The University of Kentucky (UK) Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC), and the Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship (VACE) are partners in the UKAccel program, which offers a professional development and experiential learning opportunity to UK researchers interested in turning their intellectual property into a potential startup. With guidance from the OTC and VACE, qualified participants will be granted UKAccel Membership to Awesome Inc, a Lexington-based start-up accelerator, to take part in an immersive experience in entrepreneurship culture. The goal is to discover if launching a start-up company is right for you!

A video overview of the program is available in the OTC Video Library

Who Can Participate?

The UKAccel Program is targeted to UK faculty, staff, researchers, clinicians, and students that apply to and meet the criteria for the program. The criteria is set by the OTC and VACE and approved by the Vice President for Research. Participation at any given time is subject to space in the program and the availability of funds.


  • Submit a completed UKAccel application to the contact below.
  • Submit, or have submitted, an Invention Report to the OTC that is related to the potential start-up venture, for which rights are not released back to the inventor
  • Commit to completing the program requirements


  • An initial “Entrance Interview” will be conducted with the OTC and VACE to develop a customized UKAccel Program Plan.
  • Receive consultation from the OTC and VACE to answer additional questions and remain on track.
  • Receive a 3-month UKAccel Membership to Awesome Inc, and commit up to 5 hours per week to utilize their shared work space and take part in “Accountability Meetings.”
  • Conduct an “Exit Interview” with OTC and VACE to determine next steps in the start-up or commercialization pathway.

What are the Program Benefits and Expected Outcomes?

Learn and receive guidance on the Practice of Start-up Fundamentals, such as:

  • Business model canvas creation
  • Customer discovery
  • Commercialization pathways
  • Company formation and structure
  • Business plan development
  • Competitive analysis
  • Customer analysis
  • Funding strategies
  • Company management
  • Marketing and business development