Welcome to the April 16 Monday Business Briefing, your business intelligence digest from Insider Louisville.

$100,000 on the line for 8 Rise of the Rest finalists in Louisville

AOL co-founder and Revolution CEO and Chairman Steve Case and the “Hillbilly Elegy” author J.D. Vance | Courtesy Rise of the Rest

In less than a month, a crowd will gather at the Speed Art Museum to enjoy a fireside chat with AOL co-founder and Revolution CEO and Chairman Steve Case and the “Hillbilly Elegy” author J.D. Vance, who will talk about their shared vision and mission to invest in startups all across America.

Case & Co. will be in Louisville on May 11 for Revolution’s Rise of the Rest bus tour.

Rise of the Rest is a five-city tour May 7-11 that showcases the best in entrepreneurship and innovation outside of Silicon Valley, according to Revolution. The cities are Dallas, Memphis, Birmingham, Chattanooga and Louisville.

The tour is backed by Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, an early-stage venture fund backed by three-dozen entrepreneurs, investors and executives such as Eric Schmidt, Jeff Bezos, Henry Kravis, Howard Schultz, Meg Whitman, Jim Breyer, John Doerr, and others.

The day begins with an invite-only breakfast at Angel’s Envy Distillery, featuring a cross-section of Louisville’s business leaders, investors, philanthropists and policymakers for a discussion about the opportunity entrepreneurship holds for the region’s economy, according to Rise.

The culmination of the tour follows the chat as eight entrepreneurs will engage in a pitch competition for a $100,000 investment from the Rise of the Rest Seed Fund.

The finalists include Inscope Medical Solutions, MailHaven, Schedule It, FreshFry, Neuropak, Healthcare Asset Network, TackHunter and Toggle Health.

For one of the competitors, the tour will be a second opportunity to pitch. Kela Ivonye, the founder and chief executive of MailHaven, recalled in an article on Medium.com that when Case first visited Louisville in 2016, “I also got a chance to ride on his tour bus and pitch him about MailHaven which was only 3 months old then.

“Even though I knew it wouldn’t lead to an investment, the feedback I got was good and it was back to the drawing board,” Ivonye wrote. “You’ll have to come here me pitch at the Speed Museum on May 11th find out more about our progress. We are thrilled about our selection in a group of phenomenal Louisville Startups and look forward to pitching.” —Mickey Meece

Wild Turkey and Matthew McConaughey team up to create a Kentucky-Texas bourbon

Matthew McConaughey and Eddie Russell | Courtesy of Wild Turkey

As “creative director” of Wild Turkey, it was only a matter of time before Matthew McConaughey got involved with the bourbon-making side of things. After all, you can only talk up a product so much.

After two years of collaborating with Turkey Master Distiller Eddie Russell, McConaughey is launching Wild Turkey Longbranch, a small-batch eight-year-old bourbon that is “refined” with Texas mesquite and oak charcoals.

What exactly does refined mean in this case? Looks like they’re referring to the filtration process — first running the bourbon through charcoal made from American white oak, and then through charcoal made from Texas mesquite wood.

The tasting notes are described as caramel, pear and hints of citrus, with a subtle, smoky finish.

“When we were creating Wild Turkey Longbranch, we talked at length about how to make a product that represents elements of both Texas and Kentucky,” said Russell in a news release. “Our goal was to make a straight bourbon whiskey with a soft sweetness that was still unmistakably Wild Turkey. The result was a bourbon that we both truly enjoy drinking neat, and look forward to sharing with others.”

Longbranch will be out in stores in May for a suggested retail price of $39.99, which is not bad for an 8-year-old bourbon. We saw on social media that Westport Whiskey & Wine already has a bottle open for tastings in its tasting room. —Sara Havens

Legal Aid Society to honor attorney, entrepreneur and civic leader

Stephen Reily | Courtesy of Speed Art Museum

The Louisville Legal Aid Society will honor local attorney, entrepreneur and civic leader Stephen Reily with the Brown-Forman Spirit of Justice Award at its 15th Annual Brush, Bottle and Barrel of the Bluegrass fundraiser on April 27.

The society is a nonprofit that provides free legal help to people in poverty in 15 Kentucky counties. Last year, the organization helped 4,500 people including elderly, children, victims of domestic violence and others whose civil legal problems threatened their physical and economic well-being.

The Spirit of Justice Award recognizes “a member of the community who demonstrates a deep dedication to upholding the principles of equal justice.”

Reily is an attorney who founded brand licensing company IMC and co-founded theclick, an email newsletter by and for women; SUM180, an online financial planning service geared toward women; and Seed Capital KY, a nonprofit that helps farmers and farm communities. Reily also served as director of the Speed Art Museum and on the boards of the Louisville Urban League and the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York.

