Dr. Heller reported that the university started the Bluegrass Angels in 2004. That is 50 business people in the community who want to invest in startups and other businesses in the Bluegrass Region, in Louisville, and throughout the state. This is the only organized angel group in Kentucky to date. The Angels also created a side car venture fund so when individual Bluegrass Angels invest in a company the venture fund joins in the investment. This venture fund has UK dollars, state dollars, and private dollars in it. The Bluegrass Angels have networked with five angel groups in the surrounding states. The investment terms are agreed upon, and the angels can move very fast in the decision-making process.
Dr. Heller referred back to the Allylix business because it is a very important story. His slide demonstrated that Bluegrass Angels investment occurs at early stages and is replaced by venture capital as the companies require larger investment. Companies begin with state incentive dollars and angel investors, and then moves into the equity market.
Kentucky Technology Inc. (KTI) is the for-profit company of UKRF. KTI has three major missions. If there is a need to convert an academic program to a new business, KTI can manage the process. The most recent example is Coldstream Laboratories that was taken out of the College of Pharmacy as an academic unit and created as a for-profit business. KTI also invests in real estate development that supports UK's mission, primarily those investments on the Coldstream Research Campus. KTI also invests in UK businesses.
There are two campus incubators for faculty startups. They are the Advanced Science & Technology Commercialization Center (ASTeCC) and the Agriculture Technologies Commercialization Center (AgTeCC). ASTeCC has 12 startups with seven startups on the waiting list. There are 24 faculty research groups located in the incubators. Thirty three (33) companies have "graduated." The goal is to graduate companies within a three-year period so they can locate in the business community or Coldstream. AgTeCC has 3 plant biotech-related companies and is housed in the Kentucky Tobacco Research and Development Center.
Dr. Heller concluded his presentation by talking about the university's Coldstream Research Campus. He said that Coldstream is a wonderful resource and is a diamond in the rough. We are creating a new vision for Coldstream that will transform it from an industrial park design to a high tech city.
He gave several illustrations explaining the size of the Coldstream Research Campus and said there should be 20 high technology buildings built within the next 20 years. Currently, there are 770 jobs and 47 companies at Coldstream. It has 600,000 square feet developed and occupied and another 332,000 square feet under construction. There is also 45,000 square feet under contract. He noted that the city is moving its Emergency Operations Center to Coldstream in spring 2008.