Sprocket, Inc., along with Murray State University Center for Computer and Information Technology, The Technology Council of West Kentucky, the Murray State University Center for Economic and Entrepreneurial Development, and Kentucky Innovation Station (Madisonville Hopkins County Economic Development Corporation) is pleased to announce the regional initiative formerly known as “RISE West Kentucky” is now “GroWest”.

The award is part of a larger $2.6 Million grant supporting six such hubs across the state announced by Governor Beshear on Thursday.

The regional effort is led by Sprocket, Inc., a Paducah non-profit center for entrepreneurship, community learning, and education, located in midtown Paducah in the Coke Plant. 

Monica Bilak, former Sprocket Board Chair, assumed the role of Regional Director effective July 1st.

“Our partnership is unique to Western Kentucky and greatly enhanced by the support of the Governor through Kentucky State Cabinet for Economic Development/Kentucky Innovation,” said Bilak. “This funding is absolutely key to our continuing effort to develop the entrepreneurial ecosystem with a special emphasis on tech-based businesses.”

Monica Bilak

Client services, the attraction of outside and developmental capital, as well as pre-seed fundraising will be additional areas of focus. The coalition provides entrepreneurial services in an area that stretches from Carlisle to Muhlenberg Counties, taking in the entirety of the Purchase, Pennyrile, and portions of the Green River Development Districts.

Anyone with an innovative startup idea or existing business with the potential to scale, should contact the hub closest to them. Services include early-stage education and mentorship, help navigating local and state regulations, and connections to regional and statewide networks of other entrepreneurs.