Kentucky has worked diligently to expand its entrepreneurial ecosystem. Business ideas require support and encouragement in their early days to increase the likelihood of success. Accelerators and incubators are major components of this system in Kentucky.
Accelerators are specific programs and facilities that literally “accelerate” the growth of small businesses. In an accelerator, entrepreneurs are guided through the process of writing a business plan, then launching and growing their business.
Included below is a list of various accelerators currently operating in Kentucky.
Aviatra accelerators exist to empower female entrepreneurs to start and sustain businesses by giving them the resources they need to be successful. Through expertise in business basics, guidance from mentors and coaches, and access to capital, Aviatra continuously encourages members to move forward.
348 E. Main St.
Lexington, KY 40507
Awesome Inc. provides a home for high-tech startups through its Awesome Fellowship program. Awesome Fellowship provides mentorship and expertise to startups, along with access to a network of more than 60 experienced entrepreneurs, investors and business community members.
EKU Business & Technology Accelerator
521 Lancaster Avenue BTC041
Richmond, KY 40601
This program provides a network of coaches and resources to go with low-cost office space. The EKU Business and Technology Accelerator is a member of the National Business Incubation Association and provides expertise with resources such as the Kentucky Innovation Network, the Center for Economic Development, Entrepreneurship and Technology (CEDET) and the EKU Small Business Development Center.
Established in 1997, Endeavor selects, mentors, and supports high-growth entrepreneurs in 37 countries and 8 U.S. markets, driving job creation, wealth creation, & inspiration into underserved, growth markets globally. In 2015, an Endeavor office was launched in Louisville, Kentucky as one of the first in the U.S. Our office supports Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio entrepreneurs.
KHIC-Start Business Accelerator
440 Old Whitley Rd.
London, Kentucky 40744
This accelerator program is for businesses that already have established much of their focus, direction, and have many of their pieces in place. Your KHIC experience will reflect where you are in your growth and we will help “fill in the blanks” to help accelerate your journey toward success.
KSEF DOD SBIR/STTR Accelerator
https://www.ksef.kstc.org/dod-accelerator/ virtual format only.
The goal of the accelerator is to help companies bring their technology to market leveraging SBIR/STTR Federal programs non-dilutive funding. During the accelerator companies will be matched with one or more topics, receive virtual instruction, templates and resources to help with proposal preparation, one-on-one counseling, and possible local industry experts.
Launch Blue is for individuals with tech-based startups that have the potential to grow into a highly scalable, profitable company. Launch Blue is only for resilient individuals fully committed to taking their idea from a successful launch through scale. Launch Blue offers multiple accelerator courses. https://www.launchblue.org/
Highland Heights, KY 41099
The INKUBATOR aims to increase the competitive advantage for NKU students by providing them with education, mentoring, financing, facilities, and other related resources necessary for a successful entrepreneurial startup process. The main function of The INKUBATOR is to act as a “feeder system” to area accelerators and technology parks like the eZone, Brandery, UpTech, HCBC, cincytech, bioLOGIC, Vora Technology Park, etc.
Ready to hit the laboratory to bring your envisioned medical breakthrough or pharmaceutical product to pass? Or, are you a life science startup who needs to analyze and test your novel product or medicine? Then search no further, at nucleusky.com you’re sure to succeed with our suitable and well-equipped innovation center. Like a haven, it fosters creative collaboration to test and birth innovative ideas.
WKU Small Business Accelerator
2413 Nashville Rd. Suite B8
Bowling Green, KY 42101
The WKU Small Business Accelerator provides business support services, connections, expertise, university support and control of high-impact costs. Located in the Center for Research and Development, the WKU Small Business Accelerator is home to nearly 20 startup companies.
300 E. Market St. Ste. 260
Louisville, KY 40202
XLerateHealth’s accelerator programs include an intensive three-month lean startup “boot camp” and a multi-year virtual incubator. The accelerator targets healthcare companies and has been named one of the top 50 accelerators in the U.S. each of the last two years by the Small Business Administration.
