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Nucleus research park measures up well against competitors

by John R. Karman III, communications and marketing last modified Jul 15, 2014 04:25 PM

How does the newly named J.D. Nichols Campus for Innovation and Entrepreneurship measure up against other university research parks across the country?

Very well, according to Ankur Gopal, founder and CEO of Interapt LLC, a Louisville-based software development firm that is housed in The Nucleus building on the downtown campus.

Gopal looked at parks all over the country – including in such entrepreneurial hot spots as Silicon Valley and Austin, Texas – before deciding to keep his fast-growing startup in Louisville.

“This has been a big move for us,” Gopal said July 15 at a meeting of the advisory board of Nucleus: Kentucky’s Innovation Center.

Nucleus is an arm of the University of Louisville Foundation, which is developing the J.D. Nichols campus.

Gopal said he chose the downtown Louisville site for his company headquarters because he liked the park’s mix of startups, established companies and tenants with ties to the University of Louisville.

Interapt is just one of the success stories on the burgeoning J.D. Nichols campus. Gopal founded the company in 2009, and it already has grown to 86 employees with satellite locations in Chicago, Las Vegas and New Delhi.

At the downtown research park, Interapt is joined by more than 60 other companies, four accelerators and two nonprofit organizations, according to Nucleus president and CEO Vickie Yates Brown.

“I think we are on the right track,” she said of the site’s quick development.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer told the Nucleus advisory board that he expects even bigger things at the park as the neighborhood around it continues to grow.

The urban location is “a huge competitive advantage for us,” he said, adding that coming hotels and restaurants will attract more tenants and workers to the site.

“This area is going to look very different in four years,” the mayor said.

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