Winners will receive cash prizes to start their businesses, gain access to angel investors
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Imagine having 10 minutes to pitch your business idea to a group of investors who could make your dream come true. Sound like a reality show? It is reality, right here in Kentucky.
Governor Steve Beshear has announced the state will host eight regional pitch competitions this summer. 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 Frankfort.
“The next great idea can come from anyone,” said Gov. Beshear. “As a state, we need to support these visionaries and provide them the tools to turn their vision into a reality, including the financial means to get started. I look forward to seeing more small businesses and new jobs come to life as a result of these competitions.”
The events will take place in Ashland, Pikeville, Murray, Elizabethtown, Richmond, Covington, Lexington and Louisville.
“Small businesses are job creators and the backbone of Kentucky’s economy,” said Mandy Lambert, acting commissioner of business development at the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. “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 Office of Entrepreneurship within the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, along with the Kentucky Angels Network and the Kentucky Innovation Network.
“These regional events help form the foundation for a statewide network of entrepreneurs and investors working together to create new businesses and jobs across the Commonwealth,” said Dean Harvey, executive director of the Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship in the Gatton College of Business and Economics at the University of Kentucky.
The pitch competitions will make the following appearances:
Ashland: June 3, 2014, Ignite Accelerator, 1100 Greenup Ave., 5 p.m.-7 p.m.
Pikeville: June 10, 2014, Coleman College of Business, UPIKE, 5 p.m.-7 p.m.
Murray: June 17, 2014, Heritage Hall, Murray State University, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Elizabethtown: June 19, 2014, Brown-Pusey House, 128 North Main St., 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Richmond: June 20, 2014, Central Bank Community Room, 350 West Main St., 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Louisville: July 23, 2014, Greater Louisville Inc., 614 West Main St., Suite 6000, 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m.
Lexington: Sept. 24, 2014, Commerce Lexington, 330 East Main St., Suite 100, 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
For more information on the competition, visit kyinnovation.com.
Last year, the Cabinet successfully launched the Kentucky Angels Network. 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.
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.