FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 25, 2019
Commonwealth Commercialization Center
Science, technology nonprofit invests venture capital funds in e-commerce business founded at University of Louisville
C3 invests $150,000 in Cuddle Clones through Kentucky Enterprise Fund 2.0
LOUISVILLE, KY – The Commonwealth Commercialization Center (C3) Board of Directors invested $150,000 in Cuddle Clones, a successful Louisville-based e-commerce manufacturer producing the first hyper-custom personalized product of its kind.
For three years Cuddle Clones has been one of the fastest growing businesses in Louisville, boasting 88% growth in that time, according to INC 5000’s list, an annual guide to the 5,000 fastest-growing privately held companies in the US.
“When choosing a second investment [for the Kentucky Enterprise Fund 2.0], the Board strived to continue to fulfill C3’s mission of fueling economic growth by funding innovative, Kentucky-based ventures,” said Brian Mefford, who is interim CEO and board member for C3 (while also serving as executive director of the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development’s KY Innovation effort). He added that Cuddle Clones was an obvious match based on their strong leadership and vision, as well as their solid foundation in the commonwealth.
Founded in 2011 by MBA students Jennifer Williams and Adam Greene at University of Louisville, Cuddle Clones gives animal-lovers the opportunity to honor their best friend through a handmade pet replica. Not only is the level of customization for the product innovative, the company’s rapid growth requires advanced logistics and constant evaluation to keep up with the latest tech advances.
“We went from shipping 1200 units per month to 1200 units per week,” said Cuddle Clones CEO Brennen Lawrence. “Tech plays such a piece in that. C3 can work with us to build and find solutions as we continue to grow.”
Lawrence also said having a home base in the commonwealth provides tremendous advantages, as Louisville is a hub of logistics. Thanks to partnerships with UPS, USPS and DHL, Cuddle Clones is able to provide its customer base with highly efficient service.
“To be named on INC 5000’s list 2 years in a row is humbling, and we are very appreciative of all the recognition we’ve received both in the Commonwealth and nationally.” Lawrence continued, “But we’re not done. We’re poised for even bigger growth in 2020 and are strategically preparing every aspect of our business to scale in order to accommodate that growth.
About Cuddle Clones
Cuddle Clones is an e-commerce manufacturer of personalized products delighting pet enthusiasts globally with 25+ pet-themed products of their pet. Since inception Cuddle Clones has delivered over 60,000 plush Cuddle Clones to happy customers worldwide. Cuddle Clones is committed to giving back to the community and donates a portion of revenue each month to various pet-related causes and charities from all over the world. Learn more at www.cuddleclones.com.
About the Commonwealth Commercialization Center
The Commonwealth Commercialization Center (C3) is Kentucky’s unprecedented engine for statewide innovation, created to fuel economic growth and ignite life-changing impact for individuals, businesses and communities. As a newly created science and technology nonprofit, C3 provides resources to the state’s public universities and colleges in order to transform ideas into patents, business plans and investment.
C3’s roles include a commercialization core, C3 Legal, an accelerator program, state and federal grant consulting and competitive match program, and Kentucky Innovation Fund administration.
For more information about the Commonwealth Commercialization Center, visit c3kentucky.com.
About the Kentucky Enterprise Fund 2.0
The Commonwealth Commercialization Center oversees the Kentucky Enterprise Fund 2.0, which fulfills the mandates of the Kentucky Innovation Act of 2001.
The Act established the fund as a mechanism to promote technological innovation, stimulate research commercialization and accelerate economic growth. The Kentucky Enterprise Fund 2.0 represents a commitment to enabling small- and medium-sized, Kentucky-based companies to undertake feasibility, concept development, research and development, or commercialization work in partnership with colleges and universities in the Commonwealth.
The C3 Board of Directors votes to fund of up to $750,000 on a rolling basis and requires companies to submit applications for funds.
For more information about the Kentucky Enterprise Fund, visit c3kentucky.com.