Birmingham startups Immediate and Conserv win combined $150K at Alabama Launchpad imerge2019 event


Winners of 2019 Alabama Launchpad Cycle 3 at imerge2019
Conserv and Immediate were the Alabama Launchpad winners at imerge2019. Photo via EDPA

Two Birmingham-based startup businesses won a combined $150,000 in seed funding in front of a large audience at the Alabama Launchpad pitch finale held as part of imerge2019 in Birmingham on August 28. Check out what $100,000-winner Immediate and $50,000-winner Conserv have in store for us. Find out what happened at imerge2019.

Alabama Launchpad Finale

Dennis Leonard presenting Alabama Launchpad Finale at imerge2019
Dennis Leonard of EDPA opened proceedings at Alabama Launchpad. Photo by Jon Eastwood

A large audience gathered at Iron City Birmingham on August 28 to be inspired at imerge2019. Billed with the tagline “Alabama’s Next First” the event kicked off with 2019’s third cycle of Alabama Launchpad

Alabama Launchpad is a program of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama (EDPA) which offers a platform to drive innovation and present an opportunity to compete for early stage non-dilutive seed funding. 

What is non-dilutive funding, you ask? It’s an ideal setup for an entrepreneur just getting started, because it means the funding does not require the winners to give up any ownership of the company.

Read our previous story profiling all 6 Alabama Launchpad Cycle 3 finalists.

Immediate – Seed Track $100,000 winner

Immediate Solutions Alabama Launchpad pitch
Immediate’s Matt Pierce delivers their Alabama Launchpad pitch. Photo by Jon Eastwood

Immediate delivered a $100,000 winning Alabama Launchpad Seed Track pitch for ImmediatePay – a financial health platform offering early access to earned but not yet paid wages. 

The app integrates with employers’ HR software to receive real time updates of hours worked and wages earned. Users pay a small fee (similar to an ATM charge) to conveniently access their wages early. 

Matt Pierce, Founder and CEO of Immediate said, 

“We’re so happy and honored to win the funding.The other two finalists in our category, Suture Health and Zone Repellents delivered fantastic pitches. Winning really validates what we’re doing.”

Immediate, Birmingham, Alabama
Immediate’s Jason Gwizdala and Matt Pierce hold their $100,000 Alabama Launchpad check. Photo via EDPA

So how do they plan on using the funding?

Pierce told Bham Now that the funding will be “an opportunity for us to accelerate and start investing in job creation here in Birmingham. People see so much value in the ImmediatePay platform and the jobs we will create will further our reach.”

On the value of entering Alabama Launchpad, Pierce commented that “feedback from the judges has helped us in so many ways. Major employers have already contacted us with an interest in ImmediatePay following the coverage we’ve received being involved with the EDPA Alabama Launchpad competition.”

To find out more about Immediate, visit

Conserv – Concept Track $50,000 winner

Conserv's Alabama Launchpad pitch
Conserv’s Austin Senseman delivers their Alabama Launchpad pitch. Photo via EDPA

Conserv delivered their $50,000 winning Alabama Launchpad Concept Track pitch with an overview of their Smart Conservation sensors and Conservation Studio software that empower conservation professionals everywhere to do more to prevent damage to art and cultural collections around the world, to preserve these collections for generations.

On winning, Austin Senseman, CEO of Conserv said,

“It felt great! Our competitors in the finals, Till and Need2Say are both strong businesses, so win or lose, we were just happy and humbled to be there.”

Team Conserv, Birmingham, Alabama
Team Conserv and their $50,000 Alabama Launchpad check. Photo via EDPA

Senseman explained that “Conserv has raised $150,000 to date.The additional $50,000 from Alabama Launchpad makes a meaningful difference in our ability to grow and to create two new jobs this year.”

“I’d recommend that any startup in Alabama go through the process of applying to Alabama Launchpad. The EDPA fields a great team of judges who give excellent feedback that you can use positively, win or lose.” said Senseman.

To find out more about Conserv, visit


The Alabama Launchpad finale formed part of a memorable imerge2019 event presented by the EDPA at Iron City Birmingham, August 28.

imerge2019 EDPA, Birmingham, Alabama
Iron City Birmingham was a buzz of excitement at imerge2019. Photo by Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

The event explored how Alabama innovators are building its future at Alabama Launchpad and honored those who led the way to landing on the moon 50 years ago.

Hidden Figures family members at imerge2019
Family members of Dr. Joyce Neighbors, Dorothy Vaughan, Dr. Katherine Johnson and Mary Jackson joined Dennis Leonard and Estes Hughes of the EDPA to honor their central roles in landing on the moon. Photo via EDPA

Dr. Wernher Von Braun, chief architect of the Saturn V rocket that propelled Apollo 11 to the moon was honored with a Lifetime Achievement in Innovation award.

Lifetime Achievements in Innovation were also presented to Dr. Joyce Neighbors; the first woman to join von Braun’s team in a technical role, as well as Dorothy Vaughan, Dr. Katherine Johnson, and Mary Jackson who have been called integral “Hidden Figures” in the historic moon landing.

Apollo 11 documentarians interviewed by Dennis Leonard
Dennis Leonard interviews Apollo 11 documentarians Robert Pearlman and Stephen Slater. Photo by Jon Eastwood for Bham Now

Attendees were able to see, hear and feel the historic mission to the moon with the Director’s Cut of Todd Douglas Miller’s Apollo 11 Documentary, on 4K screens in surround sound.

This was accompanied by an enthused Q&A session with Apollo 11 documentarians Robert Pearlman and Stephen Slater. 

 Lieutenant General Steven L. Kwast at imerge2019
Lieutenant General Steven L. Kwast addresses The Future of Space.  Photo by Jon Eastwood for Bham Now

Keynote speaker Lieutenant General Steven L. Kwast explained how Alabama can again be at the forefront of the next space race.

“We are living in an age that most people do not yet recognize, but it’s starting to emerge. For the first time, humanity can turn to the heavens  where there are infinite resources to deliver energy, information, transportation, and goods and services at a price point that has never been seen before,” said LTG Kwast.

LTG Kwast told the audience,

“You have a magic sauce here [in Alabama] that no other member in our union has. You have a workforce that is already postured to build the second space race. The two million jobs that are predicted over the next ten years—the question is how many of them could be in Alabama?”

Black Jacket Symphony at imerge2019
Black Jacket Symphony performing Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. Photo by Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

Black Jacket Symphony closed out imerge2019 with a stunning performance of Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ in its entirety, followed by a greatest hits set.

Black Jacket Symphony at imerge2019
Imerge2019 closed with some of Pink Floyd’s greatest hits. Photo via Dennis Leonard

The crowd left inspired by the past, buoyant about the present, and excited about the future. 

Alabama Launchpad Cycle 4 competition

Don’t miss the last Alabama Launchpad of 2019 taking place in Troy on Thursday, November 14, 2019.

Find all the details at

The deadline to apply has been extended to September 8 at midnight. Be quick!

Alabama Launchpad is brought to you by the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama.

Sponsored by:

AlabamaLaunchpadEDPA Birmingham startups Immediate and Conserv win combined $150K at Alabama Launchpad imerge2019 event
Jon Eastwood
Jon Eastwood

Originally from Wales (UK) and a fluent Welsh speaker. Longtime sustainability and recycling champion. Former county recycling manager in the UK. Career highlights include introducing innovative recycling systems and achieving a point where households throw out trash just once a month. Competed in international coastal rowing championships and followed Wales throughout Europe in their Rugby and Soccer endeavours.

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