top of page
Profile Pic - Ellie Derbyshire.jpg

Meet Ellie Derbyshire

Community Service Provider

“Startups are exciting, stressful, and have the potential to change the technological world. Kentucky in particular is so full of potential, and non-dilutive funding is there for those great ideas to flourish. Being able to help our inventors work through the labyrinthine paperwork to access funding that can support their ideas is hugely rewarding."

Q & A

Q1: What is your background and what are you doing now?

A1: “I moved to Kentucky from England in my teens. After getting a history degree in San Diego, I moved back to Kentucky and went to UK for a Masters and then Doctorate in Engineering. I took a few years off to have kids and then joined a startup as the PI for ten years. There I was lucky enough to receive 3 patents and millions in awards for those inventions. Over a year ago I joined the amazing team at KSEF to help startups navigate the federal SBIR system and grow our innovation-entrepreneur-academic ecosystem."

Q2: What inspired you to want to work with startups?

A2: "Startups are exciting, stressful, and have the potential to change the technological world. Kentucky in particular is so full of potential, and non-dilutive funding is there for those great ideas to flourish. Being able to help our inventors work through the labyrinthine paperwork to access funding that can support their ideas is hugely rewarding."

 

Q3: What has been the most rewarding part of your work in supporting startups?

A3: "The most rewarding part of the work, well, that's a difficult question to answer. One part is selfish- I love hearing about the innovations taking place. The work people are doing could absolutely change our world for the better, and it is exciting to even know it exists. The second part is when our clients get funded, which is just amazing for them and us."

 

Q4: What community resources would you recommend to the startups you work with?

A4: "Community resources I'd recommend: KSEF (no bias, ahem), KYInnovation, SBDC, SBA, the innovation hubs across the state, and resources that are open to the community (hello UK!). Beyond that, it very much depends on the needs of the startup."

 

Q5: What is one piece of advice you would share to anyone considering becoming a community service provider?

A5: “Advice to someone considering becoming a community service provider? If you like innovation/tech and helping people, this kind of community service is incredibly rewarding."

bottom of page