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Kentucky APEX Accelerator Wins National Award from Department of Defense

The Department of Defense (DOD) Office of Small Business Programs awarded Kentucky APEX Accelerator with the Nunn-Perry Award for its work in the Mentor-Protégé Program. Kentucky APEX Accelerator, an initiative of the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation dedicated to helping Kentucky businesses navigate the complex world of government contracting, is recognized along with Raytheon Missiles and Defense, FUSE Integration and California State University as one of four Mentor-Protégé teams to win the award in fiscal year 2022.

“It’s an honor to be recognized for our work supporting the DOD Mentor-Protégé Program,” shared Kentucky APEX Accelerator Executive Director Nancy Brown. “Our primary purpose is to help businesses tap into new markets by contracting with federal, state, and local governments and subcontracting with prime contractors. We know we have greater impact when our resources benefit both large and small businesses such as FUSE and Raytheon.”

2022 Nunn-Perry Award Winners Pose with Their Awards

Established in 1990, the DOD Mentor-Protégé Program pairs large companies with small businesses to help large prime contractors meet their Small Disadvantaged Businesses subcontracting goals and enable small businesses to expand their footprint in the defense industry. The Nunn-Perry Award recognizes excellence for teams that demonstrate positive return on investment, technical assistance, protégé growth and impact on protégé development.

Organizations such as the Kentucky APEX Accelerator provide technical assistance, coaching and support to the Mentor-Protégé teams. Kentucky APEX Accelerator is considered an authorized subcontractor for DOD’s Mentor-Protégé Program and part of the team supporting FUSE Integration (Protégé).

The Nunn-Perry Award is named for the contributions of Senator Sam Nunn and former Secretary of Defense William Perry, both of whom played critical roles in the implementation of the DOD Mentor Protégé Program. Awardees were recognized on March 30 during a luncheon at the 2023 Mentor-Protégé Summit in Orlando, FL by Deputy Under Secretary of the Army Mario Diaz, Director of DOD Office of Small Business Programs Farooq Mitha, and Director of the Mentor-Protégé Program Kasey Diaz.

The Summit also offered small businesses opportunities to learn from industry and government experts about strengthening supply chains and modernizing the nation’s defense industrial base through education, networking, and multilevel collaborations.

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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