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Growing companies to have greater impact

Two diverse businesspeople smiling while working on a laptop together at the end of a boardroom table in an office

The Kentucky Innovation Fund provides financial assistance to qualified companies in accordance with the following guidelines:

  • Funding of $250,000 to $500,000 to companies in post-initialization but before full commercialization (now commonly referred to as Seed or Seed+ stage)

  • Funding of $500,000 to $750,000 to companies with high growth potential and a clear path to commercialization (now commonly referred to as the Institutional Seed+ or Series A)

These funding rounds should have an existing term sheet as the Kentucky Innovation Fund does not lead deals or negotiate terms. An acceptable term sheet is a negotiated term sheet issued by an external third party. This external validation is key for the Kentucky Innovation Fund, and it is preferable if it is by an institutional investor, which could be a strategic corporation, a venture capital firm or an angel fund.

To begin this process contact

Our ultimate goal is to complete diligence on three companies every month for presentation to the C3 investment committee. We believe this number is achievable from Kentucky's current deal environment and is on par with the other investors in the state.

We have other programs, such as grants, funding and matching programs for many other stages and types of companies. Those interested in these opportunities should email

C3's Board of Directors voted in September 2019 to provide its first investment to Smart Farm Systems, Inc. Based in Nicholasville, the AgTech company provides farmers with a precision irrigation monitoring and control system that revolutionizes their ability to conserve water and energy, improve crop yields, as well as reduce equipment maintenance and labor costs. The system is a critical component in sustainable farming practices by helping farmers apply just the right amount of water at just the right time on a field-by-field basis.

cuddle clones logo

C3's second investment was in November 2019 to Cuddle Clones, one of the fastest growing e-commerce businesses in Louisville, boasting 88% growth over the past three years. The company, founded at University of Louisville, manufactures hyper-custom personalized products for pet enthusiasts.