Meet the 7 local startups competing for 150K at Alabama Launchpad on November 14

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Judges listening to a startup’s pitch. Photo via Alabama Launchpad

On Thursday, November 14, seven Alabama startups will compete to win their share of $150K. Alabama Launchpad 2019–a program by the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama–kicks off in Troy, Alabama. Learn more.

What is Alabama Launchpad?

A startup pitching their business to the crowd. Photo via Alabama Launchpad

Alabama Launchpad is an early-stage seed fund program through the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama (EDPA).

Seven finalists chosen from startups across Alabama will pitch their businesses to the expert panel judges. One concept stage company will take home $50,000, and one seed stage company will win $100,000.

Meet the 7 startups competing at Alabama Launchpad 2019

Concept Stage–$50K

1. TruSpin

Logo via TruSpin website

Nanofibers are a type of extremely thin fibers with a ton of uses. Since they are so lightweight, nanofibers are ideal for protective clothing, filtration systems, tissue engineering and more.

While most nanofiber manufactures use a direct current (DC) electro-spinning method, TruSpin aims to be the first company to commercialize an electro-spinning method that uses alternating current (AC). Since AC is 1000 times faster than DC, TruSpin’s method will revolutionize the nanofiber electro-spinning industry.

2. Bluewater Hemp

Hemp harvest. Photo via Bluewater Hemp

Bluewater Hemp is a member of the Alabama Industrial Hemp Pilot Program, which aims to make Alabama a leader in the hemp industry. In addition to strategic partnerships in Alabama, Bluewater Hemp has partners throughout the southeast. Although they are starting with the southeast, Bluewater Hemp plans to expand the Alabama Hemp Industry to the level of national markets. The company’s Launchpad efforts are led by Financial Manager and original team member, Will Kirby. 

3. Yente

Yente, a contender in Alabama Launchpad
The Yente team. Photo submitted

If you’ve ever been frustrated by the car-buying process, Yente is here to help.

  • First, tell them what you’re looking for. Yente will then keep an eye out for offers that match your criteria.
  • Next, Yente uses their relationships with dealerships to get access to great deals.
  • Finally, Yente sends you the offer. If you’re interested, you’ll be connected with the dealership to continue the buying process.

Simply put, Yente helps you skip the worst part of buying a car–the price shopping and negotiation.

4. Community Owned Grocery Stores

Community owned grocery stores, a finalist in the Alabama Launchpad
The Community Owned Grocery Stores logo. Photo submitted

Community Owned Grocery Stores (COGS) is an initiative to eliminate food deserts from the Birmingham Metro Area. A food desert is an area without access to fruits, vegetables and other healthy food.

In order to solve this issue, COGS aims to help food desert communities develop and own their own grocery store. First, COGS will connect people and resources to start a local grocery store. Afterwards, the store will be owned by the community. In addition to providing fresh food for the community, each store will create jobs, pay taxes, attract businesses and invest in the community.

Seed Stage–$100K

5. Chonex

Chonex, finalist in Alabama Launchpad
With Chonex’s nutrient recycling technology, farmland like this can be fertilized with poultry manure. Photo via Chonex

Chonex is a nutrient recycling company founded to help make agriculture and animal production more sustainable. In order to help build a more sustainable world, Chonex has developed a process that converts poultry manure into high-value fertilizer and proteins.

6. GLOW

Glow, finalist in Alabama Launchpad
The team at GLOW. Photo submitted

Much like Uber or Lyft, GLOW is an on-demand app for beauty professionals. However, it doesn’t find you the nearest cab. Rather, the GLOW app empowers users to schedule beauty services on their own time, find a beauty professional they like, and discover their perfect look. Since each “GlowPro” profile has user reviews and a picture gallery of their work, users can get a feel for each professional before booking an appointment.

7. Watts.AI

Watts.AI, a contender in Alabama Launchpad
Photo via Watts.AI

In the world of electronic products, transferring the data of electronic parts into digital models is incredibly time consuming. Since product design cannot start without first reading the PDF files of the electronic parts, many design teams are hindered by the lengthy process.

In order to simplify this process, Watts.AI provides software services to assist part suppliers with communicating information from electronic part datasheets in digital formats. So, designers can then focus on product design instead of translating datasheets into digital models.

Want to attend the 2019 Alabama Launchpad finale?

  • When: Thursday November 14, from 4-8PM
  • Where: The Emporium Event Venue, 112 W Walnut St, Troy, AL 36081
  • Price: $10-15
  • Tickets

If you want to see these startups compete, come out to the 2019 Alabama Launchpad on November 14 in Troy, Alabama.

Additionally, Alabama Launchpad is a great opportunity to meet and connect with a wide variety of Alabama’s businesses shakers and movers.

Which startup are you most intrigued by? Let us know by tagging @bhamnow!

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Author: Nathan Watson

Tennessee native who fell in love with Birmingham during college. Graduated from Birmingham-Southern College in 2019. Passionate about Birmingham and its continued growth.