Wednesday, October 13, 2021

MIT-inspired nonprofit in Kentucky is holding its first conference for entrepreneurs and innovators Friday

Rural areas need more entrepreneurs, and the entrepreneurs who are already in rural America often need help to make the most of their assets and find more of them, including innovators with ideas. In Kentucky, there's a nonprofit that aims to connect them to each other and the resources they need; informing them about opportunities, risks, and research; and, perhaps most important, inspire them and other Kentuckians "with visions for the state’s future."

Sam Ford
So says the website of AccelerateKY, which is holding a conference tomorrow in Bowling Green that is named for its mission: "Connect. Inform. Inspire." The keynoter will be Phil Budden of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program, which chose the region as its first U.S. site. That study led to creation of the nonprofit.

AccelerateKY is the brainchild of Sam Ford, a former rural journalist who teaches at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green. In 2016, when he was a media researcher at MIT, world-renowned robotocist Daniela Rus said "I feel like there's a lot of pessimism about the future of work" and asked him if his native state was marked by "the bitter pessimism evident in other parts of Middle America" in the presidential election, as Jeff Howe of The Boston Globe put it. Ford replied, "It's hard to be excited about the future of work if you don't think you're in it."

To view details of Friday's conference and register for it, click here.

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