Landon Wade is originally from Ohio. He didn’t have many contacts in Louisville’s start-up community when he launched his Louisville-based company, Goodson Clothing Supply Co., in May of last year. As a first time business owner, he needed some local help to grow his company and avoid mistakes. A friend who had graduated from Nucleus’ LaunchIt program suggested Wade enroll in the entrepreneurial training program. Wade took the advice. He’s joining 27 other individuals and teams in the 11th LaunchIt class beginning this month.

“I’m hoping LaunchIt will help me find some mentors, network with other entrepreneurs and focus my ideas and plan for my company,” Wade said.

The spring LaunchIt class also includes four UofL researchers supported by UofL’s National Science Foundation I-Corps Site program and nine military veterans who received free tuition as part of the University of Louisville’s VetStart program, which provides help to vets in getting their businesses started.

LaunchIt is a 10-week course for entrepreneurs to learn how to validate key aspects of their business model for launching a new product or starting a business. More than 250 entrepreneurs from the Louisville area have graduated from Nucleus’ program. Nucleus is an arm of the UofL Foundation.

“The model works,” said Mary Tapolsky, program coordinator. “LaunchIt participants make great contacts and are coached by successful entrepreneurs who know how to launch and grow a business.”

The LaunchIt classes began Feb. 18.

Mark Hebert
Following a 28-year career as a radio and television reporter, Mark Hebert joined the University of Louisville as the Director of Media Relations in 2009, serving as the main spokesperson. In 2015, Mark was named Director of Programming and Production. He’s now producing and hosting a radio show about “all things UofL”, overseeing the university’s video and TV productions and promoting UofL’s research operation. Mark is best known for his 22 years as the political and investigative reporter for WHAS-TV in Louisville where he won numerous awards for breaking stories, exposing corruption and objectively covering Kentucky politics. In 2014, Mark was inducted into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame.