“A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness.” — Elsa Schiaparelli
- Looking for a new job opportunity?
- Support for future minority docs
- Demand for Red e App grows
- Body cam tech
- Products out of carbon dioxide?
- Best place to work in IT
July 7, 2020
Chef Space has the recipe for building food businesses
Photo courtesy, Chef Space.
If you want a vegan Cuban sandwich in Louisville, you might head to V-Grits in Germantown. If you’re craving lemon pepper buffalo wings, you might opt for Daddy Rich’s in Old Louisville. If the taste of the islands is your style, you might set sail for Open Caribbean Kitchen in Newburg.
But if you want to see where these and other local food businesses got their start, head west to Chef Space in Russell, a kitchen incubator in the building that once housed Jay’s Cafeteria. Since it opened in November 2015, Chef Space has helped more than 65 entrepreneurs launch food businesses. And, we’re not just talking brick-and-mortar restaurants. Chef Space clients have started food trucks, catering operations, and businesses that produce packaged foods ranging from ice cream and tamales to kombucha.
Chef Space today
Today, 33 businesses call Chef Space home, according to director Tom Murro. Some were started by professional chefs who were ready to strike out on their own, while others were started by people who’d never set foot in a commercial kitchen. And many were started by residents of Russell and surrounding neighborhoods looking for a way to take better care of their families and communities. “From Russell and surrounding ZIP codes, we’ve had over 10 businesses that have started,” Murro said.
Tools of the trade
Chef Space’s most visible asset is its 13,556-square-foot commercial kitchen, which includes ovens, food processors, fryers, meat grinders, mixers, and all the other tools of the trade. Monthly reservations start at $900 per month, but many people opt for the $20 hourly rate, which seems a bargain given what that rate includes. “We cover the overhead; there’s no separate utility fees,” Murro said. “We have soap, paper towels, your cleaning chemicals, your sanitizers, gloves—really everything but hair restraints.”
And kitchen space is just part of what the incubator offers. Many clients start off in the Entreé-preneurship program, a free eight-week class that offers a soup-to-nuts introduction to the restaurant business. Others come for technical assistance on everything from developing business plans to securing loans.
That last part is relatively easy because Murro and a colleague are business development specialists for the Small Business Administration, and Chef Space’s parent, Community Ventures, underwrites the loans. “We can help get you set up with microlending, anywhere from a $1,500 to $10,000 loan that requires very little collateral and not great credit,” Murro said. “Typically to get a loan like that you need cash flow, collateral and credit. A lot of our clients aren’t able to demonstrate those three C’s.”
Another important “C” at Chef Space is collaboration. A food truck owner might resell another client’s products, for example, or two restaurateurs might go in on a big order from a food vendor.
And the collaboration extends to an organic network of entities serving west Louisville that includes Chef Space—groups such as OneWest, New Directions Housing Corporation, the Community Foundation of Louisville, Louisville Forward, and the LEE Initiative.
“All those groups together kind of add their piece to the pie,” Murro said. “It’s used as a buzzword, but comprehensive community development is really everyone’s main focus. How they attack that is a little different, but all these groups are really dedicated to that mission.”
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KSTC seeks catalysts for innovation and entrepreneurship
Entrepreneur and AOL founder Steve Case saw the need and opportunity to foster economic growth in mid-sized cities across the U.S. With the Rise of the Rest initiative, Case and a team of investors travel the country, forging relationships and helping build the next wave of innovation.
The Kentucky Science & Technology Corporation (KSTC) is looking to hire someone who can help build that wave in Kentucky.
KSTC, an independent and innovative nonprofit leader in developing and managing creative initiatives in education, entrepreneurship, and science & technology based economic competitiveness, is looking for an Executive Director to lead the Kentucky Commercialization Ventures program.
Both the opportunity and expectation to make a significant impact on Kentucky’s economic growth is great. The Executive Director will develop and execute commercialization services with universities across Kentucky. Success will be driven by building strong relationships at these institutions and leveraging the entrepreneurial and investment programs at partner organizations to rapidly network, develop, and commercialize research and intellectual assets at participating schools.
This role requires expertise across a variety of industries as well as the ability to be a bridge between academia and business. "Kentucky is the heart of America. We exist at the nexus of urban and rural. We have an opportunity to fuel our state industries, expand entrepreneurship, and enrich our culture. Are you up to the challenge?”, asks KSTC Vice President Rick Johnson.
Additional details can be found here.
To apply, please email your resume to [email protected].
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Student starts nonprofit to support minority med students
A student at the University of Louisville School of Medicine has launched a nonprofit support organization for minority students who are studying healthcare.
Tino Mkorombindo, a Zimbabwe native, hopes to put a dent in the disparity between the number of minority physicians compared to the overall patient population. The third-year med student is also pursuing an MBA at Louisville.
