Alabama Launchpad winner Conserv closes $3M funding round


Austin Senseman (Founder and CEO) and Nathan McMinn (Founder and CTO) of Conserv. (Bruce Nix / Alabama Launchpad)

In late 2020, Birmingham startup Conserv took home $100K in funding as a Seed Stage winner at Alabama Launchpad. Now, the company has announced the completion of a $3 million Series A funding round—allowing Conserv to expand throughout the United States and Europe.

We spoke with CEO Austin Senseman to learn more about how Alabama Launchpad set Conserv up for success.

P.S. Applications to Alabama Launchpad’s Cycle 2 2022 are NOW OPEN. Click here to sign up for Alabama Launchpad Cycle 2!

Alabama Launchpad — Supporting Alabama startups since 2006

Alabama Launchpad
Alabama Launchpad winners Nathan McMinn, Austin Senseman and Elizabeth Reed. (Bruce Nix / Alabama Launchpad)

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Founded in 2006, Alabama Launchpad is dedicated to fostering innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit among Alabama’s startup community. During each Alabama Launchpad Cycle, selected finalists are mentored by the program’s Launch Advisors—experienced entrepreneurs that know what it takes to succeed.

In addition to mentoring these startups, Alabama Launchpad is the state’s most active early-stage seed fund investor. In fact, the program has invested more than $5.8M+ into 106 startups from all over the state—just like Conserv.

Ready to take your startup to the next level? 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!

Catching up with Austin Senseman, CEO of Conserv

Austin Senseman pitches at an Alabama Launchpad Virtual Finale. (Bruce Nix / Alabama Launchpad)

Founded in Birmingham in 2018, Conserv is revolutionizing the way museums, galleries, private collectors and more preserve priceless artifacts and irreplaceable works of art. According to Conserv, public and private collections collectively spend $550M each year to keep their items safe from damage due to heat, humidity, sunlight and other harmful outside forces.

That’s where Conserv steps in. Using Conserv’s comprehensive environmental monitoring solution, collectors can measure heat, humidity, light, vibration and more—at a fraction of the cost. Simply put, Conserv can help collectors detect small problems before they become big problems.

Conserv was first introduced to the Alabama Launchpad program by Karim Budhwani, an early advisor for Conserv and a previous Alabama Launchpad winner. Intrigued, Conserv applied to the next Alabama Launchpad competition and ended up taking home $50K as the Concept Stage winner at iMerge2019. One year later, the team won $100K at Alabama Launchpad—this time as the Seed Stage winner at the final Virtual Finale on 2020.

For Conserv, their early wins at Alabama Launchpad helped propel the company to success.

“[Alabama Launchpad] provided early validation of our business from other entrepreneurs, and provided funding to take more risk in growing the business. When we first applied for Launchpad in 2019, we had 0 customers. Now, we have over 300 customers. That’s the biggest milestone—organizations believing in what we’re doing and getting out their wallets”

Austin Senseman, CEO, Conserv

On Tuesday, May 10th, Conserv announced the completion of a $3 million Series A funding round led by Benson Capital Partners, a New Orleans-based venture capital fund. With the new funding, Conserv aims to expand its operations in both the United States and Europe.

“This next phase of growth will be a challenge. What we did to win 300 customers won’t be what gets us to the next 3000 customers. This is a really hard and stimulating challenge, [but] I’m looking forward to solving it with our incredible team.”

Austin Senseman, CEO, Conserv

The next Alabama Launchpad check could be written out to 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)

So, what kind of advice would Austin give to any startup thinking about applying to Alabama Launchpad?

“Same advice I gave 3 years ago: just do it. You might win money, but you’ll definitely learn a lot more about your business.”

Austin Senseman, CEO, Conserv

Ready to take the next step? Alabama Launchpad is accepting applications for Cycle 2 2022, now through May 18th. Click here to sign up for Alabama Launchpad Cycle 2!

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Nathan Watson
Nathan Watson

Senior Content Producer + Photographer

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