OTC Announces Enhanced UKAccel Program in Partnership With Launch Blue

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 15, 2020) — The University of Kentucky Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC) has announced a revamped and enhanced UKAccel program through a partnership with Launch Blue. Under the enhanced UKAccel, the Launch Blue team will provide professional development and experiential learning to UK innovators who are interested in learning the best commercialization path for their technology.

Through Launch Blue, OTC’s UKAccel program is being made available to other Kentucky universities with the name UAccel. The program will consist of a focused cohort, which can comprise UK and Kentucky Commercialization Ventures (KCV) partner institution technologies.

The program through Launch Blue provides biweekly cohort meetings where all innovators can interact and learn from one another. There will also be individual biweekly coaching sessions that provide more individualized coaching and assistance. The innovators will also have access to LaunchPad Central, which will be utilized for the video lecture series.

UK innovators can benefit from this program by receiving preparation for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant applications, creation of a startup or licensing of the technology. Through this program, UK innovators will delve deeply into the relationship between the customer and the technology by engaging in customer discovery.

“Learning how to do customer discovery is a game changer for an innovator or startup trying to commercialize a technology,” said Taunya Phillips, senior associate director for OTC’s New Ventures & Alliances team. “They will never approach their research or products the same way again. Customer discovery is a key part of the overall Launch Blue program that we are very excited to offer to the UK community through UKAccel.”

To take advantage of this great opportunity, please complete an application for the first cohort in the fall. The application is now open and will close July 31. Participants will be vetted through a competitive application and interview process.

To learn more or ask questions about the fall cohort, please email OTC at or join the Launch Blue team for office hours at 12:30 p.m. EDT every Friday on Zoom.

Apply for UKAccel here by July 31 to be considered for the fall cohort.

“Launch Blue is excited to partner with UK OTC and Kentucky institutions of higher learning from across the state to offer the UAccel program,” said Laura Halligan, executive director for Launch Blue. “The curriculum and personalized coaching offered through the program will help innovators to develop a commercialization pathway for their technology that positions them for long term success.”

Launch Blue is an early-stage accelerator program designed to nurture the most promising Kentucky founders with scalable, technology-based startup ideas and empower them to move from the idea stage to successful launch. The organizing partners are OTC, Base 110, Bluegrass Angels (BGA), Bullard, Commerce Lexington, Kentucky Small Business Development Center (KSBDC), Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation (KSTC), Awesome Inc. and Marrow. Funding is being provided by KY Innovation, Lexington-Fayette County Urban County Government (LFUCG) and UK OTC.

The Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC) is the technology transfer office for the University of Kentucky. The core mission of the OTC is to advance innovation that makes a difference.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.