Minorities in America make up more than 36% of the overall population but only 12% of physicians. His nonprofit, Greater Influence, aims to help more minority students by providing support from high school through medical school.
The organization’s website provides resources including academic information, advice on mentorships, and motivational support. Greater Influence also plans to raise money for student scholarships to fund test-prep courses, medical school applications, and travel funds for interviews and conferences.
“Increasing physician diversity is important for ensuring culturally competent patient care and access for underserved populations,” said Mkorombindo. “Studies also tell us diversity leads to improved patient outcomes and patient satisfaction.”
Red e App's software aids communication during pandemic
COVID-19 has been a disaster for people and companies the world over, but some companies have the good fortune to be making a product the world needs right now.
Focusing primarily on manufacturing, healthcare, and other businesses with nontraditional work hours and non-desk jobs, Red e App helps companies communicate with their workers. As the coronavirus disrupts work schedules for millions of people, Red e App is seeing a big increase in interest. The company reports more app downloads in the past two weeks than all of last year.
In addition to its scheduling prowess, Red e App lets companies and workers share critical information, which is invaluable when the news is changing so quickly. For companies with only email as a central communication system—and a lot of mobile workers—the app is a major upgrade. Companies recently signing on include Hard Rock Casinos, Blaze Pizza, and Trilogy Health Services.
Jeffersonville to equip police with state-of-the-art body cams
Police in Jeffersonville, Indiana, will soon begin wearing state-of-the-art body cams that record events without input from officers. They city will deploy 75 cameras at a cost of $522,000 over five years, with new cameras added twice during that period. The camera technology, called Axon Signal Sidearm, is made by Axon Enterprise, maker of the Taser electroshock weapon.
The Axon cameras are always running in the background and automatically begin to record whenever an officer removes a weapon from its holster. In a clever feature, the camera also records and saves the 30 seconds that elapsed before the activating moment. The camera also begins recording when another officer’s camera activates nearby, ensuring multiple point-of-view video recordings.
The cameras are designed to work with a variety of typical regulation holsters, so police departments don’t need to make extra purchases to take advantage of the technology. The cameras are wireless and don’t impact an officer’s range of motion. And the technology connects to a website and creates an audit report each time an event activates the camera. "This program will be part of the daily routine for our department as a way to boost accountability among our officers when interacting with the public," said Jeffersonville mayor Mike Moore.
UofL scientists working to make products out of carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide, or CO2, is notorious as the greatest contributor to climate change. We’ve been pumping it into the Earth’s atmosphere since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, with no end in sight. Countries around the globe are trying to reduce their emissions, which come primarily from the combustion of fossil fuels.
While reducing our consumption of fossil fuels is critical to solving the problem of climate change, another effort could be part of the solution: converting carbon dioxide into valuable products. That’s what scientists at UofL are working on, in a project funded by the National Science Foundation. Their aim is to convert CO2 into marketable industrial chemicals, including solvents, alcohols, acids, and polymer precursors.
The research, conducted in the university’s Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research in the J.B. Speed School of Engineering, received NSF funding of $323,542, and will include research opportunities for students from the high school level through grad school.
Norton Healthcare recognized as Best Place to work in IT
Norton Healthcare has been named the highest in Kentucky (and seventh nationally) among organizations (with 5,000-plus employees) on the Best Places to work in IT list by IDG Insider Pro and Computerworld.
The list is compiled based on benefits, career development, training, retention, as well as a survey of information technology workers.
Norton Healthcare’s information services department has 290 full-time employees who support the organization’s IT operations, cybersecurity, business and clinical applications, such as its electronic medical records system called Epic; business intelligence, and help desk service and support for some 16,500 employees.
“Companies that have earned a spot on the Insider Pro and Computerworld 2020 Best Place to Work in IT list share a common denominator: They create an environment that not only rewards workers with competitive compensation and benefits, but they also foster a spirit of diversity, social responsibility, training and innovation,” said Mark Lewis, vice president, audience development, IDG Insider Pro
Photo courtesy WAKY Tribute site.
For over 20 years, WAKY (790 AM), located at what was then 558 River City Mall (now Fourth Street) was one of the most influential and highly respected secondary market Top 40 stations in America.
The station was known for its strong on-air personalities like Bill Bailey (The Duke of Louisville), Johnny Randolph, Gary Burbank, Weird Beard, Duke Walker, and Mason Lee Dixon.
For nearly 20 years, the gravelly-voiced Bill Bailey ruled the morning airwaves at WAKY. Gary Burbank kept listeners entertained with his antics, including a stunt (way before Dr. Johnny Fever did it) in which he got drunk on air on New Year’s Eve 1972 (you can listen to the mp3 file here.) You can treat yourself to WAKY memories by visiting the WAKY Tribute site created by John Quincy.
In the meantime, here are some great images courtesy of John Quincy's WAKY Tribute site.
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