Welcome to the Oct. 16 Monday Business Briefing, your private business intelligence digest from Insider Louisville.
‘See You in 2018, Louisville,’ says Rise of the Rest announcing its #BringBackTheBus winner
Steve Case & Co. will be coming back to Louisville next year, thanks to the city’s rousing victory in a voting contest to #BringBackTheBus. The campaign is part of Case’s nationwide Rise of the Rest effort to work closely with entrepreneurs in emerging startup ecosystems.
In a video announcing Louisville as the winner, Case said they started the contest about a month ago to see “which city was most enthusiastic, and could mobilize the maximum amount of interest and support.”
When the bus returns to Louisville sometime next year, Case and his team will meet with local entrepreneurs, explore Louisville’s ecosystem and invest $100,000 in another local startup.
In an interview on Sunday, Charles P. Denny, PNC Regional President in Kentucky and Tennessee, recalled how he and a team won permission from the Case organization, Revolution, to even be on the ballot. “It couldn’t happen at a better time — to have a very unlikely victory that we were a part of that we had to ask our way in.”
He added: “It takes the kindness of people. I think anything is possible and this should give us a lot of encouragement in (the running for) Amazon HQ2. We needed a win. We’re at an inflection point that’s a pretty good deal.”
The news made the rounds quickly in the social media sphere: “WE WON,” tweeted 1804. “Yes,” said the understated Kela Ivonye of MailHaven, who added an emoji of two hands in the air in celebration. “WE DID IT,” tweeted GLI.
“This is such a cool program and Louisville is a very deserving tech community for the spotlight and capital that
#RiseOfRest provides!” tweeted out PowderKeg. Insider will keep you apprised of updates. —Mickey Meece
New meeting scheduled regarding massive Grinstead Drive development
Representatives of developer Kevin Cogan have invited residents near the intersection of Grinstead Drive and Lexington Road to a final meeting before plans are submitted to the city.
Cogan hopes to receive approval from the city to build a more than $200 million mixed-use development that would top out at 34 stories tall. It would include by far the tallest buildings outside of downtown, and some residents have expressed their unhappiness with the plans in a series of meetings held this year and last year.
According to the notice for the latest meeting, “This final charrette will involve our final report on what was said and learned in prior charrettes and further will include what plan elements have thus been changed/adopted with a final presentation as to what the official rezoning application will contain.”
Bill Bardenwerper, the attorney representing Cogan in the rezoning, told Insider that he could not comment on whether changes would be made to the project because the development team was still working on the final report.
City seeking buyer or renter for former library property
After sitting vacant for a few months, the former Okolona library is ready for something new.
Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Government announced that it was searching for someone or a group of someones to buy or lease the property from the city. The 1.2-acre property, located at 7709 Preston Highway, is zoned C-1, making it suitable for office or commercial development. It also includes a parking lot zoned R-4.
“Metro will entertain all offers and will evaluate based on the best interests of Metro. Metro does not commit to finalizing a sale or lease based on this availability,” the city said in a news release.
Interested parties can view the property from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 18, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27. Offers must be submitted on or before Wednesday, Nov. 15.
Brady & Company Events becomes part of Jaclyn Journey Weddings
After years of working together, Jaclyn Journey Weddings owner Jaclyn Journey has acquired another boutique event business, Brady & Company Events, owned by Melissa Brady.
“As we both grew our businesses, we realized that our skill sets complemented each other perfectly. I like to say Melissa is my right hand and my left brain – she’s really streamlined the way we look at projects,” Journey said in a news release. “It made sense for us to combine our businesses to expand both of our offerings and give brides an even more personalized, custom planning experience.”
As a joint company, Brady will focus on event logistics, giving Journey more time to focus on the design, details and event personalization. Southern Living recently named Journey one of the best wedding planners in the South.
Brady has been in the event planning business for a decade, and Journey founded her company in 2010. Last year, Journey joined forces with photographer Whitney Neal to renovate and open a new joint office in Butchertown. The two operate as separate entities however. —Caitlin Bowling
FirstBuild says ‘Toss the Toothpick’ with its latest concept
The connected bakeware tells cooks when a baked cake or pastry is done. “Anyone who has baked a cake has stood by the oven checking it every minute until the toothpick comes out clean,” FirstBuild, said in its product announcement. Precision Bakeware notifies bakers when the dessert has reached the ideal temperature, it said.
