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Kentucky Entrepreneurs Connect with America's Seed Fund During Road Tour Stop

On Thursday, May 16, 2024, the Kentucky Science and Engineering Foundation (KSEF) hosted the Kentucky stop of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) America’s Seed Fund Road Tour. The Road Tour connects entrepreneurs working on advanced technology to the country’s largest source of early-stage funding. Also known as the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs, America’s Seed Fund focuses on next-generation research and development (R&D) through participating federal agencies.




 

Americaʼs Seed Fund Road Tour plays an important role in increasing engagement with entrepreneurial ecosystems across the country and building out greater networks to support the small businesses focusing on high-impact research.


“Bringing the federal agencies here so they can meet one-on-one with these companies to understand their technologies and opportunities really does demystify the program.”

“It’s really important for America’s Seed Fund to leave the federal agencies and meet the entrepreneurs where they are,” said Erick Page-Littleford, acting director of the SBIR/STTR program office at the SBA. “Bringing the federal agencies here so they can meet one-on-one with these companies to understand their technologies and opportunities really does demystify the program.”

 

More than 200 people attended the event, including representatives from more than 15 federal agencies. These representatives met one-on-one with Kentucky small business owners and startup founders, participated in panel discussions, presented on SBIR/STTR technology areas, and shared insights into how agencies make funding decisions. The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development’s KY Innovation team was also on-hand to kick off the event and share details about the state’s matching funds program for recipients of SBIR/STTR awards.





“We start here but once we leave, these entrepreneurs are able to work with our local FAST partners to continue their journey and access America’s Seed Fund.”

 

KSEF, an initiative of the Kentucky Science & Technology Corporation (KSTC), is Kentucky’s Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partner. We help Kentucky innovators secure SBIR/STTR funding through training programs such as agency-specific Proposal Labs, one-on-one consultations, and microAwards that reduce barriers to R&D funding.

 

“We really appreciate working with our local partners like KSTC and view this as a catalyzing event,” added Page-Littleford. “We start here but once we leave, these entrepreneurs are able to work with our local FAST partners to continue their journey and access America’s Seed Fund.”





 

Americaʼs Seed Fund provides over $4 billion in early-stage funding to small businesses each year in a wide variety of technology areas such as unmanned systems, advanced materials, health, cybersecurity and defense. The program executes over 6,000 new funding awards annually, which allow innovators to advance new technologies and have contributed to the creation of thousands of jobs.

 

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