A key component to stimulating our high-tech economy is realized through the partnership with the University of Kentucky and the Commercialization and Innovation process. This is the process of turning great ideas for research, software and program development into businesses. Our Commercialization and Innovation contact with UK is lead by Len Heller and the Economic Development Team at UK. Through this point of contact, we have access to engineering, agricultural, and bio-tech expertise.
In addition, through the Bluegrass Business Development Partnership, a study of the High-Tech Environment for Entrepreneurs was conducted by the Institute for Workplace Flexibility. To see the results of that study, click:
An emerging area for software development is also realized through the Young Entrepreneurs of Lexington. This group of students and young professionals have already started forming great companies through events like Start-up Weekend. To learn about Start-up Weekend visit Lexington Startup Weekend and Kentucky Startup Blog.
Through our Bluegrass Business Development Partnership (BBDP), Commerce Lexington is helping these creative hi-tech professionals meet through informal gathering and networking opportunities provided during “Geeks Night Out”. Each event has drawn about 100 attendees and there are varying attendees at each event. If you are interested in attending one of these networking events to meet other hi-tech professionals you may send an email to inteLEX@commercelexington.com for further information.
The Venture Club, also organized by Commerce Lexington and supported by the BBDP, arranges opportunities for investors to find the next best entrepreneurial company in Lexington. Through these activities, 68 early-stage high-tech companies received over $68,000,000 in venture capital investment during 2008. These same companies have created over 230 jobs while employing 532 people during this same time frame. These companies increased revenue by 18% in 2008. See the “Where Ideas Take Flight” report of the companies here.
The annual meeting for the Venture Club was held January 29, 2009. There were well over 100 present to network with each other and Venture Capital Firms and all present celebrated the entrepreneur of the year during this event. Click here to learn more about the Venture Club and to possibly become a member.