Kentucky Entrepreneurship Education Network Inc DBA KEENStart
870 Corporate Drive
Suite 303
Contact Information
Nonprofit Kentucky Entrepreneurship Education Network Inc DBA KEENStart
Address 870 Corporate Drive
Suite 303
Phone (859) 568-2199 5682199
Fax 859 5682199
Contact Name Laurie Daugherty
At A Glance
IRS Ruling Year 2016
Other ways to donate, support, or volunteer You may give online by going to or and clicking on the "Donate Now" button. Online donations are handled through Network for Good's secure giving portal. Donations may also be made by check payable to "KEENStart" and mailed to 870 Corporate Drive, Suite 303, Lexington, KY 40503. We accept donations of securities and other assets. Please contact us to discuss this option. We accept in-kind donations of computers (no more than 4 years old), 3D printers and other technology. Please contact us to discuss our needs in more detail. KEENStart has volunteer opportunities for guest speakers and mentors during the summer Governor's School for Entrepreneurs program. Please contact us for details.
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expenses - All Years
Expense Breakdown - Recent Year
Mission Statement

KEENStart (the Kentucky Entrepreneurship Education Network, Inc.) is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt corporation focused on entrepreneurship education. We operate the Governor's School for Entrepreneurs.

Our programs inspire and inform the next generation of business creators and leaders. Our objective is to nurture and grow the entrepreneurial spirit in those who attend our programs.

Entrepreneurship is a journey full of twists and turns. KEENStart brings a framework to the process, and through our uniquely designed learning programs we help prepare Kentucky students for success in college and career. We purposefully challenge them to view the world through the lens of entrepreneurial thinking.

Understanding entrepreneurship can have far reaching impact. Small and independent businesses are the backbone of Kentucky’s communities with over 90% of businesses in Kentucky being small businesses. At KEENStart programs young people experience what it takes to be successful. The knowledge they gain better prepares them for college and for careers as future business and community leaders and entrepreneurs.

Background Statement

KEENStart was organized in November 2015 to take over operations of the Kentucky’s Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs (GSE) in 2016. GSE is a statewide summer program in operation since 2013. In April 2016 KEENStart received its tax exempt status, and as of July 1, 2016 state funding for GSE is provided through the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

KEENStart was established by the creator of the GSE program. GSE remains under the management of its original founding director.

KEENStart has adopted sound accounting policies and procedures and maintains strong internal controls. KEENStart requires a full annual compilation of its financial statements to ensure that they are fairly presented in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles.

Impact Statement

Understanding entrepreneurship has far reaching impact. Small and independent businesses are the backbone of Kentucky’s communities with over 90% of businesses in Kentucky being small businesses. The Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs (GSE) prepares young people for college and for careers as future business and community leaders and entrepreneurs. Students see the real-world uses for math, science and writing. GSE provides a safe environment for them to take risks with their ideas in an effort to create something meaningful. GSE pushes students beyond their self-conceived limits of thinking and doing. There is a strong emphasis on social responsibility and global thinking.

On a personal level, GSE gives students

· confidence
· clarity of future college and/or career aspirations
· independence
· appreciation for working as a team.

They say:

“GSE changed my life. It provided me with the tools to have a successful future in the business world.”

“GSE changed my way of thinking in everyday situations and how I face challenges with myself or with a group.”

“I am incredibly thankful the opportunities and challenges GSE afforded me and everyone else. The program taught me so many new skills and introduced me to so many amazing people.”

“[GSE] helped me realize my full potential as an entrepreneur and leader of my community. …The program was my form of expression.”

“I learned the basics of starting a business, how to be confident [and] how to be a good speaker.”

Of the GSE alumni who have graduated high school, 100% of those who reported to us are enrolled in a 2-year or 4-year college. Most of them have received scholarships.

Participating in GSE opens other doors for our alumni as well. The top teams pitch at the Lexington Venture Club’s summer SPARK event where two teams take home cash awards. Some teams have pursued other pitch competitions such as the Five Across event in Lexington and Louisville’s “Dream Funders” TV show.
Needs Statement Private donations will be applied to cover the costs of core program planning activities and summer program operations which comprise 60% of the annual operating budget.
CEO/Executive Director Statement

I am often challenged with the question, “can you teach entrepreneurship?” The answer is yes.

Teaching entrepreneurship has been likened to teaching music or art. The best music conservatory or design school can’t guarantee it will produce the next Yo-Yo Ma or Claude Monet, but years of study and practice certainly honed and perfected their innate creative genius. Likewise there is evidence that great entrepreneurs possess certain traits that guide their success. In 2014 the Gallup Organization released an assessment report identifying ten inherent behaviors and talents it determined entrepreneurial individuals were likely to possess. Yet when it assessed the personalities of top well known entrepreneurs who founded highly successful companies, it found that no single person was strong in all ten traits.

