Fugate named Business and Innovation Champion at SOAR

HAZARD, Ky. – Colby Fugate has been named a Business and Innovation Champion of SOAR Innovation.  He will serve Perry, Knott, Breathitt, Owsley, Jackson, Clay, and Leslie counties and will work out of an office at Hazard Community and Technical College’s Technical Campus in Hazard, Ky.

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SOAR Innovation is a new partnership between Shaping Our Appalachian Region, Inc. (SOAR) and the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development’s KY Innovation office.  SOAR Innovation will assist existing small businesses and entrepreneurs whose business or idea has the capability to expand existing markets or create new markets by leveraging technology.

“Colby has a passion for entrepreneurs, especially those who have ideas around technology and innovation,” said Ryan Jones, director of SOAR Innovation. “He’s also been an entrepreneur and understands the challenges many entrepreneurs and small business owners face in Appalachia Kentucky.  With this experience, he will be able relate with many of his clients.”

Fugate comes to SOAR from River Machinery where he worked as a sales and inventory manager, brokering heavy equipment purchases and sales across the globe leveraging technology.

“I believe that data, specifically big data, is key player in the future of work,” said Fugate.  He is a certified Data Analyst through Duke University. “Because of our ability to connect, we have the ability to analyze and move data and compete in the global economy.”

Fugate earned his undergraduate degree in business from Morehead State University in 2016.

As a Business and Innovation Champion, Fugate will work throughout his service area to identify and build relationships with existing small businesses that have the desire and capacity to scale-up utilizing technology through methods of e-commerce, export, etc.  

For more information about SOAR Innovation, visit its website https://www.thereisafuture.org/innovation/ or connect on social media via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Fugate can be reached at (606) 202-2337 or by email at colby@soar-ky.org.

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