When you think of Kentucky, popularly known as the Bluegrass state, Tech companies may not be the first thing that comes to mind (KFC might), but quite a few innovative and successful businesses are based or founded in the state.
Some of the world’s largest and most successful businesses have been established in Kentucky. Companies like Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon have also set up base in Kentucky to take advantage of its business-friendly environment, low taxes, and access to skilled labor. This article will delve into the largest tech companies in Kentucky and what they offer. We’ll focus on the size of the company, the services and products offered, revenue, and their impact on the state’s economy. Moreover, we will discuss their impact on local businesses.
Tech Companies Founded in Kentucky
Did you know that there are several tech companies originally founded in Kentucky? It may surprise you, but Kentucky is home to some of the world’s largest and most innovative technology companies. These companies range from software companies to hardware producers. Read on to discover cutting-edge technology coming from Kentucky.
Lexmark – 1991
Lexmark is one of the top tech companies founded in Kentucky. The company was established in 1991 by Paul J. Curlander, who majored in manufacturing laser printers, scanners, and toners. The company became a worldwide leader in office solutions when it was made public in 1995.
Currently, Lexmark offers many products, including MFPs (multi-functional printers), scanners, ink, tone cartridges, imaging products, managed services, and software solutions. Their products are used by over 75% of fortune 500 companies since they offer solutions for businesses of all sizes. Such companies are grounded in several industries, including education, manufacturing, banking, government, insurance, healthcare, and education.
The company is disciplined in guaranteeing innovative solutions tailored to its customers’ needs. Their creations enable fast, efficient printing and scanning. In addition, Lexmark helps organizations reduce costs and streamline operations through its managed print services. Lexmark has been continuously ranked as one of the best places to work in Kentucky and continues to be a leader in the tech industry. Its innovation and dedication to customer service have made it one of the most respected in the industry.
Kinetic theTechnologyAgency – 2002
Kinetic theTechnologyAgency is a software development enterprise. It develops custom software solutions for various sectors, from e-commerce to media technology. Jeff and David Logsdon brothers founded the company in 2002 in Kentucky.
At Kinetic theTechnologyAgency, they focus on building personalized-to-order software that can meet the need of each client’s specific project. They specialize in developing web applications, mobile apps, and enterprise software. Moreover, the company also provides maintenance and support services to ensure that the clients benefit maximumly from their software. They also offer training sessions to enable users to get the most out of their software solutions.
Kinetic theTechnologyagency, has developed software solutions to help clients, from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies. Some of its clients include Mars Inc., Delta Airlines, and Microsoft. Kinetic theTechnologyAgency, goes earnestly to deliver innovative solutions that help its clients succeed by leveraging the latest tech and providing quality services.
Unicomp Inc. – 1996
Founded in 1996 by Neil Muyskens in Lexington, Kentucky, Unicomp Inc. mainly manufactures and sells keyboard products for the PC and Macintosh (Apple) markets. Unicomp Inc.s’ products include full-sized keyboards, laptop backlighting, illuminated keyboards, ergonomic keyboards, pointing devices, and accessories. The company is renowned globally as one of the premier keyboard manufacturers that delivers various high-performance and stylish products.
Some features offered in their reliable and durable keyboards include adjustable typing speed and pressure, dedicated multimedia keys, programable macros, and volume control. Besides, Unicomp Inc. provides various services such as contract design, tooling engineering, custom plastic injection molding, PCB layout, component sourcing, and assembly. The company also labels its products to meet customers’ needs and preferences. Unicomp is dedicated to the best product design and customer service.
Hitcents Company Kentucky – 1999
Hitcents Video game publisher, based in Bowling Green, Kentucky, is a technology company famous for its mobile and web applications for entertainment (e.g., gaming) and business markets.
The company has grown superior in the app industry since it was established in 1999 by twin brothers Chris and David Harris. The company’s portfolio comprises popular iOS and Android games. These include the draw a stickman series, NBA life, Rigged, Hanx Writer, and an array of Indie games. Apple has recognized Hitcent’s work with the App store Editor’s Choice award, and they were also named one of the best places to work in Kentucky in 2016. Moreover, They have created over 150 apps for business clients ranging from health care to higher education.
Besides their software engineering services, Hitcents offers marketing services to their clients to help promote their products. They market by leveraging social media, online advertising, Search Engine Optimization, and influencer outreach. Primarily, Hitcents is driven by innovation. Hitcents is focused on inventing innovative solutions for its customers and pushing the limits of mobile and web application development.
Largest Tech Companies Located in Kentucky
Some of the world’s notable companies are located in Kentucky, even if they were not founded there.
Appriss – $158.2M
Appriss is a mega tech company run by Clearlake and Insight Partners that provides software-as-a-service (SaaS) technologies that top retail businesses globally. It’s estimated that 64 of the 100 best retail stores depend on Appriss Ecommerce systems to lower shrinkage, eliminate return fraud, find and address employee fraud, and enhance operating procedures. Appriss’ revenue ranges at about $158.2M, employing about 790 workers.
Vet Data Services – $10M
VeterData Services, Inc. is a Louisville, Kentucky-based company that provides software creation and design, information services, and software to the veterinary community. VetData allows vets and suppliers of value-added services to collaborate while utilizing professional data to increase profitability and treatment quality. Their revenue in 2021 totaled $10M.
Largest publicly Traded Tech Companies in Kentucky
Here are the most successful tech companies traded in Kentucky and their economic impacts.
Computer Services Inc.
