Velocity accelerator's Rob Rosario (standing) presents to entrepreneurs at Open Coffee
Velocity accelerator’s Rob Rosario (standing) presents to entrepreneurs at Open Coffee

With the July 1 retirement of Executive Director Gene Fuqua of the Kentucky Office of Commercialization and Innovation, the Cabinet for Economic Development has retooled its structure a bit and created the Office of Entrepreneurship within the Cabinet’s Department for Business Development.

According to a news release from the Governor’s office.

“Small and young companies are vital to our economic health, not just in Kentucky, but across the United States,” said Gov. Steve Beshear. “By helping entrepreneurs early and broadly and by promoting innovation and entrepreneurial activity, we can improve Kentucky’s competitive position in the world and enhance job creation at the same time.”

The Office of Entrepreneurship will provide guidance and support to startup businesses and enhance the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Commonwealth.

Tendai Charasika, executive director of Greater Louisville Inc.’s EnterpriseCorp, says that new office will “bolster entrepreneurship in the whole state of Kentucky” and offer more resources to startups and small businesses.

The office will oversee the twelve Kentucky Innovation Network offices, which includes ten Innovation and Commercialization Centers (ICCs) and two satellite offices. The Louisville Innovation Network office is part of EnterpriseCorp.

Erik Dunnigan, commissioner of the Department for Business Development, has been named interim executive director of the Office of Entrepreneurship. Dunnigan is a native of Frankfort and received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky and a Master of Business Administration from Morehead State University.

From the news release:

“The Office of Entrepreneurship will play a key role in our overall business development strategy,” said Erik Dunnigan, Commissioner of Business Development and Interim Executive Director of the Office of Entrepreneurship. “By closely linking all of our entrepreneurial and small business development efforts with our existing business recruitment and expansion activities, we’ll be better able to serve clients at all ends of the growth spectrum.”

Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available online.

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