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KY Innovation


Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development’s KY Innovation is Helping Startups and Small Businesses Succeed in the Commonwealth

As part of the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, the KY Innovation team and its statewide partners offer programs to serve all the businesses that make up Kentucky’s vibrant innovation ecosystem. This office connects entrepreneurs from across the commonwealth to services they need to start, scale and thrive. KY Innovation oversees six regional hubs, which serve as local ambassadors in their communities by leveraging local partnerships and offering tailor-made resources for entrepreneurs in their regions. These partnerships include higher education institutions, established corporations, angel/venture capital funds and economic development groups. Resources include co-working spaces, coaching, educational and more. The six primary regional KY Innovation Hubs currently serving the Commonwealth’s 120 counties are:

Alongside its partners, KY Innovation has helped founders connect with mentorship opportunities, raise funds and create jobs. To date, the office has assisted over 3,000 businesses across the Commonwealth, generating over 12,000 jobs for Kentuckians. Moreover, those helped by KY Innovation have been able to create an almost 3:1 ROI, raising over $1.5 billion and generating $5.44 billion in revenue. Beyond the services provided by the regional Innovation Hubs, additional resources offered by KY Innovation include tax credits, finding seed and early stages capital, conducting research for Federal agencies and exporting products to new markets. These programs include:

  • Kentucky Small Business Tax Credit (KSBTC) - supports growth and job creation through nonrefundable tax credits for eligible small businesses hiring one or more full-time persons and investing at least $5,000 in qualifying equipment.

  • KY Selling Farmers Tax Credit (KSFTC) - encourages the continued use of agricultural land for farming purposes by granting tax credits to farmers selling their land and equipment to new farmers.

  • KY Angel Investment Tax Credit (KAITC) - offers a credit of up to 40 percent of an investment in innovative Kentucky small businesses.

  • KY Small Business Credit Initiative (KSBCI) - increases the availability of capital loans by using three distinct credit enhancement programs, thus reducing the risks participating lenders assume when making loans to small businesses.

  • Small Business Innovation Research | Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR|STTR) Match - matches, on a competitive basis, Phase 1 and Phase 2 federal awards received by high-tech small businesses in or willing to move to Kentucky.

  • Kentucky Enterprise Fund (KEF) - provides seed-stage capital to companies that are commercializing a technology-based product or process. This fund exists to stimulate private investments in the state’s technology companies with high growth potential.

  • State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) - helps Kentucky’s small to mid-size businesses overcome obstacles to exporting by reimbursing expenses associated with entering and expanding into international markets.

For more information about KY Innovation, their regional hubs, incentive and tax credit programs, and additional resources, visit their website at You can also contact the KY Innovation team by email at or by phone at (502) 564-7670. They would love to hear from you!


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