Success Stories

Puzzles Fun Dome

Brief description of the business: Kim and Tim Stevenson own three businesses, The Fun Masters, Puzzles Fun Dome and Puzzles Academy. Since 1992, The Fun Masters has offered interactive games and inflatables to carnivals, picnics, birthday parties and more. In 2002, the Stevensons decided to open Puzzles Fun Dome, a family entertainment center building with educational programs for children (edu-tainment), including inflatables, birthday parties, and many other attractions under one roof. In 2008, Puzzles Academy and Child Care Center, provider of an atmosphere of creativity, play, and discovery that is crucial to early childhood development, was opened.

SBA Assistance: In 2003, Kim and Tim Stevenson developed a business plan for Puzzles Fun Dome and presented the plan to several banks, but they were turned down for financing. At the suggestion of an area chamber of commerce director, the Stevensons sought assistance from the Louisville SBDC. They worked diligently with the... Read More

Photo of JD Rothberg, CEO of Wild Eggs

Brief description of the business:  J.D. Rothberg and Shane Hall, co-founders of Eggheadz, LLC (DBA Wild Eggs), took a Rothberg family tradition (“Always start your day with a good breakfast”) and developed that practice into a highly successful restaurant group. Wild Eggs offers a vast array of creative breakfast, brunch and lunch fare, including pancakes, crepes, soups, sandwiches and other favorite breakfast basics. The pricing is very reasonable, with an average check ranging from $8 - $15, and the atmosphere is bright, inviting and family-friendly. The restaurant’s concept is innovative and caters to diners who enjoy an imaginative and fresh approach to breakfast, brunch and lunch with a focus on chef-driven food.

The first Wild Eggs Restaurant opened in October 2007 in Louisville, KY. J.D. Rothberg, originally from Denver, CO, had relocated to Louisville in 1993 to accept a position as Director of Operations with Grisanti Foods, Inc. In 1999, Rothberg helped open Napa... Read More

BIO Photo

Brief description of the business: Formed in October 2003 in Pennsylvania, Transposagen Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. relocated to Kentucky in January 2008 where it has since established itself as a leading gene editing company. The company differentiates itself from competitors by “offering unique gene editing technology, strong intellectual property and advanced technical capabilities.” Transposagen products and services include off-the-shelf gene editing reagents, custom cell line engineering and custom animal model creation. The company has provided off-the-shelf and custom genetically modified rats, mice and cell lines to many of the premier scientific companies and institutions around the world. Transposagen’s team of experts understands the challenges of biomedical research, and works one-on-one with customers to ensure delivery of the best models and reagents to fit their exact needs.

In November 2014, Transposagen entered a major research collaboration and worldwide... Read More

Photo of Ray Takigiku, Ph.D. co-founder of Bexion Pharmaceuticals

Brief description of the business:

New estimates show the cost of developing a single prescription drug that gains market approval at $2.6 billion. The further a drug goes into this process, from R&D to clinical trials to manufacturing, the more costly this financial roadblock becomes. Although it was a hurdle for Kentucky-based Bexion Pharmaceuticals, the team will not give up on what is shaping up to be perhaps a life-changing and sought after cancer treatment. This first-in-class biologic, BXQ-350, provides a novel mechanism of action for targeting and eliminating tumor cells.

“Our technology targets ubiquitous areas on tumors – all solid tumors express a certain type of fat molecule which our drug essentially attacks and causes the tumor to die,” explains company founder, Dr. Ray Takigiku. “It’s a synthetic structure that is identical to a human protein in managing cellular debris. First, through recognition of that fat molecule on tumor cells, this protein... Read More