2 UK-led organizations win SBA awards


LEXINGTON, Ky. (October 14, 2021) – Two innovation programs led by the University of Kentucky are receiving a portion of US Small Business Administration (SBA) $ 5.4 million to support inclusive entrepreneurship in the innovation ecosystem.

The SBA recently announced the winners of its Growth Accelerator Fund Competition (GAFC) and Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Catalyst, a new stream aimed at boosting investment in under-represented communities in the economy of the large-scale innovation.

Kentucky Commercialization Ventures (KCV), a program co-founded by the United Kingdom’s Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC) and led in partnership with the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation (KSTC), the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and the University of Louisville, was one of 84 GAFC winners, receiving $ 50,000 to support the work of the program to translate innovations, research findings and intellectual property into ready-to-use products, services and job-creating startups. be marketed from all public higher education institutions in Kentucky that do not have dedicated marketing resources.

XLerator Network (XLN), OTC’s southeast IDeA hub funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, was one of eight SBIR Catalyst competition winners, receiving $ 150,000. XLN, led by the Xlerate Health accelerator based in Louisville and the UK as the lead academic institution, is a regional center of technology transfer accelerators connecting biomedical researchers and administrators from 25 universities in the South East with resources to commercialize innovations in products that improve human health.

XLN’s award focuses on expanding its EnRICH program, a “pre-accelerator” program for harvesting and commercializing human health-focused innovations for innovative teachers and students at historically black colleges and universities. (HBCU) across the country. EnRICH was co-founded by OTC and Xlerate Health in partnership with Jackson State University (JSU) and is led by JSU.

Taunya Phillips, Director of the UK Office of Technology Commercialization, will partner with XLerate Health and JSU to execute the new training model for HBCUs.

“The grant will allow the team to use their collective knowledge and ideas about SBIR programs to raise awareness of HBCU campuses,” Phillips said. “Instruction, coaching and mentoring will help increase the competitiveness of SBIR applications from HBCU startups. I look forward to seeing how our work positively impacts the number of SBIR awards from HBCUs.

“UK Innovate and the OTC are honored and grateful to have partnered with such great contributors as XLerate Health and Jackson State University linked to the Catalyst Award, and Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation and Kentucky Commercialization Ventures linked to the Growth Accelerator Fund Award “Said Ian McClure, JD, UK associate vice president for research, innovation and economic impact” Intentional efforts like these projects show our commitment to inclusive innovation, something that we want to continue to make it a top priority. We look forward to working with these partners to ensure open and equitable access to best practices and programs to support under-represented innovators and new founders. “

SBA Award contestants were required to submit a presentation deck and 90-second video to describe their overall plan for an award, including their work with targeted groups of entrepreneurs, their experience with STEM / R & D, and implementation plans. works for the prize funds. Applications were judged by panels of experts from the private and public sectors with experience in start-up investing, entrepreneurship, universities, startups and economic development.


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