Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation (KSTC) announced the rebranding of their investment arm to Keyhorse Capital in conjunction with their 20-year anniversary of investing in Kentucky companies.
"Over the past 20 years, KSTC has supported more than 160 Kentucky-based startups, providing capital that helps Kentucky entrepreneurs build and grow innovative companies,” said Terry Samuel, president of KSTC. “Yet, there is still work to do to increase access to capital. We are working to provide more visibility into the investment process and shorten the founder's path to finding capital. As we reflect on the impact of two decades of investments, we look forward to continuing our support for Kentucky entrepreneurs with Keyhorse Capital placing bets on and providing critical support to more companies during the earliest stages of their development."
With the launch of the Keyhorse Capital brand, the firm will expand its cooperation and collaboration with accelerators, incubators, innovation partners, peer investors, and pitch competitions throughout Kentucky and the US. The firm introduced KISS and SAFE note investing to the state, has a history of working with local and regional investors to evolve and improve the investment ecosystem in and around Kentucky, and will be launching (3) new initiatives in 2022 aimed at improving capital access to companies.
"We’ve worked hard as investors to meet founders where they are and evolve with them,” said Kelby Price, managing director of Keyhorse Capital. “Financing needs to be more accessible to move faster, build more impactful businesses, provide high-skill jobs, and grow our economy. The concept of Keyhorse represents our willingness to venture with founders and their companies in hopes that they go the distance and have a successful run building and scaling their businesses in Kentucky."
Keyhorse Capital will continue to manage the Kentucky Enterprise Fund, which is supported by KY Innovation and provides pre-seed and seed stage investments to Kentucky-based, scalable startups. Since its launch in 2002, the Kentucky Enterprise Fund has invested more than $38 million in early-stage companies.
“Kentucky’s innovation ecosystem continues to thrive due in part to relationships between the state and its partners like KSTC,” said Anthony Ellis, acting director of KY Innovation.“KSTC and the Kentucky Enterprise Fund have been helping build the foundation for funding startups with the highest potential to grow quickly and create jobs for decades. It is fitting that as KSTC marks its 20th year of seeding early-stage companies, Kentucky is breaking new ground when it comes to funding opportunities for our most promising startups. The rebranding of the organization’s V.C. arm further illustrates our common commitment to bold ideas, increasing access to capital and creating an environment where anything is possible for entrepreneurs with ideas that can change both the world and Kentucky’s economy.”
Kentucky entrepreneurs can learn more about Keyhorse Capital and apply for investment by visiting keyhorse.vc. The first quarter investment cycle closes March 31. The second quarter investment cycle opens on April 1.
About Keyhorse Capital
Keyhorse Capital is a seed-stage venture capital firm focused on supporting a thriving community of entrepreneurs willing to go the distance to build and grow innovative companies. Their flagship fund, Kentucky Enterprise Fund (KEF), is focused on investing in early-stage companies based in Kentucky. Keyhorse Capital has provided financing to 375 companies over 20 years and has $40 million in assets under management. Their active portfolio of 72 companies has created 650 jobs and counting. Learn more at keyhorse.vc.
KSTC is a private, statewide non-profit corporation committed to advancing science, technology, and innovative economic development founded on Kentucky know-how. KSTC seeks to improve the capacity of people, companies, and organizations to build an innovation-driven economy in Kentucky. Learn more at kstc.org.
About KY Innovation
KY Innovation is an initiative of the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development which targets resources to support startups, traditional small businesses and innovation-driven entrepreneurs across the business lifespan with the aim of dramatically improving Kentucky’s entrepreneurship ecosystem and significantly increasing the number of new company startups annually. Learn more at kyinnovation.com.