Louisville is Blazing the Startup Trail

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Unlike many growing business scenes, Louisville isn’t just welcoming tech startups but creative entrepreneurs like chefs and crafters, too.

Kentucky backs up its commitment to a healthy economy with a list of 27 early-stage funding sources, including angel investors, venture capitalists and small business loans.

Why? Perhaps it’s because Kentucky offers tax credits of up to 50 percent to investors who provide startup capital.

These are some of the reasons why Site Selection magazine recently named Louisville as a Top 10 Metro for business activity, and Glassdoor has recognized it as a Top 25 City for Jobs.

Louisville’s culture is quite decadent, too. Known as the Bourbon Capital of the World, lavishly women dressed wearing elaborate hats sip mint juleps annually at the Kentucky Derby, the horse race at Churchill Downs that distributes a $2 million purse.

Kentucky Derby

Business Assets

  • Kentucky reformed its tax policies to stimulate investment and business growth. It has repealed corporate license and intangible property taxes, and reduced the corporate income tax rate.
  • Louisville is partnering with Etsy to offer the Craft Entrepreneurship Program with training in entrepreneurship, brand building and budgeting.
  • The city hosts IdeaFestival, a series of thought-provoking sessions by global thinkers and innovators about what’s shaping the future of the arts, business, technology, design, science, philosophy and education.

 Major companies

  • Yum! Brands (which operates KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut)
  • UPS Worldport
  • Humana

Business Information Links

CoWork Places

  • The Park
  • (c) space: For nonprofits working to improve health and quality of life.
  • FirstBuild: A microfactory and prototyping maker space backed by GE Appliances.

 Startup Incubators and Accelerators

 Major Attractions

  • Fourth Street Live! An enormous downtown entertainment complex for dining, entertainment and shopping.
  • Waterfront Park. An 85-acre park along Louisville‘s downtown waterfront with rolling hills, spacious lawns, playgrounds, linear fountains, walking paths and outdoor concerts.
  • Thunder Over Louisville. The nation’s largest annual fireworks display kicks off the Kentucky Derby Festival.

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This post is by Caren Burmeister. Caren is a retired newspaper reporter turned freelance writer who enjoys yoga and caring for her two fat cats.


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