Vogt Awards

The Community Foundation of Louisville’s Vogt Invention & Innovation Awards offers entrepreneurs in the Louisville region a unique and exciting opportunity to take their businesses to the next level. Each year, up to six early-stage businesses receive $25,000 in non-dilutive grant funding, participation in a 10-week startup accelerator program, coaching, mentorship, strategic introductions, and recognition, all designed to boost the growth of their business. Unlike other business accelerator programs, the Vogt Awards allows founders to retain full ownership of their businesses.

Meet 2023 Vogt Award Recipient, The Kentucky Hug

When it comes to bourbon in Kentucky, it’s easy to spend an entire day traveling among the wonderful distillery locations across the state, sampling your fill. Bourbon lovers want to make the most of their visits, but quick and easy access to all of Kentucky’s bourbon experiences has never been centralized — until now.

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23rd Vogt Invention and Innovation Awards
Demo Day

Vogt Awards Demo Day is the culmination of the intensive, 10-week Vogt Invention and Innovation Awards accelerator program. This year, the Community Foundation of Louisville’s Vogt Awards joins forces with Network + Chill for Vogt Awards Demo Day at 5:30 p.m. on October 12 at the Kentucky Derby Museum. During this free event, six dynamic founders will take center stage to showcase their big ideas and innovative solutions in healthcare, media and entertainment, virtual reality, software, and eCommerce. They’ll share how their pioneering companies are impacting the local, regional, and national business community.

Registration is required as space is limited.

Click here to register for Vogt Awards Demo Day event


The 2023 Vogt Awards Cohort

Pictured front row left to right: Terri Lykins, My Food My Choice; Chris Matthews, Gamerabble; Cecile Matthews, Gamerabble

Pictured back row left to right: Jeff Cummins, Immersive Hearing Technologies; Matthew Neal PhD, Immersive Hearing Technologies; Stevens Bonhomme, Feedcoyote; Dan Ross-Li, Affinna; Eddie Fieldhouse, The Kentucky Hug; David Galownia, The Kentucky Hug 

The Community Foundation of Louisville recently announced the recipients of our 23rd Vogt Invention and Innovation Awards. These six, early-stage industry disruptors received $25,000 in non-dilutive grant funding, participation in a 10-week accelerator program, startup coaching, mentorship, strategic introductions, and recognition.

Learn more about our Vogt Award recipients.

Thank you 2023 Vogt Awards Selection Committee!

Pictured left to right – front row: Grace Simrall, Julia Regan, Tendai Charasika, Greg Langdon, Susan Olson PhD, Maggie Harlow (Chair-Elect), Demetrius Gray

Pictured left to right – back row: Mario Mazzone, Moses Icyishaka, Haleh Karimi PhD, Chris Weidmar, Buddy Bockweg, Steven Plappert, Kela Ivonye, Jake Miller, Greg Tucker PhD, Robert LaMothe, Brett Moreno, Jeremiah Chapman, Monique Quarterman (Chair)

This year’s six early-stage businesses were chosen by a selection committee made up of leading entrepreneurs and investors in the startup community, and past Vogt Award recipients. This innovative, passionate group of trailblazers are experts in their fields and have firsthand experience in what it takes to build a company from the ground up. The committee was led by Chair Monique Quarterman, one of Kentucky’s most recognized leaders in innovation. Monique serves as Executive Director for Kentucky Innovation at the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development

The competition was tough this year, and narrowing the field to six businesses was an enormous challenge. We want to thank each committee member for their leadership, guidance, and thoughtful consideration throughout the selection process. 

The Tremendous Legacy behind the Vogt Awards

The Vogt Invention & Innovation Fund and Awards were established in 1999 through an endowment generously created by Henry V. Heuser Sr. This long-standing and prestigious program aims to strengthen Louisville’s economic health by supporting innovative businesses and inspiring entrepreneurship.

It’s an incredible story of generosity supporting a long-term vision that benefits economic development in our community.

Learn more about the legacy behind the Vogt Awards.

We're here to answer your questions!

Lisa Bajorinas
Lisa Bajorinas
Vogt Awards Program Director
(502) 836-0735
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Gad Niyiragira
Gad Niyiragira
Gad Niyiragira
Program Officer, Community Engagement
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