FRANKFORT, Ky. — Leaders of SIDIS Global and state and local officials came together today for the opening of the organization’s new entrepreneurial and innovation center in Louisville, a project three years in the making.
“Gov. Matt Bevin’s leadership is resulting in the growth and support of innovators within Kentucky’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. The addition of The Center by SIDIS to Louisville’s existing resources helps emphasize the administration’s commitment to cultivating an atmosphere of innovation,” said Vivek Sarin, interim secretary at the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. “Private companies, nonprofits, universities and state and local agencies are reshaping Kentucky as forward-thinking and an attractive location for R&D, incubation and the commercialization of innovations to increase startups in Kentucky. The development of this new space in Louisville helps the city and the state begin to recognize our potential and is a very constructive step forward.”
The Center by SIDIS – an acronym for Spirited Individuals Delivering Innovative Solutions – already boasts more than a dozen tenants at its NuLu location at 900 E. Main St. Those organizations represent a mix of startups and resources for entrepreneurs. Resources include the Louisville Entrepreneurship Acceleration Partnership (LEAP) and the Commonwealth Commercialization Center (C3), a science and technology nonprofit established by the state and Kentucky’s public universities.
The Center serves as headquarters for innovative young companies, including Lifelines Neuro Co. and AdaptivEndo. The three-story building also offers a subscription-based workspace called “Story Louisville” for regional start-ups, investors and entrepreneurs. Startup retail tenants of The Center include Maddox & Rose Marketplace, Biscuit Belly and Southern Vintage.
Launched in 2018, LEAP is a collaborative effort to expand the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Louisville and the surrounding area. The partnership includes the University of Louisville, the Louisville Healthcare CEO Council, XLerateHealth, Greater Louisville Inc.’s EnterpriseCorp and 1804. The joint effort was realized thanks to a grant from KY Innovation within the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development.
“As Kentucky entrepreneurs and investors for over a decade, we believed in the potential impact of this project and knew we had to leverage our resources to make it happen as quickly as possible,” said Nigel Ferrey, founder and CEO of SIDIS. “With the support and funding from PNC Bank and the leadership of the SIDIS board of directors, we expect The Center by SIDIS to be a vibrant space for collaboration, community building and transformative innovation for the region moving forward.”
Brian Mefford, executive director of KY Innovation, said The Center is a shining example of how to encourage entrepreneurial growth.
“The Center by SIDIS is a welcome addition to the entrepreneurial efforts in and around Louisville,” Mefford said. “We are thrilled The Center will not only provide a new home for LEAP, but also offer the necessary resources to assist companies in search of how to take the next step forward. This space represents the sort of collaboration that is needed to encourage innovation statewide.”
Established in Colorado in 2004, SIDIS invests in and manages life science companies focused on a range of specialties, from cutting-edge bio-instrumentation to next-generation medical devices. The SIDIS family of companies includes Louisville-based Lifelines Neuro and AdaptivEndo, Covington-based Inspired Partners and the SIDIS nonprofit foundation bioLOGIC, as well as Colorado-based Propel Labs.
The facility now occupied by The Center by SIDIS was constructed in 1865 and formerly held the DeHart Paint & Varnish Co. Renovation of the building began in 2016 with the support of local partners.