MURRAY, Ky. (October 20, 2015) – Bulwark, the recent winner of a Kentucky Innovation Network regional pitch competition, plans to change the game in combat sports, a goal made easier when it took the $1,000 top prize at a pitch competition in Murray and received an invitation to pitch to the Kentucky Angel Investors Network in Frankfort this fall.
The Bulwark Simulated Combat Sport Suit is a live-action vest used for combat sports that detects a hit from a padded weapon and outputs “health bar” information in the form of LED lights. The vest is designed to deepen the simulated combat experience in both game and sport. Combat sports are gaining popularity across the U.S., and Bulwark seeks to open the door to a new form of combat sport.
“Having this pitch competition in Murray is an opportunity for entrepreneurs to showcase their new ideas and products and for the community to learn about these great new businesses,” said Loretta Daniel, director of Murray’s Kentucky Innovation Network office. “This competition shines a spotlight on new ideas and businesses in our region. We often think that innovation and entrepreneurship only happens in big cities. But through this competition we show that it also happens here, in our communities in west Kentucky and these businesses will grow and create economic benefits and jobs right here.”
“As I began building prototypes, I realized I needed to understand how to market this device. It was then that I found the Kentucky Innovation Network,” said Bulwark founder Daniel Beighle. “With little more than a working prototype, the Kentucky Innovation Network was able to guide me to my next steps. Loretta Daniel and her team were immediately instrumental in moving me forward. As soon as our first conversation, she was pointing me down the right track. She encouraged me to pitch my idea and helped me greatly in organizing my presentation.
“I will never forget the deep feeling of validation that winning the pitch competition gave me,” Beighle added. “Even just attending was a great experience, but realizing that others saw merit in my idea was amazing. That kind of validation is something inventors truly need. The money won is not to be understated either. It will allow my budget the room it needs to market comfortably. This is another boon to my progress.”
Murray’s pitch competition was the latest in a series of 11 events being held throughout the state. Earlier this summer, Covington, Lexington, Morehead, Louisville, Ashland, London, Pikeville, Richmond, Elizabethtown and Paducah held regional competitions.
The pitch competition, now in its second year, is sponsored by the Kentucky Innovation Network, the Office of Entrepreneurship within the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and the Kentucky Angel Investors Network. For more information on the competition, visit kyinnovation.com.
The Kentucky Angel Investors Network brings new ventures and accredited investors together via monthly online meetings, providing investors access to form deals and partnerships with entrepreneurs statewide. Membership is open to those accredited investors in and outside the state who are passionate about investing in Kentucky companies. To learn more, visit www.kyangels.net.
Consisting of 13 offices throughout the state, the Kentucky Innovation Network offers extensive resources for small and new businesses. Assistance can range from funding initiatives, marketing and sales assistance, small business advocacy and resource referrals, along with a variety of financial and incentive programs to encourage investment and job growth. All services are provided free of charge.
The Kentucky Innovation Network is an initiative of the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development’s Office of Entrepreneurship. The goals of the Office of Entrepreneurship are to develop an entrepreneurial climate in Kentucky, provide guidance and support to startups and assist existing small businesses with growth opportunities. To learn how the Kentucky Innovation Network is helping create and grow Kentucky’s small businesses, visit www.kyinnovation.com.
The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development is the primary state agency responsible for encouraging new jobs and investment in the state. New capital investment announced in Kentucky in 2015 totaled a state record $5.1 billion, spurring more than 16,000 projected new jobs. Information on available industrial properties, workforce development assistance, incentive programs, community profiles, small business development and other economic development resources is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com.