The Vogt Awards
614 W Main St suite 6000.
Louisville, KY 40220
The Community Foundation of Louisville’s Vogt Invention & Innovation Awards, focused on supporting entrepreneurship in the Louisville region, is the longest-standing program of its kind. Through an endowment left by Henry V. Heuser, Sr. in 1999, the Vogt Awards uniquely allows founders to retain full ownership of their business as they leverage a 10-week startup education program and mentorship in addition to an infusion of capital to accelerate their company’s growth. Established by Henry Vogt Heuser, Sr., the Vogt Fund and Awards were created to strengthen Louisville’s economic health by supporting innovative startups and inspiring entrepreneurship. This initiative plays a critical role in our community’s economic growth as a city that’s poised to be a break-out for startups: ensuring the support and success for new and future businesses.
Incubators offer collaborative space for new businesses where entrepreneurs can brainstorm together and support one another with lower overhead costs.
Listed below are among the various incubators currently operating in Kentucky.
348 E. Main St.
Lexington, KY 40507
Presentation equipment and office space are among the incubator offerings of Awesome Inc. This includes space to host workshops or meetings that can accommodate up to 100 attendees. Other features include a secure high-speed Wi-Fi connection, storage lockers, breakroom, kitchen and print and copy capabilities.
Advanced Science & Technology Commercialization Center (ASTeCC)
345 Graham Ave.
Lexington, KY 40506-0286
The Advanced Science & Technology Commercialization Center, better known as ASTeCC, is UK's premier entrepreneurial ecosystem business incubator that encourages early-stage, high-technological, start-up company growth that will lead to economic development opportunities for the Commonwealth.
Berea Arts Accelerator
Gallery123berea on Facebook
Gallery 1-2-3 is an arts accelerator pilot program sponsored by the Berea Tourist & Convention Commission. The 16-month program currently offers five Berea College graduates specific business training, studio space and other support.
632 Russell Street
Covington, KY 41011
Biologic is a one-stop shop for emerging life sciences companies, providing critical access to scientific and business expertise plus world-class laboratory space. They help turn ideas into companies that change the world. Biologic offers tenant companies networking opportunities and monthly guest speakers from the life science arena. Tenants also have access to an onsite grant strategist, fund raising advisers, PR, accounting, legal, and industry experts.
300 Peach Alley
Hartford KY, 42347
The Hub is a co-work space, business incubator, and remote work training center. With its combination of fiber broadband, shared office space, direct entrepreneurial support and remote work training, the facility will tear down the barriers that have disadvantaged rural citizens in seeking professional growth and rural communities in attracting and retaining a talented workforce.
149 E. Main St.
Morehead Kentucky 40351
Innovation Launchpad provides office space and shared business services and offers clients access to on-site business expertise. The Launchpad is a collaborative effort between Morehead State University, the Morehead/Rowan County Economic Development Council, City of Morehead, Rowan County Fiscal Court and the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development.
38 West Arch Street
Madisonville, KY 42431
The Kentucky Innovation Station is a co-working and business incubation space in in Madisonville’s remodeled train station. Small business owner-operators, traveling professionals and students work independently of one another but in a modernized shared office space, which also houses the Madisonville-Hopkins County Economic Development Corporation.
KHIC-Start Business Incubator
440 Old Whitley Road
London, Kentucky 40744
The Kentucky Highlands Innovation Center offers incubator space for everything from single-day desk use or permanent office space to areas for workshops and meetings to be held.
NKY Incubator Kitchen
1032 Madison Ave
The NKY Incubator Kitchen is a space for local foodies to help launch their food businesses. It allows for hourly kitchen space & mentoring services.
1010 Allen St.
Owensboro, KY 42303
The Centre for Business and Research accommodates a growing demand for lab, research and office space in Owensboro. In addition to office space, the facility offers wet labs and equipment available for lease to startups and universities.
The Russell Tech Business Incubator (RTBI)
The Village of West Jefferson
1219 W. Jefferson St.
The Russell Tech Business Incubator (RTBI) is the first business incubator for Black entrepreneurs in west Louisville. Black business owners will have access to services and resources through RTBI to help them get started, succeed and grow. Services from marketing and finance to sales and technical advice along with business coaches will help support new growth and sustainable businesses. (don’t see a website for it. Spin off of Amped in Lou)
Kentucky is home to a deeply connected network of resources.
Find out what our statewide entrepreneurial ecosystem has to offer.