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125 New Jobs Created

The Kentucky Innovation Network Pikeville Office: Supporting Small Businesses and Helping to Create Jobs in Eastern Kentucky

Denise Preece, Owner, Ground Solutions LLC displaying her new website built with the assistance of the Kentucky Innovation Network Pikeville Office

Denise Preece, Owner, Ground Solutions LLC displaying her new website built with the assistance of the Kentucky Innovation Network Pikeville Office

Assistant Director Justin Prater, MBA teaching a workshop.

Assistant Director Justin Prater, MBA teaching a workshop.

Dr. David Snow and Justin Prater, MBA accepting their "Best Teaching Paper" award from the Small Business Institute in San Diego, California.  

Dr. David Snow and Justin Prater, MBA accepting their "Best Teaching Paper" award from the Small Business Institute in San Diego, California.  

With the fiscal year ending June 30, the Pikeville office of the Kentucky Innovation Network recently received its annual performance review. The purpose of the office is to assist people in starting new businesses and help small businesses grow. The office is operated by its Director, David Snow, DM and associate professor of business for the University of Pikeville and its Assistant Director, Justin Prater, MBA. Over the past year, the companies receiving assistance from the Pikeville office have created 94 full-time jobs and 31 part-time jobs. The Kentucky Innovation Network was started in 2001 and the Pikeville office opened in 2014. The Pikeville office serves the nine eastern Kentucky counties of: Breathitt, Floyd, Johnson, Knott, Letcher, Magoffin, Martin, Perry and Pike. Since opening, sixteen of the companies the Pikeville office assisted are still in business.

“Justin Prater and the Kentucky Innovation network have been a great asset to Eastern Air Flow LLC,” stated Justin Trout, President and Founder of Eastern Air Flow LLC. “They are always there for us, and have helped us promptly when asked as we continue to grow our business.”

Along with free individualized business counseling to clients, the Pikeville office of the Kentucky Innovation Network conducts workshops on subjects such as starting a business, social media marketing, and website building. The office has helped several regional small businesses build their own websites for free. P

“I have attended several trainings hosted by the Kentucky Innovation Network and requested their service in designing a website for my company,” said Denise Preece, owner and CEO of Ground Solutions LLC. “Their one-on-one training was easy to follow and my website looks amazing! For someone who struggles with technology, I am confident I will be able to update and add information as needed in the future. I highly recommend the Kentucky Innovation Network for all your technology needs.”

The Pikeville office of the Kentucky Innovation Network also provides entrepreneurship education for regional K-12 schools. Since 2014, they have taught a ten-week program to teachers and students which culminates in a regional business pitch competition held at the Coleman College of Business on the University of Pikeville campus. The Innovation Office organizes and sponsors the competition, paying $1,000 in prize money to the student winners. Last November, Lt. Governor Jenean Hampton attended the entire event and announced the winners.

“The Entrepreneurship program Dr. Snow and Mr. Prater facilitated to our students in Johnson County has provided a whole new outlook on business,” exclaimed Jarred Gibson, business teacher for Johnson Central High School. “Multiple students have found themselves changing their major to Business after taking part in this program. It has truly provided opportunities for students who were very introverted to become very outspoken and confident. Their hard work and dedication has truly been a great asset to our students and staff.”

The Kentucky Innovation Network is a valuable ally for small businesses. It is comprised of business leaders and mentors who are passionate about entrepreneurism and committed to the success of small business in Kentucky. Twelve offices have been established throughout Kentucky to ensure that anyone with an idea and the determination to turn the idea into a viable business has a nearby place where they can receive assistance.

“For the business owner, we focus on assessment, business development, capitalization, and networking. The Pikeville office of the Kentucky Innovation Network is eager to work with eastern Kentuckians in the pursuit of their business venture success,” said Dr. David Snow, Director of the Kentucky Innovation Network Pikeville office and Associate Professor of Business for the University of Pikeville. “We also provide a variety of services to business owners, schools, colleges, other service organizations, and the community,”

In conjunction with the other activities, Dr. Snow and Mr. Prater conduct research on eastern Kentucky. Their recent paper, “Entrepreneurship Elsewhere”, is a study of the low entrepreneurial attitudes of eastern Kentucky high school students. This research earned them a Best Paper Award from the Small Business Institute in February and it is scheduled for publication later this year.

To contact the Kentucky Innovation Network Pikeville office call Justin Prater, Assistant Director at 606 218-5053 or email justinprater@upike.edu

 

 

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All-Organic Feed Supplement Wins 2016 UPIKE Startup Challenge

1st Place:  CitrOHa

From Left to Right: Marcos Fondelius Sernandez, Christin Justice, Nicholas Rodenbusch, and Dr. David Snow.

2nd Place:  Pier Smart

From Left to Right:  Noelle Fields, Tyeisha Smith, Dalton Rife, Madison Stiltner, and Dr. David Snow.

3rd Place: Eyesight Education

From Left to Right: Diego Rivas, Tengfei Si, and Dr. David Snow.

The University of Pikeville welcomed aspiring entrepreneurs to the Coleman College of Business’s fifth Startup Challenge Business Plan Competition. This is the largest event of its kind in Eastern Kentucky and everyone in the region is eligible to participate.

The Startup Challenge was developed to seek new, independently proposed ventures in the conceptual, seed or startup stages. The event was held in collaboration with the Kentucky Innovation Network Pikeville office.

Entries from high school students, college students and community members were received. Teams submitted written plans for a chance to compete for $10,000 in prize money. The most comprehensive plans were chosen as finalists to attend the event. These teams delivered oral presentations before a panel of judges. The three highest scoring teams were selected as winners.

