Tech Transfer eNews Blog

U of Kentucky partners with Launch Blue to expand support program for university innovators


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: July 22nd, 2020

The University of Kentucky (UK) Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC) is partnering with regional start-up accelerator Launch Blue to help Kentucky innovators interact and learn from each other’s experiences as entrepreneurs.

UK and Launch Blue are enhancing the school’s UKAccel program to include other Kentucky universities. Renamed UAccel, the program will provide biweekly cohort meetings in which all innovators can interact. There will also be individual biweekly coaching sessions to provide more individualized coaching and assistance.

UK researchers can benefit from UAccel by receiving support in Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant applications, start-up formation, or technology licensing.

According to Taunya Phillips at OTC, one of the key features of the program is that it guides researchers through the process of engaging with potential customers.

“Learning how to do customer discovery is a game changer for an innovator or start-up trying to commercialize a technology,” says Phillips, who is the senior associate director for OTC’s New Ventures & Alliances team. “They will never approach their research or products the same way again. Customer discovery is a key part of the overall Launch Blue program that we are very excited to offer to the UK community through UKAccel.”

Laura Hallian, executive director at Launch Blue, comments, “Launch Blue is excited to partner with UK OTC and Kentucky institutions of higher learning from across the state to offer the UAccel program. The curriculum and personalized coaching offered through the program will help innovators to develop a commercialization pathway for their technology that positions them for long term success.”

Source: UK Now

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