“Think global, execute local." — David Alberts, MOFILM
Angel Tax Credit Returns
Podcast: Healthier with data
Robotics & cancer
VR solutions for stress
Valley High School wins STEM honor
Safer, more plentiful face masks
Hive Networks celebrates wins
On Our Radar: 2021
Know Your City!
Around the Region
December 29, 2020
CHAT WITH AN INNOVATOR
Kentucky Angel Investment Tax Credit Returns
Anthony Ellis, Executive Director & General Counsel at the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development
January marks the return of the Kentucky Angel Investment Tax Credit (KAITC), a program designed to spur capital investment in startups and small businesses based in the commonwealth. Anthony Ellis, the Executive Director and General Counsel at the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, spoke to Louisville Future about the tax credit.
Tell us about the tax credit program?
Ellis: This program is intended to encourage investments in promising companies that likely otherwise would not have been made, or not made at the same level due to the companies typically being young and often pre-revenue. Although the tax credit goes to the investor, it ultimately benefits startup companies at a critical time for their survival and growth.
We are working extremely hard to improve Kentucky's environment for both entrepreneurs and investors so that we have more of both. That is particularly true for our densely populated areas like Louisville, Lexington, and Northern Kentucky, where there is great potential for angel activity because you have a combination of high-net-worth individuals and institutional capital. We also focus on more underserved areas where we want to encourage investment and grow entrepreneurship culture. Providing an incentive that takes more of that investor money off the sidelines makes it available to early stage companies and helps Louisville's – and the state’s innovation economy grow in the process.
The program was on hiatus for a couple of years. Why and why is it coming back?
Ellis: The legislature actually considered raising the cap to increase the amount of available credits because the demand was so high. The program was oversubscribed within a day, in part because the 40 percent credit was extremely generous. Lawmakers decided to pause the program to look at how it functioned, but included a January 2020 re-start in that legislation.
There appears to be a significant pent-up appetite for the credit, on the part of both entrepreneurs and angels. To date, we have received nothing but interest and anticipation from the community as it returns.
"We are working extremely hard to improve Kentucky's environment for both entrepreneurs and investors so that we have more of both."
— Anthony Ellis, KCED
Does this tax credit program differ in ways from the previous one?
Ellis: We wanted to stretch the credits further and create more opportunities without increasing the overall pool of credits. One reason the program was so popular was that the baseline credit was 40 percent of the investment and 50 percent if it was in an enhanced county with higher unemployment.
State leaders looked at what a lot of other states were doing and talked to investors and businesses. There was broad consensus that the credit would still be effective at a lower rate for non-enhanced counties. That is why amount of the credit for non-enhanced counties was lowered to 25 percent.
It is now 40 percent for investments in enhanced counties to provide a substantial incentive for angel activity in those areas. Increasing accessibility for all entrepreneurs is a top priority for us. We are continuing to look for ways to improve the credit to spur greater growth throughout the commonwealth.
To view detailed guidelines for the 2021 Angel Investment Tax Credit Program or to apply for small business or angel investor certification, visit ced.ky.gov/KAITC.
Venture Connectors will be having a virtual lunch on Wednesday, Jan 6 to hear more from Tony Ellis about how Kentucky is supporting startup growth. You can register here.
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Healthier with data
Matt Doctrow turned a job analyzing equipment usage for the U.S. Army's special operation command into a career leading healthcare companies on the journey to operationalize their data. Now, heading up analytics for healthcare startup SentryHealth, Matt helps to solve health problems for people before they actually happen.
Another innovative technology is being used at Jewish Hospital for diagnosing lung cancer. The hospital is the first in Kentucky to use the Monarch, a robotic navigational bronchoscopy, that allows surgeons to get further into the peripheral lungs which is where most lung cancers start. The technology will potentially provide early diagnostics and better potential for cure.
Virtual reality solution for coping with stress
BehaVR, an Elizabethtown company, in cooperation with Johns Hopkins HealthCare Solutions, has developed a virtual reality program that’s a new way to help employees cope with ongoing stress. The program, called CenteredVR, is a dynamic and personalized VR experience that helps users build resilience and coping skills.
AppHarvest benefits state in more ways than one
AppHarvest, a Morehead, KY company that focuses on high-tech agriculture, was recently covered in Forbes magazine in regard to its $150 million funding and how the company offers an economic alternative to coal mining.
Valley High School wins STEM honor
Valley High School took first-place honors in the MakerMinded Kentucky 2020 competition, which inspires middle and high school students to pursue STEM and advanced manufacturing careers and equip them with 21st-century skills.
UofL Conn Center produces safer mask
Addressing the shortage and efficacy of face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers at UofL’s Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research created a safer mask and one that is more easily produced. With UofL-offshoot company ADEM, they can produce 50 of the N95-style masks and 100 non-surgical masks each minute.
There wasn’t much good news from 2020. But one Cincinnati company – Hive Networks – quietly pushed through the unprecedented year of loss and upheaval to score some important wins.
Hive Networks offers a software platform that helps bring patients, clinicians, and researchers together, in a working community, to improve patient outcomes. It was founded in 2019 as a Cincinnati Children’s spinout with CincyTech backing.
Earlier this month, Hive Networks announced a multi-year partnership with ImproveCareNow (ICN), a working community that seeks to improve the health and care of children and youth with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis – collectively called Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).
More than 70,000 children in the U.S. live with IBD. Through the partnership, Hive’s platform will create capacity for ICN to improve the health outcomes for those children through its shared learning technology. “Hive will enable our community to better cross-pollinate ideas, deliver data more efficiently, and foster improved outcomes for patients,” said ImproveCareNow Executive Director Kristin Howe.
Hive’s mission of helping people is deeply felt, and fervently practiced, by its team. The company was recognized in November by TechOhio as the 2020 Startup Culture Award Winner, but not for the flashier employee perks you usually see in startups. The Hive team was acknowledged for the familial feel of a tight-knit and hardworking staff that is passionate about an important mission.
“We have to embody what we sell, right? So we come at this with humility and curiosity and an excitement about figuring out how we’re going to solve those problems. To do that, you can’t be siloed and you can’t be one guy thinking he always has the answers. You have to have a culture that values and respects everyone’s ideas and is willing to change,” Chris Sauer, Hive’s Systems Architecture Director told TechOhio.
Closing out the year, Hive was just named as one of Cincy Inno’s Greater Cincinnati startups to watch in 2021. The early-stage companies were chosen for their solid traction and innovative approaches to important problems. Hive’s first-of-its-kind technology and the recent partnership with ICN being prime examples of that.
To learn more about Hive Networks’ vision and accomplishments, click here.
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ON OUR RADAR
Who is on your 2021 radar?
Is your startup looking for funding in 2021? Does your company need a new technology solution? Curious on where to find an innovation facilitator?
We can help.
Louisville Future created the Innovation Radar so you have a resource to track the most innovative companies and people in our region. Here are few links to find essential information from the radar: