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Meet Kenzie Dickens

Communications Manager, StartupLex



“Knowing my work with StartupLex has helped foster connections with resource partners, other entrepreneurs, and events that have helped these startups grow, is really rewarding."

  • LinkedIn

Q & A

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

A1: "I previously worked with SBIR startups in a grant compliance role for the KY SBIR Matching program. I transitioned from there to working with the KY APEX Accelerator, which helps small businesses navigate the world of government contracting. In my current role I wear a couple hats; as a Communications Manager for StartupLex I work on our communication efforts to help local entrepreneurs get connected with one another and events happening in our community and as the Operations Coordinator for Launch Blue, I help manage our budget and financials as well as our grants."

Q2: What inspired you to work with startups?

A2: "I accidentally fell into a role working with startups when I began working for the KY SBIR Matching program. I had previous experience in tax auditing, so grant compliance was a natural transition. However, I quickly learned that I love the energy and passion that comes from working with startups. I admire their innovation, dedication, and resilience to their ideas and solutions."


Q3: What has been the most rewarding part of working with startups?

A3: " I have had the opportunity to be a part of the local startup community for around 8 years now and it’s been wonderful to watch startups who were just getting started with their first SBIR and SBIR Matching awards successfully use those awards to grow impactful startups. Some of the startups have even gone through our Launch Blue programming, so I’ve had the chance to continue seeing them make a difference in our communities as they advance their startups. In addition to seeing startups grow through the various stages, I have also really enjoyed learning about the impactful research and innovations that are developing in my own backyard that I never realized were happening in KY until I started working with startups. Knowing my work with StartupLex has helped foster connections with resource partners, other entrepreneurs, and events that have helped these startups grow is really rewarding.


Q4: What community resources do you like to recommend to startups you work with?

A4: ​

"One thing I learned about when I started working with startups is just how many resources are out there in our community. It just depends on where you are in your startup journey and what you need, but here are some great resources/organizations that I would suggest getting plugged into in the Lexington area:


KY Innovation, UK Innovate, Launch Blue, Invest Blue, StartupLexUK Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship Bootcamp, KSTC, KSEF, KY APEX Accelerator, KY SBDC, Awesome Inc, Women Leading KY."


Q5: If you could share one piece of advice to another person considering becoming a community service provider, what would it be?

A5: "Becoming a community service provider in the startup space can be very educational. As much as startups can benefit from our resources, we can equally learn from them and their backgrounds and the problems they are solving to help become champions for them and their causes as well."

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