Meet the two startups who won a combined $75K at Alabama Launchpad’s Virtual Finale

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Alabama Launchpad
Zac Young, President and Founder of Vulcan Line Tools holding his Wave Timer. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

This week, 10 promising Alabama startups pitched their businesses for a chance to win a total of $75k in funding ($50k for seed stage and $25k for concept stage) at the Alabama Launchpad Cycle 1 Virtual Finale. We were able to speak with the two winners, Vulcan Line Tools and Vendrix, to learn what it takes to come out on top.

Think your startup has what it takes? Learn more about Alabama Launchpad and apply to Cycle 2!

But First—What is Alabama Launchpad?

Alabama Launchpad.
Several concept-stage finalists chat during Alabama Launchpad’s Virtual Finale. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

Earlier this year, the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama announced their selection of ten finalists who would be competing in the first Cycle of Alabama Launchpad in 2021. In case you didn’t know, Alabama Launchpad is the state’s most active early-stage seed fund investor. In fact, the program has invested more than $5.6M in 100+ startups from across the state—helping to turn great ideas into powerful companies that make our state better as a whole.

This year, Alabama Launchpad implemented several changes to the program, in order to provide even more value to all participating startups. During the program, each participant works closely with hand-picked Launch Advisors—experienced mentors with decades of experience—to transform their ideas into viable companies. The program culminates in a 2-day pitch competition, where Concept-stage winners walk away with $25K in funding & Seed-stage winners are awarded $50K.

Now, let’s meet Alabama Launchpad’s first two winners of 2021.

Meet the Winners

Vulcan Line Tools — Concept Stage, $25K

Alabama Launchpad
Zac Young of Vulcan Line Tools, pitching at Alabama Launchpad. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

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Up first is Vulcan Line Tools, the Concept-Stage winner of Alabama Launchpad Cycle 1. Founded in 2019 by Zac Young, Vulcan Line Tools specializes in making devices for the electric utility industry—specifically, the Wave Timer.

By using a Wave Timer, line crews can quickly & safely analyze the three crucial components of a power line: sag, tension and temperature. If these components are not checked, power lines can easily become unstable and lead to pole failures, which can be expensive for power companies and dangerous for bystanders. Vulcan Line Tool’s Wave Timer can connect to a smartphone via Bluetooth, which makes checking for sag, tension and temperature a breeze!

“Being involved in this competition means so much to me, and I’ve made so many great connections along the way. I can’t speak highly enough about the Launch Advisors and everyone else involved in the program—they truly care about you as an individual, and want to do everything they can to make you successful. This money will help Vulcan Line Tools continue to make great products, and I’m incredibly excited for what the future holds.”

Zac Young, President and Founder, Vulcan Line Tools

Vendrix — Seed Stage, $50K

Alabama Launchpad
Joe Turner and David Stewart, the minds behind Vendrix. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

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Led by Joe Turner and David Stewart, Vendrix offers specialized software that helps companies of any size take control of their costs and budgets—specifically in the construction industry. With Vendrix’s spending management software, companies can track payments, review unexpected charges and—most importantly—create effective budgets. Time to ditch those paper receipts!

“It’s been a wild ride, and we are incredibly thankful for the support we’ve recieved from our friends, family, Alabama Launchpad and the other members of our cohort. Alabama Launchpad is truly an exceptional program, and we couldn’t be more excited to be associated with it.

To anyone out there thinking of applying to Alabama Launchpad—you can do it. You don’t need a prior history with startups, or capital backing you up. It takes hard work, and Alabama Launchpad helps make that possible. Vendrix is going to keep growing—we can’t wait to see how high this rocket can fly!”

Joe Turner, Vendrix

Alabama Launchpad’s Next Winner Could Be You

Alabama Launchpad
Alabama Launchpad hosts Miller Girvin and Dr. Karim Budhwani, CEO of Cerflux and a previous winner at Alabama Launchpad. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

Interested in applying to the next cycle of Alabama Launchpad? Don’t worry, you don’t need an airtight business plan. Bring your ‘A’ game & an idea—the experts at Alabama Launchpad will help you transform that idea into the next big thing.

Think your startup has what it takes to be the next winner? Applications are due June 2nd—Click here to sign up for Cycle 2 of Alabama Launchpad!

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