April 2023 Newsletter: Quick Links

Winners Announced! CCTS/VACE 6th Annual Poster Pitch

April 5th Deadline! PNC Wildcat Pitch Competition

April 21st PNC Innovation Summit

VACE Entrepreneur Spotlight: Destin George Bell

Kentucky Angel Companies: Rhiza Health and Feedcoyote

Mentor Appreciation! Asia Rivers and Savannah Blank

Free Resources and Downloads for Entrepreneurs

Donate to support the future of Entrepreneurship

The Center for Clinical & Translational Science (CCTS) partnered with The Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship to host the 6th annual "1-Minute Poster Pitch Competition" during the CCTS annual spring conference. Congratulations to the winners & all the participants that pitched at the competition! These awards are generously sponsored by The Institute for the Study of Free Enterprise.

1st Place, $850 - Chi Peng | College of Medicine

2nd Place, $600 - Annaliese Norris | College of Health Sciences

3rd Place, $400 - Pegah Safavi | College of Engineering

Judges Award, $150 - Elizabeth Ruschman | College of Nursing

The PNC Wildcat Pitch Competition is a full day competition that allows University of Kentucky student teams to pitch a business plan in their division, undergraduate or graduate, to compete for a spot in the final round. Perform your best pitch for a panel of prestigious judges for a chance to win seed money.

For all questions, Email Warren Nash: [email protected]

Undergraduate and Graduate Teams Click Here to Register!

The PNC Innovation Summit is a time for the bright minds of the campus and community to learn valuable life lessons from industry leaders. This two-day event includes an Innovation Conference and the Wildcat Pitch Competition. Join us for opportunities to learn and connect with industry leaders and an opportunity to win seed funding for innovative business plans that will disrupt the current market and lead to lasting community change.

For all questions, Email Warren Nash: [email protected]

Click Here to Register for the PNC Innovation Summit

A University of Kentucky alumnus helped create an app to make exercise more fun. Destin George Bell graduated from UK in 2020 with a degree in marketing from the Gatton College of Business and Economics. He’s now the CEO and co-founder of the smartphone app Card.io, a gamified app turning any outdoor movement into a social competition. Destin is also a Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship graduate from the Bootcamp accelerator program!

Card,io launched on 7th January, brought in its first 100 users and has grown to over a thousand. Destine and his team at Cardio have raised a little under $1M, including non-dilutive capital from groups like the University of Kentucky, Niantic (Pokémon Go parent company), crowdfunding, and grants from accelerators and pitch competition wins.

On the most important lessons he’s learned as an entrepreneur, he said: “The biggest lesson I learned is that a “no” is a not yet/I’ve been told no so many times in my life that if I took that to heart and never did anything that was met with resistance, I’d still be sleeping in my dad’s attic on an air mattress.

“The “not yet” that became the biggest “yes” we ever got was when I sent a cold email to the CEO of Pokemon Go. It took two months for him to respond. After our first conversation, 3 months passed with complete radio silence, but despite that, I sent email after email the entirety of that time until one day they rewarded my persistence with a $50K grant,” he added.

The Kentucky Angel Investors Network brings new ventures and investors together across the Commonwealth. Monthly online meetings provide investors access to early-stage deal flow on a statewide basis. Entrepreneurs have access to investors with a passion for investing in Kentucky's companies of tomorrow. In partnership with Keyhorse Capital, these startup companies featured below are taking their ventures to the next level.

Rhiza Health

Rhiza Health empowers a community to collaborate using decentralized (Web 3) technologies to improve the systemic issues that contribute to the $1T wasted in the U.S. healthcare system each year. Community members utilize Web 3 technologies and processes to ensure solutions are open, community governed, equitable and sustainable utility for the industry.

Rhiza creates decentralized (Web 3) protocol(s) that bring efficiency, transparency and community empowerment to Healthcare. Data exchange and the medical claims process need Web 3. This was true for claims in 2016 when this whitepaper was selected as one of the winners of the ONC/HHS whitepaper challenge, but the technology was not ready. The technology is ready now.


Feedcoyote is a Business Network & Collaboration platform equipped with CRM capabilities that provides independent workers (freelancers, solopreneurs, small business owners) the right tools to work more efficiently and collaborate together on various short-term projects to make more money. Feedcoyote allows you to import and integrate your existing stack seamlessly and securely so you can focus on growing your gigs.

Asia Rivers is a business credit expert who partners with CEO’s, executives, and entrepreneurs to establish, utilize, and protect their business credit. Rivers, the CEO of Seal The Deal Credit Consultants also owns Talk Childcare Inc., which is a licensed childcare operation and publishing company. She is native to Louisville, KY and is always eager to help others in need of her expertise. Click here for Asia's company website. Click here for Asia's full interview with SwagHer.

Savannah Blank is the CEO and Founder of Digtial Savvy. Digital Savvy began in early 2020 in Lexington, KY as an idea to provide clients with the best possible results, and someone local they can trust. Not a big marketing company, or someone who doesn’t focus on online marketing only. Click here for Savannah's company website. Click here for Savannah's interview with Bourbon Bluegrass Babes.

Free Downloads for Entrepreneurs!

Check out free resources and downloads on the VACE website. Entrepreneurs seeking helpful materials to further their education and jumpstart early ideas can access books such as The Business Model Canvas, The Lean Startup book, and much more. Want to develop an App? Click here to watch.

All materials are accessible to any student, staff, faculty member, or entrepreneur looking for a "one-stop-shop." Dive in and start the entrepreneurial journey today!

Make a Donation to Support Entrepreneurship

Ever wanted to invest in, coach, or advise a startup or budding entrepreneur? Contact Warren Nash, [email protected], for more information and get involved in the University of Kentucky's startup universe and Kentucky Angel investment network.

If you would like to make a donation to The Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship, click here to learn more and donate to our cause to spearhead entrepreneurship for The University of Kentucky!