Yes, we're here to help your company. We're entrepreneurs and know what it's like to get started. We recognize that early-stage companies are often strapped for cash, so we don't want to take a chunk out of your already limited resources. This also aligns our incentives long-term. We only succeed if you succeed, so our team is committed to helping you out for the life of your startup (and likely beyond that).
We’re entrepreneurs ourselves, and we believe in the power of entrepreneurs to change the world. Our vision for the future requires that more entrepreneurs achieve success, so we’re doing something to help make that happen.
Most importantly, we look for founders that are committed and hustle. We can be most helpful to companies that create or utilize web and mobile software to deliver value to their customers. We have supported both b2b and b2c companies in industries ranging from sports and pets to hospitality and healthcare. You can see a sample of the companies we’ve worked with so far in our portfolio here.
We require monthly accountability meetings with each startup. We prefer that these be completed in person but can be a phone call or google hangout when needed. We also have quarterly mentor sessions which teams are expected to attend. These typically take place at Awesome Inc over lunch and last approximately 2 hours. Other than that, there are a lot of other offerings included in the program, but none of them are required. You’ll get out of the program what you put in.
This is the third year for the Awesome Fellowship Program. We have also helped to grow several companies previously through other initiatives. Check out our Fellowship portfolio companies. We strongly encourage you to chat with the founders of these companies, who can share advice on applying, as well as their perspective on the ups and downs of the program.
No, your team does not need to relocate to Lexington for the duration of the program. However, we do expect you to attend quarterly mentor sessions and prefer that the monthly accountability sessions are completed in person (although not required).
The program accepts teams on a rolling basis. The length of the program is one year.
We have a 6,000-square-foot multipurpose space, which includes coworking hotdesks and a conference room. There’s also a dance floor, a ping pong table, a lounge area with kitchen and couches, and even a raw garage space. Check out the pictures here and here.
Watch this virtual tour here Our location in downtown Lexington is a few blocks from the University of Kentucky, home to nearly 30,000 students, including strong Computer Science and Design programs. There are several coffee shops, restaurants, and tall buildings within walking distance.
Awesome Inc was founded in 2009 (you can read about our history and founding team). Our program managers since 2013 are Brian Raney and Theresa Simcic. In addition to running several technology companies, Awesome Inc has launched the Kentucky Entrepreneur Hall of Fame, organized multiple Startup Weekends, and most recently launched a coding school.
***Preference is given to Kentucky-based companies, although non-Kentucky companies will also be considered.