Covington, KY – BE NKY Growth Partnership (BE NKY) welcomes JB Woodruff as the new commercialization director of the Kentucky Innovation Network at Northern Kentucky ezone. Woodruff previously served as the first entrepreneur-in-residence at UpTech, Northern Kentucky’s informatics accelerator, working one-on-one with young startup companies.

“Over the last two years, JB’s impact on the development of the startup culture in Northern Kentucky has been tremendous,” said Casey Barach, director of the Kentucky Innovation Network at Northern Kentucky ezone, UpTech founder and Senior Vice President of BE NKY. “His work with the UpTech program has helped aspiring entrepreneurs align their growth strategies and navigate the landscape of the local startup environment, which has been a major driver of the region’s rapid economic development.”

Woodruff was born and raised in Cincinnati, graduating from Pennsylvania State University with a bachelor’s in information science and technology. He worked as a technology and process consultant for both Accenture and Centric Consulting before becoming an entrepreneur-in-residence at 88mph, a startup accelerator in Nairobi, Kenya. The position ignited his passion for early-stage business, leading him to Cape Town, South Africa for 88mph’s second accelerator program.

Since his return to Greater Cincinnati in 2013, Woodruff has dedicated his time to entrepreneurship, co-founding, Araytha and Kikai Mining companies. Woodruff also works as a mentor at Northern Kentucky University and its accelerator, Inkubator, and has developed a Modern Startup Methods curriculum for the Kentucky Small Business Development Center.

“We’re looking forward to applying JB’s talents on a broader scale,” Barach added. “These are exciting times in the region and Commonwealth of Kentucky, so we’re all eager to continue the momentum that’s been established and to create bigger possibilities moving forward.”


About BE NKY

Founded in 1987, the BE NKY Growth Partnership (BE NKY) serves as the primary economic development marketing agency for Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties in Northern Kentucky. Since 1987, 600 companies have located or expanded in Northern Kentucky accounting for the creation of 51,600 new primary jobs for a total of 120,800 jobs created. These jobs have generated an economic impact of $25B. New and expanding companies have accounted for $6.9B in capital investment. BE NKY is a key partner in Vision 2015, a 10-year strategic plan for growth in the region. For more information, visit BE NKY can also be followed through social media channels via Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.

About Northern Kentucky ezone

The Northern Kentucky ezone, a division of BE NKY Growth Partnership  and operator of the Kentucky Innovation Network’s Northern Kentucky Office, provides support for start-up entrepreneurs and established companies commercializing a new product, technology or process. Support includes early-stage capital in the form of grants, loans, forgivable loans and equity investments through the Kentucky Enterprise Funds and the Kentucky Department of Commercialization and Innovation. Since the program began in 2001, the ezone has assisted 350 companies, helping raise over $160 million in grants, equity and forgivable loans for Northern Kentucky companies. The ezone has assisted clients in achieving 44 awards from state funding sources. To discover more, visit

 About Kentucky Innovation Network

The Kentucky Innovation Network provides business assistance to entrepreneurs from 13 locations across the state. Formed in 2002 by the Cabinet for Economic Development, the Kentucky Innovation Network serves all 120 counties throughout the Commonwealth from 13 offices, including Covington, focusing on the development of innovation-driven companies in Kentucky. Visit for more information.