A regional competition supporting local innovators in rural communities.

West Kentucky Innovation Challenge

Rising to the Challenge: Rural Innovators Needed

The West Kentucky Innovation Challenge is a regional competition that supports local innovators developing solutions that address challenges facing businesses and individuals in active industries in rural communities. A first of its kind, the Challenge provides rural innovators access to experts and the methods they use to rapidly develop software products that are engineered to solve customers' problems without excessive time-to-market and costs.

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You Bring the Problem and Industry Expertise—We'll Develop the Software!

Many individuals with experience in an industry understand the problems limiting the growth of companies or their customers, but don’t know anything about developing software. The Challenge links industry innovators to software entrepreneurs with extensive expertise in software and customer development methods that rapidly produce products that are built with customers in mind, that increase the probability of building successful businesses around the products.

Sprocket will award up to $200,000 in Innovation Development service grants to five small businesses or individuals, culminating from a live video Pitch Day on March 12, 2021.

For more information contact: Monica Bilak at [email protected] or Dr. James Stapleton at [email protected].

Ready to Rise to the Challenge?

You Bring the Problem and Industry Expertise—We'll Develop the Software!

Apply Now

Prizes

Sprocket will award up to $200,000 in the form of grants to purchase business and software development services to make applicants’ innovation concepts a REALITY.

FREE

Webinar

Receive free registration to a webinar, How to Build a Software Company Without Code, including application tips

FREE

Innovators Workshop

Awarded to 25 semi-finalists to assist in preparing for the live Pitch Day competition

UP TO

$50,000

Up to 5 small businesses or sole proprietors will be awarded up to $50,000 in technical service grants to develop software products and customer development plans.

Timeline

January 28, 2021

Application Opens

February 10, 2021

Webinar: How to Build a Software Company Without Code

February 26, 2021

Application Deadline

March 5, 2021

Semi-finalists Announced

March 12, 2021

Semi-finalists Pitch Training

March 19, 2021

Live Pitch Day

March 26, 2021

Winners Announced and Program Begins

Ready to Rise to the Challenge?

You Bring the Problem and Industry Expertise—We'll Develop the Software!

Apply Now

Program

The Challenge will consist of two rounds, running from January 28, 2020 until March 30, 2021.

Round 1

During Round 1, applicants will submit their online applications through the Challenge website at https://www.codefiworks.com/innovation-challenge. All Applicants will receive free registration to a webinar, How to Build a Software Company Without Code, which will include tips for success in the application process.

The application calls for inclusion of various information regarding an Applicant’s innovation concept, experience or expertise dealing with or related to the problem being solved, how potential customers live with this problem, and the market opportunity if the problem could be solved with a software solution.

Judging

An online judging committee comprised of Sprocket and Codefi staff will review the applications and select up to (25) semi-finalists, which will be announced on February 26, 2021. Semi-finalists will receive an Innovators Workshop, providing key insights into the processes used by top innovators to determine the need and feasibility of an innovation that solves a broad-based problem. This workshop is required of all semi-finalists and provides key information to assist with the competition in the second round.

Round 2

Round 2 will take place in a virtual Pitch Day on March 12, 2021, when semi-finalists will pitch their innovation concepts in a video presentation in front of a panel of judges and live audience. These judges will provide feedback to each individual/team and will select up to five (5) teams to receive Innovation Development grant awards, announced March 26, 2021.

Winners

Winners will engage immediately with software and customer development experts to begin work on developing a fully functional software solution.

Terms and Conditions

The Challenge is open to any small business or sole proprietor located in Carlisle, McCracken, Ballard, Hickman, Fulton, or Livingston county. In addition, applicants must be 18 and legal residents of the US at the time of entry. All applicants into the Challenge must be for-profit. Non-profit businesses are not eligible. Applicant Team Lead must be 18 at least years of age to enter. At least one member of your team must be available to attend workshops and participate in the Semi-Finalist competition, and the awards ceremony to be held virtually.

See the full Terms and Conditions