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NKY Poised to Be Center of Innovation for Education

As I mentioned in the inaugural article on innovation in Northern Kentucky, I have invited guest authors to tell their industries story of innovation. The following story is is from Adam Helbig of TutorGen.

-Casey Barach, Director of NKY Innovation Network Office.

There is an emerging market being built in Northern Kentucky focused on improving human performance, education practices and education technology.  There are many reasons for this, a collaborative network of educators, the high-skill job market located in the tri-state region and a focus on workforce readiness by multiple organizations. When you couple this with the multiple incentives that the State of Kentucky is offering for building new businesses and supporting these companies with high upside but a long runway to success, we are beginning to see a specialty market being built. 


The region has always been a place for publishers, content producers and writers, but TiER1 Performance Solutions located in Covington really started highlighting the power of this region in focusing in on improving human performance.  The Northern Kentucky Innovation Network office provided support to the TiER1 organization as they started up in 2002. Since 2002, they have created over 200 jobs to the region and more importantly attracted a number of high-skilled professionals focused on improving talent.


TutorGen, Inc. a Carnegie Mellon University startup chose to grow its business in Fort Thomas, Kentucky because of the Northern Kentucky Innovation Network in attracting them using the matching grant programs that the Kentucky offers.  TutorGen’s focus on using big data to create predictive pathways in new and existing online content to decrease the time it takes a learner to become competent has been used in Harvard University courses, research work for the military, and public schools.  They are actively working to bring a significant portion of the projected $252 billion market to the region with their work in artificial intelligence and adaptivity.  

This year TutorGen in conjunction with Northern Kentucky University, Northern Kentucky Cooperative for Educational Services and Kentucky Innovation Network was able to bring researchers from Harvard, Carnegie Mellon, University of Pennsylvania, national innovators with a focus on education, and regional educators to discuss the future of education and education technology.  This inaugural event was focused on beginning a building relationships between the innovation and education communities to discuss the advantages and opportunities that are present in the region for building a future orientated human performance innovation sector. 

Northern Kentucky is demographically and socio-economically similar to a majority of the United States.  We have the opportunity to create products, conduct research and bring more investment into the education in the region with these organizations bringing in the expertise.  With the continued efforts of the Northern Kentucky education communities, we can make the region a center of innovation in education and education technology.

-Adam Helbig

Photo: Innovation Alley in Covington where tech firms are filling spaces (RCN file)