Kentucky Innovation Network wins national award for innovation

ky-logoFrom SurfKY News: Business Facilities magazine, a leading national business publication, presented the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and its Kentucky Innovation Network with the magazine’s annual Achievement in Innovation Hubs Award. The award is given to the top organizations and programs that exhibit consistent excellence in the development of innovation hubs and supporting entrepreneurs.

“This is a tremendous honor,” said Gov. Steve Beshear. “Kentucky continues to receive national recognition for our growing economy and entrepreneurial support programs. Small businesses are a vital part of job creation, and we are proud to help these innovators achieve their goals.”

A statewide network of 13 offices, the Kentucky Innovation Network helps entrepreneurs at any stage – whether it is just starting with an idea or having an established business – and works with them to plan, build and launch their business.

Click here to read the full story.

Episode 35: Little Learners, Big Ideas

Allison Bemiss of Little Learners, Big Ideas

Little Learners, Big Ideas started as a project funded by the PNC Grow Up Great. The idea was to create six short videos meant to improve critical and creative thinking skills in young children. The videos were finished last summer, and since that time, Allison Bemiss has been hard at work sharing them at professional development sessions, presenting at conferences, and planning community outreach events that utilize strategies found in the videos.

In this episode of the Innovation Update, Allison discusses the growth of Little Learners, Big Ideas and what the future holds for this exciting project.


Say hi to Fi: Google introduces new mobile network

From Google’s official blog: In today’s mobile world, fast and reliable connectivity is almost second nature. But even in places like the U.S., where mobile connections are nearly ubiquitous, there are still times when you turn to your phone for that split-second answer and don’t have fast enough speed. Or you can’t get calls and texts because you left your phone in a taxi (or it got lost in a couch cushion for the day). As mobile devices continually improve how you connect to people and information, it’s important that wireless connectivity and communication keep pace and be fast everywhere, easy to use, and accessible to everyone.

That’s why today we’re introducing Project Fi, a program to explore this opportunity by introducing new ideas through a fast and easy wireless experience. Similar to our Nexus hardware program, Project Fi enables us to work in close partnership with leading carriers, hardware makers, and all of you to push the boundaries of what’s possible. By designing across hardware, software and connectivity, we can more fully explore new ways for people to connect and communicate. Two of the top mobile networks in the U.S.—Sprint and T-Mobile—are partnering with us to launch Project Fi and now you can be part of the project too.

Click here to read more about Project Fi.

How innovative is Kentucky? A new study ranks all states

business-561388_1280From Louisville Business First:

Kentucky is ranked as a “Modest Innovator” in a new report produced by the Consumer Electronics Association.

The CEA’s first ever state Innovation Scorecard ranks all 50 states and Washington, D.C., based on their willingness and ability to encourage innovation. The rankings are based on 10 categories, including “entrepreneurial activity,” “fast Internet” and “innovation momentum.”

Kentucky scored well in some categories, earning a B+ in “entrepreneurial activity” and B’s in “tax-friendliness” and “innovation momentum.” However, the state earned a D+ in the “grants STEM degrees” category, D’s in the “tech workforce” and “attracts investment” sections and a D- in the “fast Internet” category. Kentucky made an F in the “right-to-work” section.

Other states listed as “Modest Innovators,” which is the lowest ranking in the report, include New Mexico, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, West Virginia, Maine, Alaska and Hawaii.

Indiana is listed as one of the 10 “Innovation Champions” in the report. The others that also received the highest ranking in the report are Delaware, Michigan, North Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia.

Click here for the full report.

Code4Startup: App Idea + No Coding Experience = No Problem

Leo Trieu
Leo Trieu

The founder of Code4Startup, a must-go place for anyone who has an idea and wants to build their own startup app, has a message for people like him:

Hi, my name is Leo Trieu I’m 31 and father to a 1-year-old boy.

From 9am – 5pm, I work for a Tech company in Melbourne as a software developer. But when the sun goes down, I work as the solo Founder of from 9pm – 2am (sometimes later).

I designed and coded the Code4Startup platform with Ruby on Rails in 3 days only but it took me almost 2 and half months to create just 5 hours of video for my very first two educational courses ever, Zero and Ninja. WHY? Because I am not a native English speaker and I had to practice and repeat hundreds of times. But I kept trying and never gave up.

I bootstrapped this startup with a dream of educating MILLIONS people from around the world. Code4Startup is not just about learning how to code, it’s also about inspiring people to create something meaningful, something they are excited about.

So if I can start my journey, WHY CAN’T YOU??? – START BEFORE YOU’RE READY!!!

Click here to get started with Code4Startup.

Robot conference shows need for STEM education

Photo courtesy of The Courier-Journal
Photo courtesy of The Courier-Journal

As many Americans are scrambling to file their tax returns this week, thousands of high school students from across the country will gather in Louisville to tax their brains and scramble to beat the competition. The 2015 VEX Robotics World Championship — an annual four-day competition — will bring together more than 800 teams and 15,000 students from the U.S. and more than two dozen countries. Students will bring their strategically built robots — representing nearly a year of designing and fine-tuning — to compete for the world title.

But so much more than a championship is at stake.

This event underscores the importance of providing students across the United States with access to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) experiences that prepare them to compete in the global economy. STEM is where the jobs are, and where the jobs will be in the future.

Click here to read the full article.