How to Apply

“The Vogt Awards really accelerated us from not just being a concept, but being a product, and doing it in a timeframe that actually makes sense.”


2023 Vogt Application will open in Spring 2023

The 22nd Annual Vogt Invention and Invention & Innovation Awards applications are now closed. Applications for the 23rd annual Vogt Invention and Innovation Awards will open in Spring 2023. For questions on the Vogt Invention and Innovation Awards, visit our Vogt Awards FAQ page.

“Having so many great applicants makes it challenging to select just six. We are fortunate to have an outstanding committee ask the tough questions to narrow our list to the final winners.”

Monique Quarterman
Deputy Director KY Innovation | KY Cabinet for Economic Development
2022 Vogt Awards Selection Committee Chair

Vogt Award Criteria & Requirements

What You Receive if Selected

The Vogt Awards provide each selected startup with:

  • $25,000 non-dilutive (does not need to be paid back) grant funding
  • Retain full ownership of your business
  • 10 weeks of startup education through an accelerator program
  • Coaching from experienced startup CEOs and advisors
  • Mentorship from successful entrepreneurs
  • Vogt Award alumni access
  • Startup network introductions
  • Camaraderie through a similar stage, fast-paced cohort
  • Demo Day pitch to the Louisville regional startup community

Mandatory Criteria

Requirements that must be true for application consideration:

  • Startup business is headquartered in the 13-county Louisville metro area (MSA)
    • Indiana – Clark, Floyd, Washington, Scott and Harrison counties
    • Kentucky – Bullitt, Henry, Jefferson, Nelson, Oldham, Shelby, Spencer and Trimble counties
  • Startup business is registered with either the Indiana or Kentucky Secretary of State
  • Developing an innovation-led product or service.
  • Early-stage business with a customer revenue maximum of $250,000/year
  • A lifetime funding maximum of $500,000 (this includes grant and other non-dilutive forms of funding, but excludes founders’ personal investments)
  • Independent business, not a subsidiary of a business or corporate spinout

Strongly Preferred Criteria

Requirements that will be given stronger consideration by the Selection Committee if present and included in a founder’s application:

  • Technology-enabled product – Tech-enabled companies aren’t building the internet, mobile devices or social media platforms; they’re using those technologies to develop a new product or service
  • A product or service that has a protectable advantage in the market
  • A business model that can grow significantly — revenue has the potential to grow exponentially, along with improving profitability
  • A product or service that doesn’t require a long regulatory approval cycle (for example, companies working on a new drug may be excluded)

The Fine Print

  • The decision of the Vogt Awards Selection Committee is final.
  • The committee cannot reconsider applications that have been denied in the current application cycle.
  • Repeat applicants are welcome to apply, if they have not been previously selected for their current company.

Fund Restrictions

  • You will work with the Vogt team to create a budget and a commercialization plan. Funds may be used for product development, marketing and other expenses.
  • The funds cannot be used to pay down debt.
  • The funds will be delivered in two payments, after itemized receipts are approved for the spend of the previous payment. Each payment is subject to approval.

General Requirements

If selected the startup founder(s) agree to:

  • Participate in ALL Thursday program meetings and workshops, lunch through evening, without fail, from August to October 2022.
  • Spend extra time during business hours to work on your company.
  • Attend press conferences and other public Vogt Awards events, including but not limited to the Vogt Awards Demo Day.
  • Attend 1:1 coaching sessions with the Vogt team and mentors (one hour/week).

2022 Vogt Award Timeline

Check back here for important dates and deadlines.


Vogt Awards Demo Day

The 10-week accelerator program wraps up with a highly engaging “Demo Day” event, featuring introductions of the founders and their company pitch presentations. Attendees include, entrepreneurs, investors and the Louisville startup community.

The day is a public celebration of everything that the Vogt Awards cohort represents: their “a-ha” moments, formation of their teams and establishing their companies, first milestones, such as a prototype or minimum viable product (MVP), first customers or revenue. It highlights the founders’  pure grit, drive and determination that allowed them to create something new and innovative — hopefully, something with the right product-market fit that will go on to become a successful venture.

Vogt Awards Demo Day is scheduled for Thursday, October 13, 2022, at a location to be determined.


The Selection Committee

The Vogt Awards Selection Committee has the challenging task of reviewing the competitive applications for the program and making the final decision for this year’s cohort. They represent a diverse group of Vogt Awards alumni, founders, entrepreneurs, investors and service providers who care about the quality and continued legacy of the Vogt Awards. The committee members will be announced at a later date.

We're Here to Answer Your Questions!

Lisa Bajorinas
Lisa Bajorinas
Vogt Awards Program Director
(502) 836-0735
[javascript protected email address]