The Awesome Fund: Launch and First Investments

Ben Strevy

Ben Strevy, Fund Associate

March 05, 2024

2023 marked the realization of a dream that Awesome Inc has had since 2009, namely the launch of a venture fund in Kentucky. Through the cultivation of relationships over the past 15 years, we have been able to create a $5 million fund, the Awesome Fund, to invest in startups in and around Kentucky. We would not have been able to do this without our community's encouragement, support, and belief in our ability to shepherd startups in and around Kentucky.

Since August 1, we have invested into four companies who we have had the pleasure of getting to know through 5 Across, our Coworking Space, and our Fellowship program. We continue to search for and connect with hundreds of entrepreneurs to identify companies which we believe will grow and provide outsized returns for the fund and the region.

Our first investments:

Thynk Health, co-founded by Dr. Kevin Croce, is a medical technology platform which uses Natural Language Processing and AI to identify incidental findings of nodules and cancer from doctors notes and radiology images of the lungs. Implemented in 25 hospital systems, Thynk has been able to increase cancer findings by 5x on the same patient population at some hospitals.

TitleWise, co-founded by Jennifer Mason, is a platform for title search companies to streamline the research and tracking of title searches for a variety of industries. After working in the industry for over a decade, Jennifer created a product which she wanted to use herself after not finding an existing solution on the market with plans to expand into the title insurance market over time.

Holler Commerce, co-founded Brad Luttrell and Zack Grimes, is an ecommerce platform which allows existing blogs and creators to better monetize their following through an easy to stand up dropshipped store from top brands and and partnerships. After launching with Bear Grylls, Holler has continued to land influencers and blogs with millions of followers to sell through.

Kyndly Benefits, co-founded by Waleed Bahouth and Erik Anderson, both formerly from Humana, is an insuretech platform for individuals to find equivalent insurance plans on the market as their previous medicaid plans and businesses to offer insurance through the state insurance markets at a lower cost than existing group insurance plans.