The Virtuous Cycle of Entrepreneurship:
Investing in Northern Kentucky
When TiER1 formed, we were put on the map (literally) in Covington, Kentucky, thanks to assistance from the Madison E-Zone entrepreneurship incubator, now known as The Kentucky Innovation Network. Coming full circle, Norm Desmarais, TiER1 co-founder and chairman of the board, is leading efforts to drive innovation and help emerging entrepreneurs in Northern Kentucky.
Norm is chair of the NKY Entrepreneurship Council (NKYEC), a group of business leaders who are investing in Northern Kentucky’s economic development to support entrepreneurship and innovation. This group’s efforts recently resulted in $750,000 in grant funding from KY Innovation’s Regional Innovation for Startups and Entrepreneurs (RISE) program to drive entrepreneurship and innovation in the region.
“This is a great day for all entrepreneurs in Northern Kentucky,” shares Norm. “We now have the resources to accelerate business success. We are adopting and implementing best practices in innovation from entrepreneurial communities around the world, deploying the latest in digital and social technologies, and connecting entrepreneurs to resources specific to their business and personal needs.”
The NKYEC will focus on driving innovation and entrepreneurship across industries, although there is special interest in developing three centers of excellence for the region: informatics, health innovation, and logistics. Norm, who also serves as Northern Kentucky University Board of Regents’ secretary, represents both private sector and academic investment in innovation and growth.
“We’re here to help anyone who has dreams of being an entrepreneur to realize their success,” Norm says. “We’re looking ahead at the next 20 years to build upon the strong values and capabilities we already have in the Midwest. TiER1 was successful because of regional support for entrepreneurs, so it’s great to be part of the effort to support today’s innovators and entrepreneurs.”