Forget Shark Tank. Watch Alabama Upstarts, a show promoting entrepreneurs, Sunday, August 19 at 4:30 on ABC 33/40

The concept of Alabama Upstarts stemmed from programs like Alabama Launchpad. (Image courtesy of Alabama Launchpad’s Facebook)

Forget Shark Tank.  Alabama is launching its own version of entrepreneurs pitching ideas to investors on a new show called Alabama Upstarts, which premieres Sunday, August 19, 4:30pm on ABC 33/40.

The idea of the show is simple. The program invites 100s of entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas to real Alabama investors.

Like  the popular show hit  show Shark Tank, the half hour reality program provides Alabamians from all walks of life to make their case to investors.

The entrepreneur will then either get a deal offered from the investors or receive guidance and advice.

The concept for the show stemmed from some visits the show’s executive producer, Mike Ousley, made to places like Alabama Launchpad and the Innovation Depot in the Birmingham area. When Ousley saw about 100 people at a Launchpad event showcasing new ideas, he thought a TV show could increase the number to 500.

Here is a video of Terry Duffie explaining how the program works.

The first Alabama Upstart show will have Scenic Cable Network and Productions president/CEO Terry Duffie, DSI Security owner Alan Clark, Birmingham plastic surgeon Dr. Melanie Petro and northern Alabama broadcaster/banker/entrepreneur Bill Dunnavant as the investor judges.

Alabama Upstarts will be airing two new shows this month locally in the Birmingham market at ABC 33/40 on Sunday, August 19 and 26 at 4:30pm.

They are beginning full production this fall with 14 shows to be shot in Birmingham and 6 shows each in Huntsville and Mobile.

That’s 26 shows folks.

Steve Case, Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin and J.D. Vance at the Rise of the Rest Tour. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now.

Startups in Birmingham and the state of Alabama are becoming a “movement.” Just this past Spring Charles Barkley announced he was investing in local startups and of course Steve Case’s Rise of the Rest has been “bullish” on Birmingham.

It’s a great time to be an entrepreneur! If you have a great idea, start working on that Powerpoint. And check out the first shows of Alabama Startups this week and next.

Pat Byington
Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

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