VenCap Kentucky provides venture capital funding to Kentucky companies with a mature proof of concept that have a lead investor but need additional support. The program uses U.S. Treasury funds to match the private investment, up to $500,000, which is likely to make the company more appealing to other potential investors.

A statewide program, VenCap Kentucky was established by the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and is administered through the UofL Foundation. Applicants must be recommended by one of the approved sourcing partners, which include the Kentucky Innovation Network, Nucleus and MetaCyte.

“The UofL Foundation is pleased to be a partner in this innovative new program” said UofL President James Ramsey. “We can help Kentucky businessmen and women cut through the red tape as they pursue the funding they need to grow their companies and Kentucky’s economy.”

In general, startup, early-stage and mid-stage businesses with high growth potential that are not yet ready for bank loans are best suited for the program. To be eligible, a small business must be based in the Commonwealth, have fewer than 500 employees and already have identified a lead investor. At least half of the company’s employees also must be Kentucky residents.

“Private investment is a critical component of Kentucky’s strong small business ecosystem,” said Beshear. “VenCap Kentucky gives incentive for investors to support entrepreneurs and small businesses across the Commonwealth and to invest in Kentucky’s future. I look forward to seeing more small businesses and more jobs as a result of this program.”