with Kentucky’s unparalleled 100% state-level match for SBIR and STTR grant funds.
As Thomas Friedman noted in his recent New York Times column, Louisville is increasingly seen as a national model of a burgeoning start-up community that is outside the influence of Silicon Valley. Our region’s entrepreneurs leverage local corporate talent and capital to innovate in the realms of manufacturing, logistics and health care.
One crucial ingredient to our region’s success is Kentucky’s unparalleled 100% state-level match for SBIR and STTR grant funds. This match, which is the only such match in the country, goes to fund high-skilled, capital-intensive technologies with the objective of a commercial product that will produce long-term payoffs for our regional economy. The timing of these matching funds in the life cycle of young companies helps bridge a critical gap between research and actual revenue from commercialization and customers as products are developed.
In the last year alone, four out of the thirteen companies that received these matching funds actually relocated their business to Kentucky to take advantage of this program. Any economic development professional will tell you that a few thousand dollars for a relocation is an incredible bargain.
However, in recent weeks, the Economic Development Cabinet has announced that, due to cuts in the Cabinet’s budget, they will need to restrict the SBIR and STTR program matches from 100% to just 75 or 80%.
This change would take Kentucky’s program from the top to the middle of the pack and the dampening effect that this decrease could have on Kentucky’s entrepreneurs should not be underestimated.
On March 2nd, GLI will submit a letter encouraging lawmakers and cabinet officials to reconsider before making such drastic cuts to two of Kentucky’s premier programs.
Please voice your support for preserving Kentucky’s 100% match for entrepreneurs. Click here to sign on with us.
Read the full letter by clicking below:
Update: In a previous version of this blog post, the sample letter read as being addressed to House Speaker Greg Stumbo. That caused some confusion about the final letter’s recipients. The letter will be sent to both legislators and the Economic Development Cabinet.