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Kentucky Pitch Competitions for Aspiring Entrepreneurs Gets Second Year


The Kentucky Innovation Network will host the second round of is annual entrepreneurial pitch competitions this year.  

Similar to the TV show “Shark Tank,” the competitions allow Kentucky entrepreneurs to present their business ideas to a group of local angel investors, who provide capital for startup companies.  

“There are so many great ideas throughout the Commonwealth,” said Gov. Steve Beshear. “The competition will help bring those visions to life in the form of real businesses. I can’t wait to see more companies being formed and more jobs created as a result of these events.”

Winners receive cash prizes and the opportunity to present their plans to the statewide Angels Investors Network in November.

11 regional competitions are being held across the state:

  • CovingtonMay 27, 2015, UpTech, 112 West Pike St., 5 p.m.-7 p.m. ET
  • LexingtonJune 10, 2015, Commerce Lexington, 300 East Main St., 5 p.m.-7 p.m. ET
  • MoreheadJune 18, 2015, Innovation Launchpad, 149 East Main St., 5 p.m.-7 p.m. ET
  • LouisvilleJune 24, 2015, Greater Louisville Inc., 614 West Main St., 5 p.m.-7 p.m. ET
  • AshlandAug. 4, 2015, Park Place Building, 1701 Central Ave., 9 a.m.-11 a.m. ET
  • LondonAug. 18, 2015, KHIC Center, 440 Old Whitley Road, 1 p.m.-3 p.m. ET
  • PikevilleSept. 10, 2015, UPIKE College of Business, 118 College St., 5 p.m.-7 p.m. ET
  • RichmondSept. 18, 2015, Central Bank, 350 West Main St., 11 a.m.-2 p.m. ET
  • Elizabethtown: Sept. 23, 2015, Brown Pusey House, 128 North Main St., 12:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. CT
  • PaducahSept. 24, 2015, location TBD, 5 p.m.-7 p.m. CT
  • MurraySept. 25, 2015, location TBD, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. CT

Morehead, Paducah and London are new competition locations this year.
Chris Bailey and his team took home the top prize in last year’s competitions. Their product, GearBrake, is designed to sense deceleration in motorcycles and automatically flash the brake lights, which could prevent up to 90 percent of rear-end collisions.

“Thanks to the competition, we have received a ton of state and national exposure for our product,” Bailey said. “Plus, pitching our product in front of an audience of investors will really pay off down the road.”

Dr. Lan Chi Thi "Lula" Luu, winner of the 2014 Regional Aspiring Entrepreneur Pitch Competition at MSU
Credit Credit Rob Canning

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The winners of last year’s Murray regional competition received state funds to open a health foods business in Graves County specializing in catching and processing Asian Carp.  

The competition is sponsored by the state Office of Entrepreneurship and the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development.  

Information on how to enter the competition is available at

Rob Canning is a native of Murray, KY, a 2015 TV Production grad of Murray State. At MSU, he served as team captain of the Murray State Rowing Club. Rob's goal is to become a screenwriter, film director or producer and looks to the likes of Quentin Tarantino and Guy Ritchie for inspiration. He appreciates good music, mainly favoring British rock n' roll, and approves of anything with Jack White's name on it. When not studying, rowing or writing, Rob enjoys spending his free time with a book or guitar.
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