The Fellowship Launches Its Fall 2022 Cohort

Awesome Inc Team

Awesome Inc Team,

November 11, 2022

The Fall brings exciting change at Awesome Inc – and it involves fresh new startups solving problems that we all hate and capitalizing on all the big opportunities that we’re jealous we hadn’t thought of.

Every October 1st, four startup companies graduate from the Fellowship Program making room for another four companies to be welcomed in to benefit from abundant startup-centric resources and an accountable community. To date, The Awesome Fellowship Program has accelerated the growth of 70 startups since the program’s inception in 2014. 

The Fall 2022 cohort is exciting because it is a collection of startups from three different cities around the state. Two companies call Louisville home, one company is from Lexington, and finally, one company is from Paducah; a first for the program! The purpose of the companies range from policy advocacy to consumer products to student preparedness to Kentucky’s favorite beverage. 

Let’s meet them:

Founders of MiniGrip hold a giant check for $500 after winning the 5 Across June Pitch Competition

  • MiniGrip (Lexington) - MiniGrip™, a consumer products company, has a patent-pending dual surface design with a high friction gripping surface to help open all types of twist-tops and lids while providing a comfortable surface to support dry or sweaty hands. MiniGrip celebrated success earlier this year by winning the 5 Across Entrepreneur Pitch Competition, a cash prize, an investment offer, and a shot at competing in the December 2022 Finals event for a chance to win $5,000 cash and a $50,000 SAFE note thanks to Keyhorse Capital.

Kory Payne, Founder of UJoin, tells the crowd about his company.

  • UJoin (Paducah) - Ujoin believes the land of policy-making is a place for all of us. Their online grassroots advocacy app will help you get policy wins for change that you care about. Kory Payne, the Founder of Ujoin, makes Fellowship Program history by being the first founder to join from Paducah, KY. As more people (at younger ages) become engaged in policy making, keep an eye on this Western Kentucky company as it provides the easiest way to do so.

Founder of PrepSharp tells the crowd about her company.

  • PrepSharp (Louisville) - PrepSharp offers easy access to free bubble sheets for the ACT, and intuitively-designed answer keys & scales (raw score conversion charts) for the ACT. With years of personal tutoring experience, the founders of PrepSharp are building a need that they have experienced firsthand. PrepSharp provides tutors with a robust software solution and full instructional autonomy.

Chris Wiedmar, Founder of Party Horses, holds giant check after winning 5 Across April.

  • Party Horses (Louisville) - Party Horses is a collection of 10,000 NFTs on the Ethereum Mainnet. Their vision is to create a future where NFT’s create access and special experiences. Based out of Louisville, KY, Party Horses provides exclusive experiences for fans to fall in love with Kentucky and enjoy what makes bourbon the world’s favorite premier beverage. Party Horses won the February 2022 5 Across Entrepreneur Pitch Competition.

Since 2014, Fellowship companies have created 528 jobs for Kentucky and attracted $110,000,000 in outside funding. Combined with exclusive settings and a mentor network of Kentucky Entrepreneur Hall of Famers, this tradition of success creates a healthy expectation of incoming Fellowship Startup Founders to build their companies with similar tenacity that they’ve witnessed from previous founders. 

If you’d like to follow along the founders’ Fellowship journey, subscribe to our Startup Specific Newsletter!