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KSTC Names New Executive Director for Kentucky Commercialization Ventures

Kayla Meisner promoted to lead KCV


Photo of Kayla Meisner

The Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation (KSTC) in collaboration with the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville named Kayla Meisner as the new executive director of Kentucky Commercialization Ventures (KCV). In this role, Meisner will lead the innovative statewide program that supports Kentucky’s regional public post-secondary institutions in transforming ideas into products, startups and investments supported by intellectual property.


“Kayla’s extensive experience guiding Kentucky’s post-secondary institutions in commercializing their research makes her the ideal person for this position,” said Terry Samuel, president of KSTC. “In her time at KCV, she’s launched a number of new initiatives to elevate the innovation ecosystem across the state and has proven herself as a leader committed to inclusive innovation. We’re excited to see Kayla apply her energy and experience in extending the impact of KCV.”


“Kayla played a key role in the remarkable early impact KCV made on campuses across the state and Kentucky's innovation culture as a whole,” said David Brock, director of operations for KY Innovation in the Cabinet for Economic Development. “The program has already been nationally recognized for its inclusive approach to helping faculty, staff and students at our public institutions of higher education commercialize their ideas. We look forward to supporting Kayla’s leadership as she helps empower Kentucky’s innovators to create the products, companies and jobs of the future.”


Prior to joining the KCV team in early 2021, Kayla spent more than four years working in academia-driven commercialization and technology transfer at the University of Louisville as well as working inside a start-up utilizing University of Louisville research. At KCV, Kayla served as licensing and new ventures manager, managing outreach and commercialization, along with assessing, managing and licensing intellectual property developed at KCV partner institutions. She launched the KCV Innovation Fellowship to equip the next generation of ecosystem builders to lead the translation of innovative solutions to the real-world market. She also led the inaugural KCV IMPACT Competition to encourage ideation to meet some of the state’s largest needs.


“I am absolutely thrilled to be stepping into this role,” Meisner shared. “I believe in the mission of KCV and look forward to growing our impact and successes. It’s a great time to be in the innovation ecosystem in Kentucky and KCV is a critical part of that.”


In her role as executive director, Meisner will work closely with partners at the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville along with champions at all public Kentucky colleges and universities to translate innovative research into products on the market for public benefit.


“I am thrilled that Kayla will be stepping into this leadership role, for Kentucky and for our higher education institutions across the state whose faculty, staff and students will benefit from an experienced, talented and energetic leader like Kayla,” said Ian McClure, J.D., associate vice president for research, innovation and economic impact and executive director of UK Innovate at the University of Kentucky. “I’ve always known Kayla to care about people, research, technology and Kentucky, and she is the dynamic person we need to take Kentucky Commercialization Ventures to its highest potential. UK Innovate looks forward to partnering with Kayla and KCV as we continue to create an inclusive innovation ecosystem in our Commonwealth.”


“Kayla's experience with and enthusiasm for early-stage innovation is a huge asset for Kentucky,” added Laura Savatski, executive director of innovation and commercialization at the University of Louisville.


To learn more about Kentucky Commercialization Ventures and how to get involved, visit kycommercializationventures.com.



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