6 things to know about EDPA, the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama in Birmingham

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Birmingham, Alabama, Bakers Row, EDPA, Economic Development Partnership of Alabama
Can you name the tasty factory that used to call the EDPA building home? Photo via EDPA

How well do you know the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, or EDPA, in Birmingham? Bham Now serves up six quick facts about Alabama’s trusted source for economic development information (and big money startup dollars.)

Selma, Alabama, EDPA, Economica Development Partnership of Alabama, Alabama Launchpad
Top six Alabama Launchpad contestant Lasisi M. Osaji Jr., founder/CEO of PartDispatch, pitching at the finals at Arts Revive in Selma on Feb. 28, 2019. Photo by Bruce Nix

1. Mission

“As the state’s most active early stage fund, Alabama Launchpad’s mission is to help startups across the state start, stay and grow in Alabama, where they can make a tremendous impact on our economy as they develop.”


2. Big $$$ Invested

The EDPA sponsors the statewide Alabama Launchpad Startup Competition quarterly. Each competition awards $100,000 in seed funding and a $50,000 concept prize.

Over the years, EDPA has invested more than $4 million in 84 Alabama startups.

Related: Alabama Launchpad competitors CerFlux and VentorLux win combined $150,000 in Selma.

Cycle 1 2019 Alabama Launchpad winners VentorLux and CerFlux with judges and audience members at Arts Revive in Selma. Photo by Bruce Nix

3. Dates to Put on Your 2019 Calendar

Interested in submitting a Launchpad application for your startup biz? Then you have two opportunities left to apply in 2019.

  • Cycle 3 applications open May 15. Finale info is TBD.
  • Cycle 4 applications open August 6. The finale will be in Troy in mid-November.

While applications for Cycle 2 have already closed, you can catch the finale in Tuskegee May 9.

Birmingham, Alabama, Bakers Row, EDPA, Economic Development Partnership of Alabama
Front hall of EDPA. Photo by Terri Robertson for Bham Now

4. You Knew Them When (Past Launchpad Winners)

Birmingham welcomed a pro soccer team in 2019. Guess who signed a deal to be the platform provider for Birmingham Legion Football Club’s cloud-based fan hub? 2017 EDPA Alabama Launchpad winner INFLCR.

Or, perhaps you’ve heard of 2013 Launchpad winner BLOX. The company is revolutionizing hospital construction. Today the Bessemer plant produces medical modules (that is, headwalls and patient room bathrooms) for hospitals in Austin, Houston and Akron

Another 2017 winner, Alabama Sawyer makes furniture from sustainably sourced trees. They are signed on to put their polished touch on Birmingham icon Hot and Hot Fish Club’s future location in Pepper Place.

Then there’s Chonex, which uses black soldier fly larvae to make use of chicken poop (no joke)—resulting in a far more eco-friendly solution for both fertilizer and fungicide. Meanwhile, G Mommas Cookies out of Selma offers up goodies decidedly more appetizing.

Finally, nonprofits seeking digital fundraising campaign solutions can ride the wave with Swell Fundraising.

EDPA’s Alabama Launchpad Startup Competition helped all these household names and many others  get off the ground. Speaking of waves…

5. Wavy Video Wall

Birmingham, Alabama, Chuck Faush, The YARD, EDPA video wall
Chuck Faush, producer of EDPA’s imerge event and founder of THE YARD, stands in front to the video wall at EDPA. Photo by Terri Robertson for Bham Now

If you head south on 14th Street often, you’ve probably noticed the wavy video wall visible through EDPA’s massive windows as you cross 1st Avenue South.

The video sequence pays homage to Birmingham-based Shipt, Southern Research, UAB, Alabama farmers, the Huntsville tech/aerospace scene and many more Alabama industries and businesses.

6. Historic Bakers Row Location

Birmingham, Alabama, Bakers Row, EDPA, Economic Development Partnership of Alabama
EDPA. Photo by Terri Robertson for Bham Now

Adjacent to Railroad Park and catercorner to Regions Field, EDPA’s location at Bakers Row will catch your eye with its white brick exterior.

It’s reminiscent of the boxy white bread Merita Bakery used to produce there before the factory closed in 2012. Now the sleek industrial space bakes up Alabama economic development instead.

Birmingham, Alabama, Regions Field
Regions Field and EDPA are on opposite corners. Photo by Terri Robertson for Bham Now

Find EDPA at 1320 1st Avenue South, Birmingham, Alabama 35233, or visit edpa.org for more info.

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