Contributed by Alabama Launchpad
Over its history, Alabama Launchpad has awarded $5.6 million to 100 Alabama companies, making it the most active early seed-stage fund in the state. As the program enters its 15th year, it is poised to generate even more impact.
Starting in 2021, Alabama Launchpad will place a greater focus on intensive and personalized support for the state’s entrepreneurs, boosting all participating companies, regardless of the competition’s outcome.
Launch advisors and presentation coaches will work individually with all Launchpad finalists, preparing them for a final-pitch competition in front of a panel of volunteer judges, who will determine which concept and seed companies take home the prizes. Concept winners will receive $25,000 and seed-stage winners will receive $50,000. As always, this funding will remain nondilutive.
The EDPA spoke to Alabama Launchpad judges, winners and finalists, as well as investors and entrepreneurs in the state, seeking feedback about the program over the past several months. Under the leadership of EDPA’s new Executive Vice President of Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Miller Girvin, Cycle 1 will begin on Feb. 1, 2021, with applications opening on alabamalaunchpad.com.
“We are focused on helping Alabama entrepreneurs succeed – and we know that Alabama Launchpad has done that for 15 years. We’re excited to build on that tradition and expand the support that our program offers to early-stage companies around the state,” said Girvin. “Entrepreneurs are problem solvers and executers, but often a mentor or subject matter expert can illuminate the path to success. We look forward to helping our innovators have access to those resources at a critical stage of their businesses.”
The Alabama Launchpad program has funded companies like BLOX, Immediate, Acclinate genetics and more by offering nondilutive prize money for its pitch competition. The EDPA is a private, nonprofit organization that supports business recruitment and expansion efforts in Alabama and promotes innovative and emerging startup companies through its Alabama Launchpad program.