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Kentucky APEX Accelerator Joins University of Kentucky’s “Growing Our Own” Project

A female business owner displays an "open" sign in her storefront window.

The Kentucky APEX Accelerator, a program funded in part by the Department of Defense and supported by the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation (KSTC), is collaborating with the University of Kentucky (UK) Economic Development Collaborative on a project to build Kentucky’s disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) supplier pipeline. The project, titled “Growing Our Own,” is one of nine selected for funding by the UK Office of Land-Grant Engagement.


Billions of dollars in economic development opportunities are coming to Kentucky. Still, many of these opportunities require DBEs (including women-owned, veteran-owned and minority-owned businesses) to understand how to respond to solicitations or submit proposals in order to obtain work from UK, government agencies and prime contractors. Through the "Growing Our Own" project, UK, the Kentucky APEX Accelerator and other community partners are growing Kentucky’s base of sustainable businesses and increasing the economic viability of our commonwealth.


As a community partner in the project, the Kentucky APEX Accelerator will provide expert assistance to help participants with socioeconomic certifications, training on how to do business with government organizations and mentorship at in-person workshops across the state.  


Workshops will be hosted at UK extension offices and will cover topics such as:

  • How to Do Business with the University of Kentucky

  • How to Do Business with Local, State and Federal Governments

  • Understanding Bids, Requests for Proposals and Bonding Requirements

  • Understanding Business Certifications: Which Certification is Right for You?


Workshops will begin in the fall of 2024 and will continue through the spring of 2025.


The Growing Our Own project partners include:

  • Kentucky APEX Accelerator

  • Commerce Lexington

  • Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

  • UK M-G CAFE Extension

  • UK Purchasing

  • UK Economic Development and Real Estate

About Kentucky APEX Accelerator

Formerly known as KYPTAC, the Kentucky APEX Accelerator is an initiative of the Kentucky Science & Technology Corporation (KSTC) that promotes economic development and private sector business growth by providing free assistance to companies interested in providing products or services to federal, state and local governments and large primes, which annually offer billions of dollars in contracts to private sector companies. The Kentucky APEX Accelerator is funded in part through cooperative agreements with the Department of Defense and Kentucky’s Cabinet for Economic Development. Learn more at

About KSTC

The Kentucky Science & Technology Corporation (KSTC) is a private, statewide nonprofit corporation committed to advancing science, technology and innovative economic development founded on Kentucky know-how. KSTC seeks to improve the capacity of people, companies and organizations to build an innovation-driven economy in Kentucky. Learn more at


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