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'Focus on Innovation' program serves as resource for small businesses

The WKU Small Business Accelerator continued its collaboration with the Central Region Office of the Kentucky Innovation Network to host its quarterly Focus on Innovation small group discussion on Tuesday (March 28) at the WKU Center for Research and Development.

Local franchisors/franchisees, merchandisers and regional and/or corporate sales, management, and marketing team members in the retail industry gathered for a facilitated discussion about an innovative featured product offering in-store communication solutions developed by EYECONIC.TV.

In December 2016, EYECONIC.TV was featured as the first Focus on Innovation client. Following their initial involvement, Vice President of Sales Jennifer Martin sought a second seat in the quarterly small group discussion program after experiencing first-hand the indispensable value of direct industry feedback on the development of a separate product line.

“The WKU Small Business Accelerator and Central Region Office of the Kentucky Innovation Network have been instrumental in helping EYECONIC.TV navigate marketing initiatives for our technology and services to various industry sectors,” Martin said.

She said the ability to participate in the intimate small group discussions empowers a company to keep their finger on the pulse of customers' needs to help make efficient and educated decisions on next steps for success. “I highly recommend other local businesses tap into this valuable and powerful resource,” Martin said.

Focus on Innovation serves as a platform for clients of the WKU Small Business Accelerator and the Central Region Office of the Kentucky Innovation Network to communicate face-to-face with representatives from their target markets to improve product development and increase time to market.

“We realize the importance of customer feedback post-production; however, we recognize even more that understanding the target market’s perceived value prior to production may save a company a lot of time and money,” said Jeff Hook, Director of the WKU Center for Research and Development and Executive Director of the Kentucky Innovation Network’s Central Region Office. “At all stages of growth, we encourage our clients to evaluate the resource requirements for realizing an opportunity. Focus on Innovation allows our clients to determine, adapt and invest resources more wisely for what we hope to be a winning product launch down the road.”

Additionally, participation in this program grants industry leaders and experts access to a unique cross-sector, knowledge-sharing network founded in our local entrepreneurial community. “Our Mentor Network serves as a streamlined way to connect clients with experienced professionals and/or entrepreneurs who are willing to provide guidance to early stage and start-up business owners,” Hook said. “Mentoring is at the core of our value proposition so we continually look for ways to bring industry experience and expertise directly to our clients.”

For information about Focus on Innovation, the WKU Small Business Accelerator and/or the Kentucky Innovation Network, visit www.wku.edu/accelerator, www.kyinnovation.com or call (270) 901-3490.

About WKU Small Business Accelerator: The WKU Small Business Accelerator, a business incubator currently home to 20+ startup and growth stage companies, opened over 11 years ago, has expanded 3 times and currently occupies approximately 45,000 square feet within the WKU Center for Research and Development. The Small Business Accelerator provides businesses a world-class office environment, business development consulting, training and networking opportunities - all within a growth-focused entrepreneurial community. Through our network of strategic partners, tenants have access to a wide variety of business development resources.

About the Central Region Office of the Kentucky Innovation Network: The Kentucky Innovation Network has been working with startups and small businesses in South Central Kentucky since 2002. The Bowling Green office serves 11 counties including Adair, Allen, Barren, Butler, Edmonson, Hart, Logan, Metcalfe, Monroe, Simpson, and Warren and is one of twelve offices operating across the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The Innovation Network provides business development consulting, mentors, funding opportunities and access to additional resources that can accelerate business growth and gain exposure for start-up, emerging, and existing entrepreneurs on the pathway to success. The Bowling Green office is managed in partnership with the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation and Western Kentucky University and is staffed by experienced business leaders.

About EYECONIC.TV: EYECONIC.TV produces a variety of high end digital media including signs, menus, directories and kiosks used in custom marketing systems for companies both large and small internationally. In addition, proprietary marketing systems are flawlessly executed, remotely monitored, and 100% turn-key…which means there is nothing for you to learn, and no one for you to hire. For more information, visit www.eyeconic.tv.

Contact: Emilee Buttrum, (270) 901-3490 or emilee.buttrum@wku.edu

 

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