The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) recently awarded the Kentucky Science & Technology Corporation (KSTC) $125,000 through the Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program. The award boosts KSTC’s work through the Kentucky Science & Engineering Foundation (KSEF) to provide small businesses and startups, particularly those in underserved communities, with training, mentoring and technical assistance for research and development so they can benefit from federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.
“This award is an exciting acknowledgement of the value KSEF brings to Kentucky’s community of high-tech innovators,” explained Dr. Maria Labreveux, KSEF executive director.
KSEF invests in research and development activities that add value to the economic growth of the state through trainings and small grants to help entrepreneurs, scientists and innovators expand their skillsets and increase the capacity of their business to meet federal challenges. “We provide resources that help them secure federal funding and grow Kentucky’s economy, supporting high-paying jobs and revenue,” Labreveux added.
KSTC also received a FAST award in 2021. For the first time since its creation, the FAST program is awarding second-year funding to state organizations nationwide who are recognized for their work. KSEF has served as a model to many of the nation’s state-based programs.
“When we enable equitable access to federal research funding, we empower more of our nation’s entrepreneurs and scientists to translate their cutting-edge ideas into commercial enterprises,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman in the award announcement. “This is why doubling our funding of FAST grants and expanding the network of awardees is so critical to building a stronger and more inclusive innovation economy that invests in all of our communities.”
In collaboration with the KY Innovation team at the Cabinet for Economic Development, KSEF leverages a strong team of experts to help Kentucky entrepreneurs, particularly those from underrepresented groups, succeed at the federal level.
“We know that Kentucky’s innovation ecosystem is only made better by including more ideas and voices,” added KSTC President Terry Samuel. “The FAST award helps us expand the services we provide to remove barriers that entrepreneurs face with research and development activities and put them in a better position to secure federal funding and scale their business in Kentucky.”
KSEF offers agency-specific accelerators, webinars and proposal writing coaching. The team also offers microAwards – grants of up to $5,000 that help companies preparing to apply for federal funding access commercialization, customer and market experts to increase their odds of submitting successful federal proposals.
Those interested in learning more about the entrepreneurial support provided by KSTC and KSEF can visit http://ksef.kstc.org.