Networks


Commerce Lexington’s Economic Development team works to help network area businesses to the resources they need to grow and expand. From facilitating connections to potential business partners and management team members, to sharing ideas with like minded people and businesses, we work to help connect companies to the resources, people, talent, funding and a myriad of other things they need to get business done. Below are a few of the networks Commerce Lexington manages.
 

Bluegrass Alliance 


Kentucky's Bluegrass Alliance was created to promote regional cooperation and enhance economic development efforts in Central Kentucky. Comprised of economic development agencies and utility companies representing the greater Lexington Area, the Bluegrass Alliance includes the communities of Berea, Frankfort, Georgetown, Lexington, Midway, Mt. Sterling, Nicholasville, Paris, Richmond, Versailles, and Winchester. Partners from the utility industry are Columbia Gas of Kentucky, Delta Natural Gas, East Kentucky Power, LG&E and KU, and R. J. Corman Railroad Group. With a focus on marketing, support, trust and camaraderie between would-be competitors, this cooperative endeavor welcomes the opportunity to share resources and show you why your next expansion should be with the Bluegrass Alliance. www.lexbgalliance.com 

For more information contact:

Gina Greathouse 
Executive Vice President, Economic Development
859-226-1623
 

Bluegrass Bio


Bluegrass Bio is a networking group of biotech companies which meets twice a year. Its purpose is to provide education and networking opportunities for the growing number of biotech companies in the region. With the state’s flagship university, the University of Kentucky, located in Lexington, it’s not surprising to see our community attracting internationally-renowned scientists, faculty and research centers. Also not surprising are the many technologies and ideas that come from them. The Bluegrass Business Development Partnership has a strong focus on nurturing and assisting many of the start-up ventures resulting in the formation of stand-alone biotech entities. Bio Brochure

For more information contact:

Hannah Crumrine
Project Manager, Economic Development
(859) 226-1631
 

Bluegrass Business Development Partership


Formed in 2007, the Bluegrass Business Development Partnership (BBDP) is a one-stop super-service provider that links small businesses and entrepreneurs in the Bluegrass Region with the information they need to be successful. The BBDP is a collaboration among the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government (LFUCG), Commerce Lexington’s (CLX) economic development divisions, and three University of Kentucky (UK) based organizations — the Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship (VAC), the Lexington Office of the Kentucky Innovation Network (KIN), and the Lexington office of the statewide Small Business Development Centers (SBDC).

Cooperation among all these economic development entities has been in place for years, but the growing number of entrepreneurial and technological companies in central Kentucky enhanced the need for the more formal partnership. To strengthen the partnership, two of the University of Kentucky’s economic develop entities — the Lexington KIN and the local SBDC — co-located with CLX in downtown Lexington. This concentration of services ensures that our small business and entrepreneurial clients receive a full range of business development services in one convenient location. www.thinkbluegrass.com

For more information contact:

Gina Greathouse 
Executive Vice President, Economic Development
859-226-1623
 

Business and Education Network


Ensuring that Central Kentucky has an educated workforce with the skills employers are seeking is essential to our economic competitiveness. Commerce Lexington supports workforce development through its partnership with the Business and Education Network (BEN), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

BEN's mission is to create, attract, and sustain a globally skilled workforce in order to meet the needs of the region's existing and target industries. We hope to achieve this through working with the education community, local workforce partners, community-based organizations, and area businesses. a skilled workforce with 21st century skills is critical for individual and metropolitan prosperity as well as business success. Therefore, the quality of our education system and workforce development initiatives is of the utmost importance.

For more information contact:

Betsy Dexter
Executive Director, Business & Education Network
859-226-1604
 

Business Owners Advisory Board (BOAB)


One of Commerce Lexington’s most effective business assistance efforts is the Business Owners Advisory Board (formerly Business Advisory Groups). These groups allow member business owners to share similar challenges, strategies, and best practices in a confidential, non-competitive environment. Each group is made up of not more than eight members with similar interests and concerns, but who are NOT in direct competition with each other. There is NO CHARGE to participate in this program, which is open only to Commerce Lexington members.

Groups meet on a monthly basis for 2-3 hours per meeting, and each group sets its own meeting dates, times, and location. Groups are formed on the basis of a variety of criteria, such as market or industry segment, number of employees, geographic focus, etc. Each group has its own facilitator, who helps the group remain focused on its objectives, and who acts as a liaison to the Business Owners Advisory Board Steering Committee.

For more information about the Business Owners Advisory Board, or to join the growing list of members participating in one of the groups, contact:

Liz Bennett
Events/Communications Specialist
(859) 226-1615
 

C3N


Lexington and Central Kentucky are home to a diverse economic and business environment. A growing sector for Lexington has been contact centers, which provide a variety of inbound/outbound services for technology, healthcare, utilities, financial and many other industries.

The Contact Center Consortium Network (C3N) is envisioned to be similar to other Commerce Lexington networks including the Manufacturers Network, BioLex and the In2Lex Network. From an economic development perspective, Commerce Lexington strives to understand the challenges and opportunities that our existing businesses face and to bring resources together that could be helpful.

For more information contact:

Hannah Crumrine
Project Manager, Economic Development
(859) 226-1631
 

In2LexIn2Lex

 
Commerce  Lexington Inc. is committed to supporting and connecting local entrepreneurs through various methods. Form

ed in 2008, In2Lex is an open-source consortium of entrepreneurs and professionals in the creative and technology sectors. Its mission is to promote Lexington as a career, education and lifestyle destination for creative and technical business professionals and to act as catalyst where our technical, entrepreneur, and creative communities coincide.

For more information contact:

Hannah Crumrine
Project Manager, Economic Development
(859) 226-1631
 

Manufacturers' Networking Group 


Many manufacturers call central Kentucky home. From J.M. Smucker’s JIF peanut butter to Toyota’s Avalons, there are well over 400 manufacturing companies in the area. Commerce Lexington’s economic development division offers a networking opportunity to the area’s manufacturers. This group is comprised of general managers and human resources representatives from Lexington’s manufacturing companies. Made up of all size manufacturing companies, the group gathers to discuss various topics of interest that typical manufacturers face.

For more information contact:

Hannah Crumrine
Project Manager, Economic Development
859-226-1631
 

SPARK


SPARK, formerly known as the Lexington Venture Club (LVC), was launched in late 2015. Building on the LVC’s long-time role to help launch promising business ventures, SPARKs mission is to provide a forum which fosters sharing between entrepreneurs, businesses, investors and professional services providers.

SPARK is not only a new brand, it’s a new direction for the Bluegrass entrepreneurial/small business community. The program will continue to host informative luncheons, and will be expanding and varying the events to include more after-hours networking opportunities, open coffees, business showcases and a variety of other entrepreneurial/small business friendly and encouraging activities. Just as in the past, there will be at a minimum of six events held throughout the year, including the annual entrepreneurial celebration which will be held during Lexington GEW in November.  Click here to learn more! 

Eric Hartman
Director, Lexington Office of the Kentucky Innovation Network
859-257-2385