Computer Services Inc. (CSI) is an agile tech company that develops cutting-edge solutions to help end users stay ahead of the technology curve. Its headquarters are in Paducah, KY. CSI benefits more than 1,400 banks and credit unions across the United States by delivering innovative banking software and technology solutions. CSI has grown to be a top-tier provider of vital banking hardware and software technologies since its establishment in 1965.
CSI offers various services, including core processing and digital banking solutions, risk management, compliance monitoring, and managed services. The company provides an all-around variety of products, services, and technology partnerships to help banks and credit unions to meet their business objectives.
Besides that, CSI offers a wide range of consulting and integration services on cyber security, sanctions screening, digital banking, core bank processing, and payment solutions. The company has several clients from small to mid-sized and large financial institutions across the United States. Its top-notch quality and customer service have enabled it to be widely recognized by many organizations. Banking CIO Outlook magazine also ranked CSI among the top 20 banking solution providers in 2017. This portrays the company’s dedication to providing its customers with the best technology solutions and services.
At CSI, the employees are dedicated to helping their clients succeed in a continuously changing bank environment. CSI has established a branch in Kentucky and continues to stay ahead of the curve and develop innovative solutions with its vast experience and expertise with the latest technologies.
Plangraphics Inc, based in Frankfort, is one of Kentucky’s top ten tech companies founded in 1976. Plangraphics offers solutions that help organizations and businesses streamline their document management processes and securely store data.
Their services include digital printing, scanning, archiving, and more. The company also offers cloud-based document storage and collaboration, document imaging, and indexing, only to mention a few.
Creative Realities Inc.
Creative Realities is one of the largest tech companies based in Louisville, KY, providing retail technology solutions to global brands and retailers and managing over 8,000 network nodes. Their services include digital signage, interactive kiosks, analytics, and more.
They have partnered with some of the biggest retail companies, like Walmart, helping to improve customer experience and increase sales through their technology. Their technology solutions also suit other sectors, including healthcare, hospitality, and government. Creator Realities is an example of technological advancements in Kentucky.
Angstrom Technologies Inc
Founded in 1997, Angstrom Technologies Inc. in Florence offers services ranging from UV Fluorescent Security Pigments, taggant products, fluorescence detection systems, and UV LEDs for safe document storage to fluorescent dyes and ink development.
Their core expertise lies in fluorescence detection systems tailor-made for each client. Besides providing technology solutions, the company trains its clients to ensure they have the necessary skills to maximize their investments. They have also established partnerships with several universities and technical schools to offer technology education and foster development.
With a deep understanding of emerging technology and a dedication to excellence in customer service, Angstrom Technologies Inc. is increasingly leading other IT companies in Kentucky toward innovations.
Largest Privately-owned Companies
Although they may not be known to the public, several privately owned Tech companies significantly impact Kentucky’s economy.
DirecTECH Holding Company, Inc. – $780M
DirecTECH Holding Company, Inc. is a renowned brand for household electronics with a reported revenue of $780M. Some of the popular products in its catalog include: home audio systems, DVD players and recorders, speakers, home theater systems, HP storage systems, televisions, and antennas are some of its electronic items.
The company also provides household and recreational products, such as barbecue grills and accessories, pools, and jacuzzi supplies. Additionally, they sell ADT-supervised surveillance equipment, digital radio, fast internet connectivity, and programs in digital resolution with digitized video recording.
Bluestar US – $720M
BlueStar is a point-of-sale (PoS) software, automated identification, and data-collecting products supplier with branches spanning across the U. S., Latin America, and Canada,
BlueStar is a privately held business headquartered in Hebron, Kentucky, established in 1929. Bluestar is expanding fast, reported an earning of $720M in revenue, and boasts 2801 employees. It has 75 hardware and 25 software lines for PoS and AIDC products. BlueStar is globally one of the key solution-based distributors in Kentucky.
Exstream software -$5.3M
Exstream Software is a data management business based in Lexington, set up by Davis Marksbury and Dan Kloiber in 1998. Exstream software solution is their primary product utilized by corporate clients to generate and deliver electronic and print deliverables to their customers. Exstream integrated with Open Text’s software to form StreamServe once it was bought by Open Text to become OpenText Exstream. They have over 39 products in various categories ranging from AI & Analytics, content cloud, developer cloud, experience cloud, process automation, and Business & network cloud.
Forgotten Tech Companies in Kentucky
Some companies went out of business or were amalgamated into other companies and may have been forgotten. These include:
Stonestreet One was initially based in Louisville and specialized in Bluetooth software solutions. It was established in 1999, when the company made its premier core product, Bluetopia. However, the company was later acquired by Qualcomm, a tech corporation in San Diego that majors in software, semiconductors, and all wireless technology innovations.
Enterprise Corp’s Hot Dozen Showcase highlighted the company as one of the companies that offered innovative products in Enterprise Corp’s Hot Dozen Showcase in 2011. The company was well known for its expertise in developing Bluetooth-related products.
Thiel Audio was founded in 1976 in Lexington as a private limited company, but it was later based in Nashville, Tennessee. They majored in the manufacture of high-end loudspeakers. The speakers combined superb sound quality and unique craftsmanship; audiophiles wildly acclaimed their iconic product CS3.7 loudspeaker.
Thiel Audio was then sold in 2012 to a private equity company in Nashville, and the company continued to innovate audio equipment until 2018, when it ceased operations. Thiel Audio’s legacy of producing high-end audio equipment is still remembered to date despite having ceased operations.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com.