ – that is, they cannot be regarded as ‘useless’ in an absolute sense, since they do actually solve a problem; however, in practical terms, they cannot positively be called ‘useful’.

Whether by charming us or challenging our ideas of utility, Dominic Wilcox’s nonsense inventions and “unuselessness” of chindōgu work because they target the most formidable barrier to discovery – our assumptions about how things are. The use of absurdity and humor allows the human mind to bypass a fixedness of thought to reach a clearer understanding of the problems at hand.

As an innovator or entrepreneur, to identify a need in the marketplace that no one yet knows exists may have some very real value for you.

The “reverse bungee,” by the way, is a delightfully unexpected way of thinking about bungee jumping. Watch the video!

Because the Kentucky Innovation Network believes in the power of new ideas and innovation to economic growth, it is the presenting sponsor for the IdeaFestival, which happens next week in Louisville!  A tiny handful of festival or day passes remain. If you make it to the festival, please stop by and introduce yourself to us in the lobby of the Kentucky Center for the Arts. We hope to see you there.

Editor’s note: The post was adapted from an earlier IdeaFestival blog post.

Today’s Color Wins Entrepreneur Pitch Competition in Pikeville

commonwealth imageSoftware to simplify dealings in the medical rehab industry 

PIKEVILLE, Ky. (September 18, 2015) – Any product that eases the process of medical rehabilitation is likely to be welcomed by patients and care providers alike. That’s just the service that the latest Kentucky Innovation Network regional competition winner plans to provide.

 

Today’s Color was named the winner of the Pikeville edition of the Innovation Network’s statewide pitch competition series. The company received $1,000 and an invitation to pitch its product to the Kentucky Angel Investors Network in Frankfort this fall.

 

Today’s Color is a software as a service company, developing a web-based application. The software digitizes and simplifies correspondence and documentation for the medical rehabilitation industry.

 

“This event showcased the talent and creativity of the people in eastern Kentucky.  All the presenters performed well and are passionate about their business ideas,” said Dr. David Snow, director of the Kentucky Innovation Network office in Pikeville. “The Kentucky Innovation Network’s Pikeville office is excited to continue working with these entrepreneurs to take their products and services to market.”

 

“This competition was an extremely enlightening experience,” said Andrew Taylor, founder of Today’s Color.

 

Pikeville’s pitch competition was the latest in a series of 11 events being held throughout the state. Other regional contests are scheduled in Murray, Elizabethtown, Richmond and Paducah. Earlier this summer, Covington, Lexington, Morehead, Louisville, Ashland and London held regional competitions.

 

The pitch competition, which is in its second year, is sponsored by the Kentucky Innovation Network, the Office of Entrepreneurship within the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and the Kentucky Angel Investors Network. For more information on the competition, visit kyinnovation.com.

 

The Kentucky Angel Investors Network 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, visit www.kyangels.net.

 

Consisting of 13 offices throughout the state, the Kentucky Innovation Network offers extensive resources for small and new businesses. Assistance can range from funding initiatives, marketing and sales assistance, small business advocacy and resource referrals, along with a variety of financial and incentive programs to encourage investment and job growth. All services are provided free of charge.

 

The Kentucky Innovation Network is an initiative of the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development’s Office of Entrepreneurship. The goals of the Office of Entrepreneurship are to develop an entrepreneurial climate in Kentucky, provide guidance and support to startups and assist existing small businesses with growth opportunities. To learn how the Kentucky Innovation Network is helping create and grow Kentucky’s small businesses, visit www.kyinnovation.com.

 

# # #

 

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 2014 totaled a state record $3.7 billion, spurring more than 15,000 projected new jobs. The Commonwealth also received Site Selection magazine’s nationally acclaimed Governor’s Cup for most economic development projects per capita last year. 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.

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“Creativity is Just Connected Things”

StayCurious

By way of Steve Jobs, this thought from Maria Popova in Smithsonian Magazine goes to the heart of innovation.

