Governor Steve Beshear's Communications Office
Kentucky launches new fund to invest in companies developing renewable and alternative energy technologies
$5 million fund aims to stimulate private investment in new energy technologies
FRANKFORT, KY – Gov. Steve Beshear announced today the launch of Kentucky New Energy Ventures, a state program that administers $5 million in public funds for investment in promising renewable and alternative energy companies in the commonwealth. The program, established legislatively under the name, “Kentucky Alternative Fuel and Renewable Energy Fund Program,” was created by the state’s General Assembly under House Bill 1 during the 2007 Extraordinary Session.
“With oil prices now over $100 a barrel, we are reminded of the need to pursue new technologies that promise energy independence for our nation,” said Gov. Beshear. “The Kentucky New Energy Ventures program and other energy initiatives across the state demonstrate that Kentucky can and will play a leading role in the areas of energy innovation, efficiency and environmental stewardship.”
The New Energy Ventures program is designed to: (1) Grow Kentucky-based alternative fuel and renewable energy companies to promote statewide, innovation-driven economic growth; (2) Stimulate private investment in Kentucky-based alternative fuel and renewable energy enterprises; (3) Expand the alternative fuel and renewable energy knowledge base, talent force and industry in Kentucky; (4) Develop an alternative fuel and renewable energy resource network to build the technical and business capacity of entrepreneurs through informal and formal strategic support; and (5) Build statewide awareness of the economic development opportunities offered by Kentucky’s alternative fuel and renewable energy industry.
“The successful execution of this venture fund targeted exclusively to new and renewable energy companies is another bold step in Kentucky’s quest to build a competitive and sustainable entrepreneurial economy, which the governor has been moving forward since he first took office in December,” said Kris Kimel, President of The Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation.
The program’s investments will target high-growth potential, early-stage Kentucky-based companies developing and commercializing alternative fuel and/or renewable energy technologies. Funds will be provided in the form of relatively small “seed” grants and – primarily – through equity investments of varying amounts. Applications for grants and investments from the program will be accepted from Kentucky-based companies having eligible technologies beginning March 12, 2008, through April 10, 2008.
“This program is designed for companies that have unique and competitive products and technologies that have or will have intellectual property protection,” said Economic Development Cabinet Secretary John Hindman. “Companies applying for these grants and investments must demonstrate that their technologies are commercially viable and that they can lead a successful business venture.”
Managed by the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, through the Department of Commercialization and Innovation (DCI), the program will be administered by the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation, an independent non-profit company. An application and guidelines are available at http://www.startupkentucky.com.