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Helping KY companies discover, test, and implement innovative ideas.

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If you manage a team or company, then you know the difficulty of innovation

  • Employees don't productively express new ideas
  • Good ideas dying because there's no way to develop them
  • Risk concerns and inefficiencies prevent good ideas from coming to life
  • Company gradually falls behind over time because they're not on the leading edge

That's where we come in.
We help companies:

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Increase Revenue

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Improve Efficiency

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Cut Costs

empower your employees icon

Empower Your Employees

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Cheaply + Quickly Test Ideas

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Find Separation in the Market

We're taking our 10+ years of working with startups and driving that same creativity and innovation through KY's corporate community.

Our team learned a vast amount of problem solving, teamwork, and idea execution tactics from our time with Venture Labs. In our business, from a seasonal standpoint, everyone always has ideas and 'what ifs', but they don't always get planned, executed, or fully thought out strategically. Through Venture Labs, our team gained vast knowledge on how to go about true strategy and execution.
Andy Shea, Owner, Lexington Legends

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Our Team's Experience

  • Worked with over 400 startups
  • Facilitated 225 pitches of new ideas
  • Helped startups raise $44,343,500 in outside funding
  • Created 291 new jobs

We guide leadership and employees through an experience that teaches and empowers them to grow their ideas and turn them into reality.

Mike Hilton

Mike Hilton

Mike excels at organizing teams around new ideas and strategies, making him the perfect person to help Awesome Inc launch the Venture Labs program in 2018. As a native Lexingtonian, he's passionate about making Central Kentucky a vibrant community for those ideas. He brings to the team a specific focus on increasing partnerships between the startup and corporate worlds, leveraging Venture Labs as the right tool to start innovative conversations.

Liz Brown

Liz Brown Evans

With experience both at a Fortune 1000 company and also growing a small business in Central KY, Liz brings both a strategic and tactical perspective to the Venture Labs team. She helps guide the long-term innovation community through corporate partnerships, while also continually refining the execution of each relationship. Her mission is to make Kentucky known as an innovation hub and strengthen KY communities who are passionate about creativity.

Tony Schmidt

Tony Schmidt

As the moderator of Venture Labs, Tony brings the perfect combination of corporate and startup experience to your team. After graduating from UK, he joined the Microsoft team in Seattle where competed in their annual hackathon. After 5 years, he moved home to Lexington to grow his own tech startup, and loves coaching the next generation of entrepreneurs in Central Kentucky.

How We Work with Companies

We start by understanding your current needs and goals around innovation.

We work together and use a variety of tools to build a solution for your company.

  • Venture Labs Workshop
  • Idea Accelerator
  • Reverse Pitch
  • Design Sprint
  • Corporate Round-table Discussions
  • Startup Community Collaboration

We execute the plan and review the results.

Stay on the Innovative Edge or Fall Behind!

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