“Each time we host this event, interest grows and the plans continue to improve. It is exciting to see the current entrepreneurial activity in Eastern Kentucky and to play a role in supporting these efforts,” said David Snow, D.M., director of the Kentucky Innovation Network Pikeville office, director of the SBI program and business competitions, associate professor of business and the founder of the event.

CitrOHa took home first place and the $5,000 prize. The team members are UPIKE students Marcos Fondelius Sernandez, Nicholas Rodenbusch, and Christin Justice who created an all-organic feed supplement to address the pervasive problem of osteoarthritis in dogs.

"UPIKE’s Startup Challenge was an excellent experience offering East Kentuckians a chance to showcase their talents while gaining confidence to move forward with their ideas,” commented Justice. “UPIKE is serving their community by fostering an entrepreneurial spirit in the region.”

The second place award of $3,000 went to the Pier Smart team of Dalton Rife, Madison Stiltner, Tyeisha Smith, and Noelle Fields. They are Phelps high school students who are working on a portable desalination product to provide clean, salt-free drinking water to the more than 5,000 people who become stranded at sea each year.

“The entrepreneurship competition is a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to learn what it takes to succeed in the business industry. I know personally that my knowledge of the business industry has grown tremendously since participating in this competition,” said Rife. 

Eyesight Education with UPIKE international students Tengfei Si and Diego Rivas earned third place and $2,000 with their idea of providing affordable, unbiased and comprehensive information to Chinese students wanting to attend college in the U.S.

“Reading about entrepreneurship from a textbook and actually creating one's own business plan is very different. We really learned a lot from the whole process of preparing for the UPIKE Startup Challenge,” said Si.

From assisting startups in assessing an idea, to developing a business plan, to finding grants, loans and capital, the Kentucky Innovation Network helps local entrepreneurs and local companies discover the resources needed to be successful. The Pikeville office operates in UPIKE’s Community Technology Center and serves the nine counties of Breathitt, Floyd, Johnson, Knott, Letcher, Magoffin, Martin, Perry and Pike.

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Team Rhizofeed Wins Again!

Over the weekend Rhizofeed participated in the Baylor University New Venture Competition. This is an event for graduate programs at the highest level which included PhD candidates and graduates of PhD programs. In total, 146 teams from 83 universities applied to this competition. Baylor accepted the best twelve business plans.

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Former coal miner wins UPIKE’s Startup Challenge Business Plan Competition

Today’s Color, a team made up of Andrew Taylor and Lloyd Stacy, claimed first-place in UPIKE’s Startup Challenge Business Plan Competition. 

The Hashtag Appalachia team of Jacob Colley and Payton May won second-place. 

Revere Reflector with Andrew Beatty, Durand Warren, Shawn Fuller and Christopher Blackburn earned third-place. 

PIKEVILLE – The University of Pikeville welcomed aspiring entrepreneurs to the Coleman College of Business’s fourth Startup Challenge Business Plan Competition. This is the largest event of its kind in Eastern Kentucky and anyone in the region is eligible to participate. The Startup Challenge was developed to seek new, independently proposed ventures in the conceptual, seed or startup stages. The event was held in collaboration with the Kentucky Innovation Network Pikeville office.

A total of 20 entries from high school students, college students and community members were received. Teams submitted written plans for a chance to compete for $15,000 in prize money. The eight most comprehensive plans were chosen as finalists to attend the event. These teams delivered oral presentations before a panel of judges. The three highest scoring teams were selected as winners.

“Each time we host this event, interest grows and the plans continue to improve. It is exciting to see the current entrepreneurial activity in Eastern Kentucky and to play a role in supporting these efforts,” said David Snow, D.M., director of the Kentucky Innovation Network Pikeville office, director of business competitions, associate professor of business and the founder of the event.

Today’s Color took home first place and the $8,000 prize. Team members Andrew Taylor and Lloyd Stacy created software for physicians and treatment providers who specialize in the medically assisted treatment of substance abuse disorders. 

 

The automated platform replaces the slow manual process of contacting and recording patient compliance, substantially saving time and money for physicians and patients. Taylor is a former coal miner who taught himself computer coding.

“The Kentucky Innovation Network provided us with invaluable guidance and support,” said Taylor. “Thanks to their assistance, TodaysColor.com will be able to assist recovering addicts and their treatment providers.”

The second place award of $4,000 went to the Hashtag Appalachia team of Jacob Colley and Payton May. Hashtag Appalachia is a creative services company based in Pikeville providing marketing and branding services for small businesses as well as fabricating modern Appalachian products to sell directly to consumers.

“Hashtag Appalachia was thrilled to be able to participate in the Startup Challenge. As a new startup in Eastern Kentucky, the opportunity to pitch our business for a chance to win free capital was awesome,” said Colley. “Capital is king in all business, and being able to secure $4,000 allows us to make an investment in the tools and materials we need to be successful.”

Revere Reflector with Andrew Beatty, Durand Warren, Shawn Fuller and Christopher Blackburn earned third place and a $3,000 award with their idea of manufacturing a safer, stronger and less expensive roadway reflector.

“By preparing for this competition I learned that entrepreneurship is more than just having a good idea, it is a process. It is competitions like this that allow individuals to actually experience what entrepreneurship really is,” said Beatty.

From assisting startups in assessing an idea, to developing a business plan, to finding grants, loans and capital, the Kentucky Innovation Network helps local entrepreneurs and local companies discover the resources needed to be successful. The Pikeville office operates in UPIKE’s Community Technology Center and serves the nine counties of Breathitt, Floyd, Johnson, Knott, Letcher, Magoffin, Martin, Perry and Pike.

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