“This is the first known integration between bakeware, ovens and smartphone apps, that allows anyone to bake the perfect cake based on the ideal finished temperature of the food,” said Larry Portaro, director, FirstBuild, the global co-creation community backed by GE Appliances.
FirstBuild says it is testing the product on cheesecakes, quiches and other goods that are somewhat difficult to bake. Next, it will test breads, pies and other popular baked goods. “While you probably won’t need this if you’re a skilled baker, you might appreciate it if your chocolate cake tends to taste like charcoal,” wrote Engadget.
The product line is expected to become commercially available on the FirstBuild website in early 2018 and will be designed to work with GE Appliances’ smart ovens, which Insider wrote about recently. —Mickey Meece
Leading multicultural marketer to speak at Digital Crossroads next month
The Midwestern digital marketing event Digital Crossroads (formerly Digital Media Summit) is growing every year, according to Jason Falls, co-founder of Louisville Digital Association, who says LDA expects some 300 marketing decision makers to attend the annual conference on Nov. 2-3.
Falls said the attendees would be “everyone from front-line folks like community managers engaging audiences on social networks to directors, VPs and even CMOs.”
They will be treated to a packed two days. “We mix the content from the tactical and practical to the high-level strategic and the speakers and sponsors run the gamut,” he said.
The lineup of speakers includes Becky Arreaga, president of the multicultural marketing strategists Mercury Mambo. Falls describes her as “one of the leading multicultural marketers in the U.S.”
On her brief bio on Twitter, Arreaga says she is an “entrepreneur, multicultural marketer, thought leader, golfer, cyclist, team builder.” She adds her own tagline and hashtag: “Putting the network in network marketing.”
“We’ve heard from our audience in the past that multicultural topics are growing in importance, so we wanted to address that,” Falls said in an email exchange. “She’s going to talk about everything from race to segments like LGBT and such.”
J. Dontrese Brown, a New Albany native, who played college football at Georgetown College, will give an inspiration and motivational challenge about how to stand out in design, leadership and life, according to the LDA. Falls says he once worked for him at Georgetown College, then went on to become the creative lead for Swiss USA and Capital One. He’s now leading an academic center at Randolph Macon, but is a thought leader in the graphic design world, he said.
In addition, Digital Crossroads will again feature a half-day workshop Thursday, which are mostly led by area experts, Falls said. Stephanie White from Louisville Family Fun is doing a session on social media for business; Amanda Henson from Kindred Healthcare is doing one on reputation management and social listening; Jason Mudd from YesLouisville will talk about selling social to skeptical bosses; “Big Brother” celebrity Wil Heuser is talking about creating virality with content, Falls said.
The two-day event will be held at the newly renovated Holiday Inn East in Louisville on Thursday and Friday, Nov. 2-3. —Mickey Meece
KFC debuts Col. Sanders costume
Halloween can come with pressure to have a creative costume.
This year, KFC is helping out. The fried chicken restaurant chain is now selling a Col. Sanders costume.
For a meager $5, KFC enthusiasts can buy a custom-molded plastic mask and a bib with Sanders’ signature suit printed on it.
“Transform yourself into the world’s greatest chicken salesman with this 100 percent authentic Halloween costume,” a snippet about the costume reads. “Includes Colonel mask with REAL working eyeholes, and a one-size fits all, genuine plastic bib that contains the rest of the costume. Surprise your friends! Frighten total strangers! Trick or treat and demand fried chicken instead of candy!”
Michter’s releases first 25 Year Bourbon since 2008
File this one under “interesting, but something you’ll never get to taste.”
Michter’s is releasing its first 25-year-old bourbon in a long time — since 2008, to be exact. Master distiller Pam Heilmann recently approved the batch, and the 116-proof bourbon should hit store shelves — if you can find it and have $800 to spare — by November.
“I take the Michter’s ‘Dr. No’ position as the gatekeeper for releasing whiskey very seriously,” said Heilmann in a press release. “When I tasted this 25 Year Bourbon, I knew immediately it was perfectly aged.”
Michter’s is known for its ethos of favoring quality over costs, and we have no doubt this bourbon will taste like nectar from the gods. Anyone willing to share?
In other Michter’s news, construction on its new downtown distillery at the Fort Nelson Building on West Main Street is coming along nicely, and the opening date currently is slated for the summer of 2018. —Sara Havens