Venture Connectors celebrated our 20th Anniversary on Oct. 7. The organization was founded as Venture Club of Louisville in 1995, and we invited back all of our founders to commemorate 20 years of connecting entrepreneurs, investors, service providers, inventors, academics, practitioners, technologists, students and business experts to increase the number and quality of new ventures launched from the Louisville region.
Our Sept. 2 lunch will feature Kris Kimel, founder of IdeaFestival, who has built a career around the kind of innovation and creativity that propels communities into the future. He will share his passion for embracing “dangerous” new ideas, some of which he is currently pursuing through his Lexington-based science and technology ventures.
Kimel is president and co-founder of the Kentucky Science and Technology Corp., an independent, nonprofit company dedicated to creating an innovation-driven entrepreneurial economy that positions Kentucky as a global leader in science and technology. He is also a founder of two subsidiaries — Kentucky Space LLC and Space Tango Inc.
What’s it like to be on the inside of a major acquisition? Come to Venture Connectors’ Aug. 5 luncheon to find out. Our featured speakers, Indatus CEO, David Durik, and president, Phil Hawkins, will discuss what it takes to create, nurture and structure a major exit like the one Indatus underwent earlier this year. Click here to read coverage of the event in Business First.
On June 2, Carrollton, Texas-based RealPage Inc. announced it acquired select assets of ICIM Corp., which is marketed under the trade name Indatus, for about $49 million. Founded by Durik as Planet Telecom in 1989, Indatus provides a suite of cloud-based, smart-answer automation and routing solutions that handle maintenance calls for more than 11,000 apartment communities. RealPage plans to combine Indatus’ offerings with its live-agent services.
If you have ever been interested in learning more about how Venture Connectors connects the entrepreneurial community with resources and capital, plan to attend our special networking event on Wednesday, July 8, from 5:30-7 p.m. Members are free, as always, but guests are only $30 for this evening event.
Our membership appreciation night will feature all six Venture Sharks winners, who will share how they used their prize to take their startups to the next level, as well as the impressive progress they’ve made since they won. Past judges and finalists will also be in attendance. Note: Venture Connectors will not hold its regular monthly luncheon in July.
On Wednesday, June 3, Venture Connectors will host Ashley Drake, co-owner and CEO of The Natural Grip LLC, a recent competitor on ABC-TV’s “Shark Tank.” Don't miss out! Click here to register before noon on Tuesday, June 2!
Drake appeared on the show’s Nov. 7, 2014, episode, and received an investment from celebrity shark Robert Herjavec. She will talk about her experiences leading up to her appearance, how she prepared for it, what it was like to face the sharks and how she is growing her business with the help of Herjavec’s investment. Louisville-based The Natural Grip manufactures specialized handgrips for weightlifters, cross trainers and other athletes that are designed to prevent common injuries.
Congratulations to Steve Arkon and his team at Logjustrips, the winner of the 2015 Venture Sharks business competition! The company collects stop/start data from company cars and presents a decision to the driver, “Was that trip business or personal?”
Logjustrips will receive $10,000 in cash and professional services to help take its idea to market. The Venture Sharks winner is selected based on the viability of their idea, the ability of the final award to positively impact the business and the quality of their presentation. Click here to read about the Venture Sharks finals in Business First.
Venture Connectors has selected four startups to compete in the final round of its 6th annual Venture Sharks™ business competition on Wednesday, May 6. Entrepreneurs seeking funding for their business plans will fend for themselves against a panel of savvy investor sharks fishing for the next great deal.
This year, Venture Connectors received 35 applications from entrepreneurs across the region. The Venture Sharks committee chose the top 11 big ideas for the first round of the competition, held April 15. During that event, the field was narrowed to four finalists.
Venture Connectors will host the preliminary round of its 6th annual Venture Sharks™ business competition on Wednesday, April 15, at 5:30 p.m. at The Pointe, 1205 E. Washington St. During the event, 11 entrepreneurs will present their business plans to a panel of savvy investor sharks fishing for the next great deal. The field will be narrowed to four finalists, who will then vie for a $10,000 prize at Venture Connectors’ regular monthly lunch on Wednesday, May 6, at the Muhammad Ali Center.
On April 1, Venture Connectors will host John Asher, vice president of racing communications for Churchill Downs Race Track. Asher will discuss the business of horse racing, including insights into specific factors that make the industry profitable and relevant. Asher has worked in the Thoroughbred racing industry as an award-winning journalist and publicist for more than 30 years. He joined Churchill Downs in January 1997 and has served in his current position since March 1999.
On March 4, Venture Connectors will host a panel featuring Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer’s economic advancement team. Ted Smith, chief of civic innovation, Mary Ellen Wiederwohl, deputy chief of staff and chief of strategic initiatives, and Colleen Abate, economic development manager, will discuss the Mayor’s vision for Louisville and how the venture capital and entrepreneurial community can participate in that vision. The interactive discussion will include questions from the audience. Register for the event here.