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Area Entrepreneurs Did Well In ’11 In Spite Of The Economy

By Lane Report Staff

Entrepreneurial companies in the Bluegrass region had a record year in 2011, attracting $69.9 million in venture funding according to an annual survey by the Lexington Venture Club.

In addition, 279 jobs were created with an average full-time salary of $65,651 by the 78 Central Kentucky early stage companies that took part in the survey.

Venture funding, including angel and venture capital investments, increased 7.5 percent and is at an all-time high since the first Lexington Venture Club survey in 2003.

“This is a testament of what we can accomplish when faculty entrepreneurs, local entrepreneurs, UK, Commerce Lexington, LFUCG and the state work together,” said Dean Harvey, executive director of the Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship.

A total of 780 people were employed last year, both fulltime and part-time, according to the companies participating in the survey, which are primarily in the biotechnology and healthcare, advanced manufacturing, IT and software, and business services sectors. The companies also reported a total $127.2 million in total revenue.

The Lexington Venture Club was founded in 2002 to bring entrepreneurs, investors and service providers together to share new business opportunities. It is co-managed and cofounded by Commerce Lexington and the University of Kentucky Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship and Lexington Innovation & Commercialization Center in the UK Office for Commercialization & Economic Development.