Ft. Mitchell, KY — The CEOs of two Northern Kentucky-based technology startups will be among 700 global entrepreneurs at the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), being held June 22-24 at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif. Oliver Lawal, CEO of AquiSense, and Natasia Malaihollo, CEO of Wyzerr, were selected among nearly 5,000 applicants to meet with more than 300 investors. AquiSense and Wyzerr are among the 60 local technology startups that partner with the Kentucky Innovation Network of Northern Kentucky.
“This opportunity highlights the fact that Kentucky provides an environment where entrepreneurs can build businesses that stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the world’s most promising,” said Mandy Lambert, business development commissioner of the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. “We’re proud that the founders of two forward-thinking Kentucky companies will participate in this international-level conference. Their experiences, the connections they make and the insight they gain will not only benefit their businesses but also help generate a greater awareness of Kentucky’s innovative spirit and entrepreneurial culture.”
“GES is a unique opportunity for firms of our size to make introductions and get exposure to investors and entrepreneurial supporters all over the world,” says Lawal. “To be nominated, and then selected among so many global applicants, for the chance to improve our business is not something we could pull off alone.”
AquiSense provides disinfectant technology for water and air without the use of chemicals or mercury. Wyzerr builds software that helps businesses capture and understand customer feedback data beyond surveys. Both CEOs were attracted to the lucrative startup culture of the region and strong support network.
“People ask me why I moved our company from California to Kentucky and this is exactly why,” says Malaihollo. “Northern Kentucky has embraced and welcomed Wyzerr as one of their own since we arrived late last year and actively provides resources to help us grow.”
The Innovation Network works at the state level to promote resources for business development, growth strategy, and funding for technological startups, with local support from Northern Kentucky Tri-ED and UpTech.
“The diversity of startup businesses in our region helps promote job growth and improve our quality of life, which, in turn, helps attract more businesses to come here and prosper,” says Judge-Executive Gary Moore of Boone County and Tri-ED Board Chair.
“The technology ecosystem in Northern Kentucky has been teeming with entrepreneurial growth the last few years, thanks to the creative minds in the region and the purposeful dedication of resources and support,” says Casey Barach, director of The Innovation Network out of Northern Kentucky. “Sending delegates from Northern Kentucky to interact with the global scene of entrepreneurs and investors is a testament to those efforts.”
GES kicks off Wednesday, June 22 and is expected to include a segment with President Barack Obama and Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg sharing the stage. You can follow live updates on Twitter at @GES2016.