Everyone can benefit from nurturing their innate talents through methods and practices taught in entrepreneurship programs like GSE. Successful entrepreneurs tend to look at the world differently through a lens of spotting problems, asking “why” and identifying solutions. GSE purposefully challenges students to view the world through this lens. Entrepreneurship is interdisciplinary with a strong focus on critical thinking. There is no rulebook for turning ideas into opportunities. It is a constant and never ending series of decisions. Many genius entrepreneurs went through trial and error with one or more ideas before landing on their big success story. Elements of timing and luck are woven into every great success story, but even those elements are often the result of recognizing an opportunity or deciding to take a risk at a certain moment. And these so-called soft skills can be honed.

This is especially important because today most people will no longer spend their careers in a single industry let alone job, and over the next decade many will probably be self-employed as the gig economy expands. A survey of millennials by Bentley University showed that 66% expected to start a business some day and 37% preferred to work independently (i.e., gig). So learning a few entrepreneurship basics before entering the workforce will increase the likelihood of personal success. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit then you will have the courage to redefine yourself and find new opportunities. I call this rolling with the economic tide.  As Kentucky struggles with lost industries (you know the ones I’m talking about) who better than entrepreneurial-minded, tech savvy young people to ride the tide and redefine their communities.

Board Chair Statement

Service Categories
Secondary Organization Category Education / Educational Services
Geographic Areas Served
KEENStart is committed to serving students from all regions of Kentucky.  Every effort is made to hold program sessions that embrace diversity and a balance of backgrounds, culture and ideas.
Board Chair
Board Chair Koleman Karleski
Company Affiliation Venture Capitalist
Board Members
Ms. April Foster InkedBrandsVoting
Mr. Peter Hackbert Berea CollegeVoting
Koleman Karleski Venture CapitalistVoting
Anne Nash My Giving AdvisorVoting
Randall Stevens Arch VisionVoting
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 5
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 3
Female 2
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % 100%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 40%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 6
CEO Comments
The Board is being expanded up to nine members by September 2017. Diversity and statewide representation is being sought.
Bylaws allow a maximum size of fifteen members.
CEO/Executive Director
Executive Director Laurie Curry Daugherty
Term Start July 2016

Ms. Daugherty began her career in a startup (way before it was cool) and has been involved with business in a multifaceted capacity for over 25 years. Her experience extends from small business ownership and management, to advising fortune 500 companies on corporate transactions, to managing a small seed capital fund and a statewide network of entrepreneurship service providers. She is currently the founder and President of KEENStart, a nonprofit focused on entrepreneurship education. In 2013 Ms. Daugherty applied startup methodology to take GSE from idea stage through implementation. Her undergraduate degree is in Business Administration from the College of William and Mary in Virginia, and she earned a law degree with distinction from the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University.

Full Time Staff 2
Part Time Staff 0
Volunteers 0
Contractors 0
Retention Rate 100%
Management Reports to Board? Yes
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 2
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 1
Female 1
Unspecified 0
Senior Staff
Title Program Director GSE
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation No
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
NonManagement Formal Evaluation Yes
Non Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually

GSE is a 3-week accelerator-style, residential summer program for motivated, free-thinking teens interested in creating and building ideas. In just three short weeks, teams develop a business model, design a prototype, and pitch their startup to an interested audience. 

Students in 9th, 10th and 11th grades are selected from a statewide competitive application process that does not include GPA or test scores. Applicants complete an online application that contains five short answer questions and submit a 2-minute video showcasing their idea for a product and/or their skills. Students are selected and placed onto student business teams. Each team is staffed with diverse skills needed in a business such as engineering, finance, sales or design. There is a strong emphasis on social responsibility and global thinking.
Budget 500,000
Population Served , ,
Plans & Policies
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers N/A
Management Succession Plan? No
Organization Policy and Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy No
Whistleblower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the Government? No
Revenue vs Expenses - All Years
Expense Breakdown - Recent Year
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start Oct 01, 2016
Fiscal Year End Sept 30, 2017
Projected Revenue $460,500.00
Projected Expenses $460,500.00
Spending Policy N/A
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$63,250----
Administration Expense$47,955----
Fundraising Expense$15,295----
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses4.17----
Program Expense/Total Expenses93%----
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue24%----
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$230,162----
Current Assets$228,760----
Long-Term Liabilities------
Current Liabilities$8,915----
Total Net Assets$221,247----
Form 990s
2015 2015-16 990 GSE
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
State Registration No
Address 870 Corporate Drive
Suite 303
Primary Phone 859 568-2199 5682199
Contact Email
CEO/Executive Director Laurie Curry Daugherty
Board Chair Koleman Karleski
Board Chair Company Affiliation Venture Capitalist