2 startups win $75K at Alabama Launchpad’s Cycle 1 Finale in Mobile

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Alabama Launchpad
Alabama Launchpad taking place at Innovation Portal in Mobile. (Liv George / Bham Now)

On Thursday, April 28th, nine Alabama startups made their way to Innovation Portal in Mobile for the Alabama Launchpad Cycle 1 2022 Finale. Their goal? To pitch their businesses to a panel of experienced entrepreneurs for a chance to win a total of $75K in funding ($50K for seed stage and $25K for concept stage).

We spoke with the winners—Croux and House Plant Collective—to learn more about their experience with Alabama Launchpad!

Think your startup has what it takes to be the next winner at Alabama Launchpad? Click here to learn more + apply to Cycle 2 2022!

Getting Up to Speed on Alabama Launchpad

Alabama Launchpad
Alabama Launchpad at Innovation Portal in Mobile. (Liv George / Bham Now)

In March, the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama announced the nine finalists in the first Alabama Launchpad Finale Event of 2022. Hailing from all around the state, these nine startups spent the next six weeks learning what it would take to transform themselves into a successful company. Finally, on April 28th, the nine startups met at Innovation Portal in Mobile for the finale pitch competition—where the Concept-stage winner walked away with $25K in funding & the Seed-stage winner was awarded $50K.

In addition to mentoring Alabama’s brightest minds, Alabama Launchpad is the state’s most active early-stage seed fund investor. Since its inception, the program has invested more than $5.8M+ into 106 startups from all over the state.

Fun Fact: This was Alabama Launchpad’s first IN-PERSON Finale event since the COVID-19 Pandemic!

In 2021, Alabama Launchpad completely revamped the program in order to add even more value to the experience of all participating startups. Now, each startup is mentored closely by the program’s Launch Advisors, a group of experienced entrepreneurs that know what it takes to become a viable company.

Meet the Alabama Launchpad Cycle 1 2022 Winners

CROUX — Concept Stage, $25K

Alabama Launchpad
The Croux team took home $25K in funding on April 28th. (Liv George / Bham Now)

Croux: Website | Facebook | Instagram

The first Concept Stage Alabama Launchpad winner of 2022 is Birmingham-based startup Croux. Founded by five amazing co-founders—including famed Birmingham chef Lindsey Noto—Croux is a new app-based solution to help restaurants fill their staff with exceptional local talent. Think of it like a dating app for restaurants and employees—Croux connects vetted talent to restaurants that need their skills, benefitting both the employer and employee.

For Croux, Alabama Launchpad has been a fantastic opportunity to hone their business model.

“The entire Alabama Launchpad experience has been game-changing for us. It’s encouraged us to think about problems from new perspectives, given us access to smart advisors and mentors and helped us make sure that our expansion plans are airtight as we focus on expanding across the state.”

Lindsey Noto, CoFounder, Croux

So, what’s next for Croux?

“This win is a huge step forward to accelerate our launch. We are launching Croux ahead of The World Games 2022 in Birmingham—our flagship market—and the funds from Alabama Launchpad will allow us to get the word out and help us support small, local businesses that are desperately understaffed and the talent that is looking for flexible work opportunities.”

Jennifer Ryan, Co-Founder, Croux

House Plant Collective — Seed Stage, $50K

Alabama Launchpad
The House Plant Collective team standing with their supporters and judges from Alabama Launchpad at Innovation Portal in Mobile. (Liv George / Bham Now)

House Plant Collective: 256.365.8737 | Website | Facebook | Instagram

Birmingham-based startup House Plant Collective is Alabama Launchpad’s first Seed Stage winner of 2022—opening up the floor for lots of seed-based puns. Founded by Birmingham local Jessica Watts, House Plant Collective is more than just a plant shop—the business aims to connect a thriving community of plant enthusiasts to the education they need to help their plants grow.

So, what would House Plant Collective say to other startups thinking about Alabama Launchpad?

Apply, apply, apply, apply! A lot of people believe that if you’re not a tech related business, you may not be the right fit for this program. But the Alabama Launchpad experience was beyond beneficial for us, even though there was no tech involved for us! I say, go apply—at the very least, you’ll get invaluable one-on-one consulting and its a great next step.”

Jessica Watts, House Plant Collective

Who will be Alabama Launchpad’s next winner? It could be you.

Alabama Launchpad
Alabama Launchpad hosts Miller Girvin and Dr. Karim Budhwani, CEO of Cerflux and a previous winner at Alabama Launchpad. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

Your company’s name could be on the next check awarded at Alabama Launchpad—but first, you need to apply! Don’t worry if you don’t have all the answers—the Alabama Launchpad team wants to help you grow your idea into Alabama’s next big thing.

Ready to take the next step? Applications to Alabama Launchpad’s Cycle 2 2022 are NOW OPEN, but act fast—applications close on May 18th. Click here to sign up for Alabama Launchpad Cycle 2!

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Nathan Watson

Senior Content Producer with Bham Now | Originally from Tennessee, Nathan moved to The Magic City after graduating from Birmingham-Southern College. Nathan is passionate about recognizing Birmingham's history and is thrilled to learn more about the big things planned for The Magic City's future.

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