Creativity is just connected things:”

Celebrated creators – artists, writers, scientists, inventors – have always known the power of the synthesizing mind and have advocated for embracing the building blocks of combinatorial creativity. ‘Stuff your head with more different things from various fields,’ Ray Bradbury encouraged students in a 2001 address. ‘You should stay alert for the moment when a number of things are just ready to collide with one another,’ Brian Eno advised. ‘Creativity is just connecting things,’ Steve Jobs proclaimed. ‘Science,’ Darwin recognized, ‘consists in grouping facts so that general laws or conclusions may be drawn from them.’ ‘Substantially all ideas are second-hand,’ Mark Twain observed, ‘consciously and unconsciously drawn from a million outside sources, and daily use by the garnerer with a pride and satisfaction born of the superstition that he originated them.’”

The Kentucky Innovation Network is the presenting sponsor of the IdeaFestival, which happens in Louisville Sept. 29 – Oct. 2. Like Maria Popova and the figures she quotes above, the festival recognizes that innovation is nothing more than a keen eye and an ability to think wide, to connect the unconnected. Should you attend the festival,  you will meet many accomplished people, hear from leaders in their respective fields – each of whom will share stories of failure and triumph – and encounter other “idealists.”

They are entrepreneurs all.

We’d love to see you there!

Louisville’s Top Venture Capitalists to be on “Shark Tank” style TV program

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Louisville, KY, Sept 15th, 2015 – Dream Funders, the new local “Shark Tank” inspired television series launching in December, proudly announces some early members of its Dream Team.  The program will include some of Louisville’s biggest names in the Venture Capital world.  Each of the Venture Funders listed below will take turns on the panel where local entrepreneurs with a Dream Business will present their idea.  Will these Venture Funders love it, hate it, or fund it?

The Program:  Dream Funders, hosted by Melissa Fraser who is a Partner at Strothman and Company, puts local entrepreneurs together with Louisville’s top venture capitalists and business coaches to create exciting television.  The program also allows viewers the opportunity to participate in crowd funding the entrepreneur if they like their idea. WBNA created the show to help our city dream big and highlight the city as a dynamic entrepreneurially focused town.  “It’s Shark Tank with a heart connecting Dreamers with Funders and Coaches.  The show promotes the concept that “Profit is a reward for serving your fellow man” and “Happiness is earned success,” said Tom Fawbush GM of WBNA.

 

Show Seeks Dreamers:  Dream Funders is also looking for the entrepreneur.  We know everyone has a Dream Business idea but doesn’t know where to start.  People can now present their idea to the folks that can help them live the dream.  

 

Dreamers:  go to www.LouisvilleDreamFunders.com and submit your name. 

RICHMOND TO HOST PITCH COMPETITION FOR ASPIRING ENTREPRENEURS

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, SEPT. 4, 2015

RICHMOND TO HOST PITCH COMPETITION FOR ASPIRING ENTREPRENEURS

                RICHMOND, Ky. – Imagine having just a few minutes to pitch your business idea to a group of investors who could make your own dream come true. Sound like a certain television reality show? Well, it’s going to happen in Richmond, and throughout Kentucky this fall.

                A “Shark Tank”-style pitch competition in Richmond on Friday, Sept. 18, will give aspiring entrepreneurs an opportunity to present their business concepts to a group of experienced local entrepreneurs and business leaders. Winners will receive cash prizes and the chance to present their business plans to the Kentucky Angel Investors Network in November.

                The Richmond event will held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Central Bank, 350 W. Main St. Anyone wishing to compete should complete a registration forfor your involvement in the selection process  here. Otherwise if you’d like to attend to learn more about angel investing, entrepreneurship, or how you can become a part of the entrepreneurial eco-system, email your RSVP to kyinnovation@eku.eduSimilar events have already been held or scheduled across the state.

