EDPA invested $600k in Alabama startups in 2019. Apply by Dec. 16 to participate in 2020.

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Team members of Conserv and Immediate at Alabama Launchpad. Photo via EDPA

Birmingham-based Economic Development Partnership of Alabama (EDPA) has been busy. During 2019, the EDPA invested $600k in eight Alabama startups through Alabama Launchpad. Read on to learn about the winners and how you can apply to be a part of Alabama Launchpad 2020.

About Alabama Launchpad

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

Alabama Launchpad is an early-stage seed fund program through the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama (EDPA). Since its founding in 2006, the program has aimed to mentor and drive innovation among Alabama entrepreneurs, as well as offer major funding to startups.

During Alabama Launchpad, applicants from across Alabama pitch their business concepts to a panel of expert judges. Each quarter, one concept stage company will take home $50,000, and one seed stage company will win $100,000.

With a record-smashing 91 applications, funded just eight startups during Alabama Launchpad in 2019. That means less than 9 percent of applications won during this year’s four competitions!

Want to participate in Alabama Launchpad 2020? Applications for the first cycle are due December 16, so apply today.

Cycle 1, 2019– February 28

CerFlux and VentorLux at Alabama Launchpad
The teams behind CerFlux and VentorLux pose together at Alabama Launchpad in Selma. Photo via EDPA

“We are intentional in going across the entire state to drive innovation and job growth. We’re here to catalyze startups in every little spot in Alabama.”

Steve Spencer, President, EDPA

During 2019, Alabama Launchpad made a point to host the events in new cities. The first cycle took place in Selma, Alabama. After the competition was over, two startups were left standing: CerFlux from Birmingham and VentorLux from Phenix City.

  • CerFlux is a biotech startup that is developing a precision medicine model to identify the most effective cancer treatments for each individual patient, saving money and time on ineffective treatments.
  • VentorLux developed ultraviolet-C LED lights that sanitize air flowing through healthcare facilities’ HVAC systems, greatly reducing airborne pathogens.

Learn more about CerFlux and VentorLux.

“Alabama Launchpad is named perfectly. This amount of financial backing allows for a small startup with a great idea to put all the right pieces into place to become a thriving business.”

Nathan Carr, founder, VentorLux

Cycle 2, 2019 – May 9

Alabama Launchpad at Tuskegee
The winners of Alabama Launchpad Cycle 2 in Tuskegee. Photo via EDPA

“If you focus on something and work really hard, if you have a dream, you can follow it, no matter how young you are.”

McKenzie Wilbanks, founder, Kenzie’s Creations

Cycle 2 of Alabama Launchpad was held at Tuskegee University. The winners were Kenzie’s Creations of Grant, Alabama and Quantalytix of Birmingham.

  • Kenzie’s Creations  began creating jewelry as an escape from the challenges of high school when she was 17. Now, her business sells jewelry in 22+ locations throughout the world.
  • Quantalytix offers a cheaper, viable alternative to market data software like Bloomberg. In addition, the Quantalytix platform is designed to be user-friendly. It’s like the weather report, but for finance!

More on Quantalytix and Kenzie’s Creations.

Cycle 3 / iMerge2019 – August 28

Alabama Launchpad at Iron City
Conserv’s Nathan McMinn and Austin Senseman along with Immediate’s Jason Gwizdala and Matt Pierce, hold their Alabama Launchpad checks. Photo via EDPA

Cycle 3 of Alabama Launchpad kicked off imerge2019, an event presented by the EDPA at Iron City on August 28.

imerge2019 celebrated those who paved the way to the moon landing 50 years ago and explored how Alabama innovators are on their way to another notable breakthrough. Just as the Huntsville Space Program revolutionized the world, imerge2019 was a celebration of Alabama’s current innovations. Hence the theme: Alabama’s Next First.

During Cycle 3, two Birmingham-based startups took home the grand prizes:

  • Conserv developed Smart Conservation sensors and Conservation Studio software that empowers professionals to preventenvironmental damage to art and cultural collections around the world.
  • Immediate is a financial health app disrupting the payday loan industry.They allow employees to access their wages early, based on the hours they’ve already worked. No more waiting for the two-week pay period to end!

More on imerge2019 and the two winners.

Cycle 4, 2019 – November 14

“What an amazing experience! Thank you for believing in our company.”

Yazmin Cavale of GLOW

Cycle 4 took place in Troy, Alabama. Although the competitors were from all over the state, two Birmingham-based startups took home the grand prize.

  • TruSpin Nanomaterials is working to commercialize a method that uses alternating current (rather than direct current) to manufacture nanofibers.
  • GLOW is an on-demand app for beauty professionals. By viewing a “GlowPro” profile, each user can see reviews and find a beauty professional they can trust, in order to find their perfect look.

More on TruSpin and GLOW.

Want to Compete in Alabama Launchpad 2020?

You could be the next winner at Alabama Launchpad. Photo via EDPA

EDPA is currently accepting applications for Cycle 1 of Alabama Launchpad 2020.

Although the prize money is considerable, the expert coaching and mentorship available to Alabama Launchpad applicants is priceless. In addition, the event is a significant opportunity to connect with a wide variety of Alabama’s movers and shakers.

Full details here.

Cycle 1 of 2020 will be held in Montgomery on February 27. Applications are due December 16, so apply today.

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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.