In a press release, the Louisville Legal Aid Society also highlighted the Reily Reentry Project, for which Reily partnered with the LUL and which helps people expunge their criminal record and provides them with training to increase their chances of success.

The Brush, Bottle and Barrel of the Bluegrass is the Legal Aid Society’s signature fundraising event and will feature artists and their works, tastings of Kentucky wines and bourbon, an outdoor beer garden, food, live music and a silent auction. Last year, more than 550 attended, raising $60,000.

Tickets for this year’s event, which will be at 6 p.m. at the corporate campus of Atria Senior Living, are $100 and can be purchased at the door or in advance at www.laslou.org or 502-583-1254. —Boris Ladwig

Tour of New Homes this coming weekend

The Building Industry Association of Greater Louisville is giving potential homebuyers and the general public the chance to see some of the newest houses built in the area.

The Tour of New Homes will be held from noon to 6 p.m. April 28-29, and it’s free. The houses, which range from move-in ready to substantially-complete construction, are scattered around Jefferson County.

“The BIA has been producing this Tour for four consecutive years, and each year, it’s been building momentum,” said show director Ally Adams. “One of the great advantages of the Tour of New Homes event is that guests visiting the new homes can get a feel for the proximity of schools, restaurants, shopping and parks in neighborhoods throughout the city.”

The tour is presented by Ball Homes, Central Bank, Elite Homes and Louisville Realty Group. For a listing and map showing the houses on the tour, check out the BIA’s website. —Caitlin Bowling

Sign up for emergency alerts ahead of Derby season

Louisville Metro Emergency Services is encouraging residents and visitors to sign up for text alerts before the start of Kentucky Derby season so that they can be notified about any emergencies.

LENSAlert, the Louisville Emergency Notification System, provide real-time notifications of emergency situations through text. People can sign up by simply texting “Derby” to 67283.

“We expect a safe and secure Derby Season and are doing everything we can to be prepared, including offering text alerts for the public,” Emergency Services Director Jody Meiman stated in a news release. “LENSAlert is meant to communicate emergency information only and will be the trusted source of information should a major incident occur.”

Those who are already signed up for LENSAlert can elect to receive event-specific notifications through their profile at smart911.com. —Caitlin Bowling

Learn about advanced care planning


It’s a tough topic to think about: Who will make end-of-life decisions for you when you can’t? But ElderServe thinks it’s time for the public to get educated about advanced care planning. The nonprofit will hold a free presentation Monday at its Senior Center at 631 S. 28th St.

Those who attend the 2 p.m. session will learn about advanced directives, and notaries will be on hand for people who want to complete their directives that day.

“Nobody wants to imagine being incapacitated, but advanced directives are actually empowering,” ElderServe’s Social Services Manager Dianne Feltham said in a news release. “They allow you to express – in writing – your wishes. And they are a gift to your loved ones, easing their burden during times of crisis or grief.”

ElderServe’s presentation is being held just in time for National Healthcare Decisions Day, which has a Conversation Starter Kit for people who want to talk about their end-of-life wishes. Darla Carter

Grim statistics for Kentucky on premature death probability

Kentucky is among 10 states with the highest probability of premature death or what’s colloquially known as dying before your time.

That’s according to an extensive state-by-state health study out this month.

The study — coordinated by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington — is a comprehensive look at health issues across all 50 states and Washington, D.C., from 1990 through 2016.

Researchers found that the likelihood of early death for men and women age 20 to 55 was higher in Kentucky than in states like Minnesota, California or New York.

“We are seeing dangerous disparities among states,” Dr. Christopher Murray, the institute’s director, said in a news release. “Unless and until leaders of our health care system work together to mitigate risks, such as tobacco, alcohol and diet, more Americans will die prematurely, and in many cases, unnecessarily.”

The top causes of premature death in Kentucky were ischemic heart disease, lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), followed by cerebrovascular disease, road injuries and drug use disorders.

On the roster of 10 states with the highest probability of premature death, Kentucky was joined by mostly southern cousins: West Virginia, Mississippi, Alabama, Oklahoma, Arkansas, New Mexico, Louisiana, Tennessee and South Carolina.

The study notes that in several states, the probability of death increased from 1990 to 2016 for the young-to-middle-age group, with Kentucky being among five with an increase greater than 10 percent. The others were Oklahoma, New Mexico, West Virginia and Wyoming.

The study found that life expectancy at birth was highest in Hawaii — 81.3 years — compared to 75.8 years in Kentucky, which earned a rank of 46. Indiana ranked No. 42 with 77.2 years.

In terms of healthy life expectancy, the number of years that a person at a given age can expect to live in good health, Kentucky ranked at 50 with 64.3 years. Indiana ranked No. 42 with 66 years, compared to first-place Minnesota’s 70.3 years. Darla Carter


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