Home » Startup tech companies awarded nearly $900,000 in Grants

Startup tech companies awarded nearly $900,000 in Grants

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Andy Beshear announced eight innovative Kentucky companies will receive nearly $900,000 in state matching grants to support high-paying jobs and further grow the state’s technology industry.

The $889,427 in grants are part of the commonwealth’s nationally recognized Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) matching funds program. The funds, in part, will match $3.15 million the businesses will collectively receive in federal grants.

Monique Quarterman, executive director of KY Innovation’s Office of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Innovation, is encouraged by the SBIR-STTR program and what it can bring to companies in the commonwealth.

“The Kentucky SBIR/STTR matching funds program has been one of the longest-running and most popular programs from KY Innovation,” Quarterman said. “We are proud to support the commonwealth’s most innovative ventures to pursue novel solutions, attract and secure federal investment and grow right here in Kentucky.”

The eight Kentucky-based businesses awarded matching funds are using technology to advance multiple fields, from farming and pest solutions to Alzheimer’s disease care.

Recipient companies are:

1109 Bravo LLC (Crestwood):

1109 Bravo created the NeuroPak, a wearable neuromuscular training system that intuitively queues the body to achieve correct postural alignment and stability. Using a human-centered design approach, the NeuroPak increases neuromuscular activation, amplifies motor learning and maximizes mechanical performance across all movement patterns, improving resiliency, readiness and operational performance.

Adelphi Technology LLC (Bowling Green):

Adelphi is creating an integrated monitoring station to meet farmers’ current technology-monitoring needs while integrating their ethylene monitor, which the company developed for NASA space missions. Proper monitoring of environmental conditions in the data-based agronomy industry is one of the most important things farmers can do for their fields and employee safety. Sensor information allows farmers to plan times for sowing, protection, harvesting and other field activities to avoid negative weather effects and yield losses.

CircCure Corp. (Lexington):

CircCure is creating antisera against proteins that are indicative of early Alzheimer’s disease development. The antisera will be tested as biomarkers to detect early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and follow disease progression and possible therapeutic interventions for commercialization as a diagnostic and research tool.

Covert Defenses LLC (West Lafayette, Indiana):

Covert Defenses is moving to Lexington, Kentucky, to further develop the company’s Covert Cognizance (C2) technology, which focuses on the resilient and unimpeded operation of energy systems in the face of cyberthreats. C2 ensures that cyberthreats that compromise business networks do not have a physical impact on the process and is well-suited for critical infrastructure that continue to provide life-critical services to millions of Americans.

Lepidext Inc. (Lexington):

Lepidext is developing a revolutionary biopesticide for the reduction of the harmful pest Helicoverpa zea (H. zea), also known as the corn earworm. The company is preparing for product launch of InsterusHzTM on a commercial scale.

Thermisoln LLC (Lexington):

Thermisoln is developing a new post-combustion carbon dioxide capture technology, leveraging a novel alkanolamine absorptions solvent, which could significantly improve energy efficiency of carbon capture from a coal-fired power plant. This technology could also up-cycle gypsum waste into value-added limestone sorbents for flue gas desulfurization applications.

vCardio Inc. (Louisville):

vCardio is creating a noninvasive, real-time assessment of coronary stenosis for use in the catheterization lab. The software application runs a computational model on a 3D-image of coronary arteries to measure the amount of blockage and provides binary guidance to an interventional cardiologist regarding the need for a stent in the coronary artery. The application improves patient outcomes, saves money and fits seamlessly into the workflow of the catheterization lab.

Wicked Sheets LLC (Louisville):

Wicked Sheets specializes in bedding and sleep products. Their newest product, the Wicked Smart Pad, is a washable, sensored pad that wirelessly transmits data to caregivers. In partnership with the University of Louisville, the Wicked Smart Pad will test application use in the Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias population.

Kentucky’s SBIR/STTR program, overseen by KY Innovation within the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, provides critical nondilutive capital for promising early stage tech companies by matching all or part of federal SBIR/STTR awards received by Kentucky-based businesses or companies committed to relocating to the state.

Mark Fauci, Founder of Gen9 Inc., which received SBIR/STTR funding in the spring of 2022, noted the advantages that Kentucky provides to startups and tech companies looking to grow.

“The commonwealth supports innovators with more than words or gestures,” Fauci said. “It provides real financial and other support that is critical to small, emerging technology companies.”

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