                “These competitions are a great place to practice pitching in front of Angel Investors,” said Rick Johnson, State Director of the Kentucky Innovation Network. “Entrants will receive critical feedback from investors and other entrepreneurs, and meet people from their local community who will work with them to help them achieve their dreams. While there are cash prizes for the winners, the real value is that the competitors are all one step closer to a viable business.”

                The competition, in its second year, is sponsored by the Kentucky Innovation Network, the Office of Entrepreneurship within the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and the Kentucky Angel Investors Network. The Investors Network (www.kyangels.net) brings new ventures and accredited investors together via monthly online meetings, providing investors access to deals and partnerships with entrepreneurs statewide. Membership is open to those accredited investors within and outside the Commonwealth who are passionate about investing in Kentucky companies.

                Consisting of 13 offices throughout the state, including one in Eastern Kentucky University’s Business and Technology Center, the Kentucky Innovation Network (www.kyinnovation.com), an initiative of the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development’s Office of Entrepreneurship, offers extensive resources for small and new businesses. Forms of assistance include funding initiatives, marketing and sales assistance, small business advocacy and resource referrals, along with a variety of financial and incentive programs to encourage investment and job growth.

                For additional information, contact Kristel Smith, director of the Kentucky Innovation Network-Richmond, 859-622-8571 or kristel.smith@eku.edu.

Know How? Do You Know-Do?

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“There is no shortage of know-how. Know-do, you will.” Business Yoda.

Harvard Business Review cautions business leaders, managers and would-be entrepreneurs to avoid the “smart-talk trap.”

At the center of both stories is a particular kind of inertia that plagues companies of every size and type. In our four years of research at nearly 100 companies, we observed it at global conglomerates and at 20-employee start-ups, at capital-intensive manufacturers and at knowledge-driven service firms. It is not the inertia of indifference or ignorance but of knowing too much and doing too little. We call this phenomenon the knowing-doing gap.

It’s good reminder that in many cases, knowing what to do too often substitutes for doing what you know.

Image: Attribution Some rights reserved by JD Hancock

Successful Companies Grow

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Successful companies grow:

Successful businesses grow…. Today, in fact, only 13% of the original Fortune 500 companies from 1955 are still around. Once great firms like Bethlehem Steel and RCA no longer exist and others, such as General Motors and IBM have had near death experiences.

Greg Satell at Digital Tonto writes that “the likely cause of your business’s future failure is a factor in its success today,” and lists three “future failures” as:

  • Your business model changed and it wasn’t recognized
  • A culture that worked against optimal outcomes or produced truly awful outcomes
  • A “linear” view of the exponential and disruptive potential of technology

Give the entire piece a read! And if you want help to grow your company, why not contact the Kentucky Innovation Network? We’ll put you in touch with someone, whether you need help for a very specific question, for example, about finance or cash flow, or need someone who can mentor you on your growth journey.

Image: Attribution Some rights reserved by AdamSelwood

Executive Briefing Series Sept. 16, October 6

“Building a Successful SalesTeam … or Not”

 

Building and developing a productive sales team with productive sales processes often includes pitfalls. Identifying and managing the behaviors of success and, frankly, failure is critical! Join us …

 

This workshop series is for business owners and senior leaders whose #1 focus is revenue generation. We examine challenges that derail the sales effort, extend the sales cycle, and lead to lower closing ratios or margin selling. Control your results by understanding and mastering the difference between behavioral management and numbers management. This includes setting expectations, tracking results, and frequent feedback. Successful processes distinguish not only what the goals are, but how they can be achieved.

 

This seminar includes how to identify and hire salespeople who have to ability and drive to sell effectively. When navigating an effective sales interview, we discuss how inspecting the behaviors of salespeopleisthe difference between a successful or a failed hire.

 

We have two events coming up:

Wednesday, September 16 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, October 6 from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

 

                Impact Sales Systems – 214 S. 8th Street, #100, Louisville, Kentucky 40202

 

http://www.eventbrite.com/e/executive-briefing-series-building-a-successful-sales-team-or-not-tickets-18043066297?aff=email

 

Register NOW!  Hope to see you there!