An “A” team of individuals and investors have invested in a $25 million to fund that will fund early-stage startups. The Alabama Futures Fund (AFF) launches the largest seed-stage investment fund in Alabama’s history.
Charles Barkley, Raymond J. Harbert, G. Ruffner Page, Jr., and Benny LaRussa, Jr., are making a significant commitment to the fund which will support the next wave of entrepreneurs early in their business development. AFF’s portfolio investments will be managed by Redhawk Advisory through its principles, Matt Hottle and Mickey Milsap.
Who Will AFF Fund?
AFF will focus its investments in companies across a broad range of industries that exhibit the potential for high growth and only those that are located in Alabama or willing to relocate to Alabama. The fund also will address Alabama’s historically low ranking in funding for early stage startups by adding meaningful capital to Alabama’s startup ecosystem to help close the funding gap that has hindered startup activity and economic growth in the state.
The fund wants to help startups reach attainable milestones within 12 or 24 months and those who have adaptable and coachable founding teams who have identified a significant customer problem and are working towards a market fit. They partners of the fund also will consider pre-product, minimum viable product (a product in early stages that allows customer feedback) and early revenue stage.
“We’ve been watching startups in Alabama operate with incredible grit and resourcefulness, but often without the capital they need to thrive. The funding, strategic partnerships, and support AFF will provide has the opportunity to be game-changing, not only for the individual companies, but for the economic growth of the entire state,” said Matt Hottle.
Learn From the Best
Startups that apply and are funded by AFF also will have the opportunity to learn from some of the most talented entrepreneurs in Birmingham who serve on the AFF advisory board. The members of the board include: David Gray, Shannon Spotswood, Stanley Graves, Deontee Gordon and Owen Samuels. AFF wants to create a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem in Alabama.
“I am extremely excited about the formation of the Alabama Futures Fund. An organized, early stage venture capital fund is something Birmingham and Alabama have very much needed. We have assembled a great group of investors, and I believe we have the perfect investment managers in Matt Hottle and Mickey Millsap,” said Raymond J. Harbert. “I think AFF will be a game changer for Alabama’s entrepreneurial start-up community.”
Sir Charles Barkley
This is not the first time Charles Barkley has thrown his support behind funding startups. If you will recall Charles Barkley announced last December that he was committing $1 million to African American women who wanted to start a tech startup, after they overwhelming supported Sen. Doug Jones in the Dec. 12 election.