C3 is a science and technology nonprofit that is the Kentucky flagship for supporting and accelerating invention and entrepreneurship across the state. C3 serves as a vehicle for partnerships with public Kentucky universities and colleges in an effort to transition ideas and intellectual property into products and businesses through investment. Its roles include a commercialization core team, development of robust legal resources for businesses, an accelerator and federal and state innovation fund assistance. The mission and operations of C3 represent a national-model statewide collaboration and satisfy the Kentucky Innovation Act statute regulations.
  • Commercialization Core – largely operated and maintained through a partnership led by the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville and involving Kentucky’s public universities and colleges. This arm of C3 supports efforts of other partnering Kentucky universities to protect and commercialize ideas of faculty, staff and students, as applicable and in accordance with participating institution intellectual property policies.
  • C3 Legal – an initiative that aims to advance the network of high-quality, affordable legal services available to startup companies in Kentucky.
  • Accelerator – a competitive entry accelerator program, with an initial focus on agriculture technology, that allocates risk capital to participants in exchange for an equity stake in the venture.
  • SBIR/STTR Consulting and Matching Funds Program – a robust competitive matching program offered to companies who have received funding previously through the Small Business Administration’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and/or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program.
  • Kentucky Enterprise Fund (KEF) – a program geared at accelerating knowledge transfer and technological innovation, improving economic competitiveness, and spurring economic growth in Kentucky-based companies through grants and direct equity investments.
  • Foster high growth innovation
  • Centralize university technology transfer efforts, and liaise between the state’s public universities and colleges and other economic development programs and initiatives.
  • Engage communities
  • Build relationships in a supportive business environment
  • Invest in startups and scaleups
  • Attract outside capital and business partnerships


C3 serves as a vehicle for partnerships with public Kentucky universities and colleges in an effort to transition ideas and intellectual property into products and businesses through investment. Kentucky’s public universities and colleges are partners in the C3 University Core as a shared resource. The University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville have partnered with the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development to lead the development of this statewide collaboration. In addition, participating institutions include:

Do you have an idea you’d like to share with us?

The downloadable Idea Disclosure Form below is for use by faculty, staff and students of C3 partner universities and college. Download Idea Disclosure Form C3 is here to help with the commercialization process by taking ideas to product via the following steps: chart For questions about the commercialization process and how C3 can help you, email April Turley, director of the commercialization core, at april@c3kentucky.com.


  • C3 Accelerator: All investments made by this platform will be direct equity investments into the companies participating in the accelerator’s programs.
    • Upon acceptance into the accelerator, each company receives an investment of $50,000 for a 3-7 percent equity stake in the company.
  • Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) matching grant programs: provides non-dilutive matching funds based on the applying company’s total amount of federal funding.
    • Matching funds available to both Phase I and Phase II SBIR recipients with maximum matching funds of $150,000 and $500,000 respectively.
  • Kentucky Enterprise Fund (KEF): The purpose of these funds is to ultimately provide capital to small and medium-size, Kentucky-based companies. KEF will also aid in undertaking feasibility, concept development, research and development, or commercialization work in partnership with colleges and universities in the Commonwealth. These funds will appear in one of three forms:
    • Grants
    • Fund of funds
    • Direct equity investments/follow-on investments
  • Kentucky Innovation Fund Thesis

C3 in the news

Groundbreaking Grant Will Transform Kentucky’s Healthcare Startup Ecosystem

A $4 million grant has been awarded to UK, UofL, C3, and the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development.

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Kentucky one of five recipients of NIH hubs to accelerate development of biomedical health technologies

The National Institutes of Health has awarded $20 million to fund five hubs

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New Science, Technology Nonprofit Venture Capital Fund Provides Funds for AgTech Company

C3 invests $150,000 in Smart Farm through Kentucky Enterprise Fund 2.0.

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Murray State Faculty, Staff, Students Connect with Science, Technology Nonprofit C3 for Discussion of Research Commercialization

Commonwealth Commercialization Center (C3) visited Murray State.

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C3 Board of Directors

Jackson Andrews

Terry Gill

Wendy Lea

Ian McClure

Brian Mefford

Vivek Sarin

Aaron Thompson

C3 Staff

April Turley

Director, Commercialization Core


Michelle Perry

Commercialization Culture Manager


Amanda Kool

Director, Legal Operations


Christian Jasper

Data Analyst & Project Support Specialist


Rebecca Arnett

Office Manager & Executive Assistant