Domestique Coffee and Cahaba Fire Company win $75K at Alabama Launchpad Finale in Tuscaloosa


EDPA / Alabama Launchpad
(Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)

On Thursday, April 20, the Alabama Launchpad team hosted nine startups from around the state in the Cycle 1 Finale Competition at Tuscaloosa’s EDGE Incubator and Accelerator.

Here’s what the teams behind Domestique Coffee and Cahaba Fire Company had to say about their big win with Alabama Launchpad.

Meet the Alabama Launchpad Cycle 1 2023 Winners

Domestique Coffee — Seed Stage, $50K

EDPA / Alabama Launchpad
Hannah Hughes, Nathan Pocus and Michael Pocus of Domestique Coffee. (Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)

Finalists in the early seed stage are competing for $50,000 to accelerate the growth of their existing business. 

Domestique Coffee is a coffee, hospitality and lifestyle brand that has been ranked among the top 10 coffee roasters in the country. Started by brothers Nathan and Michael Pocus in 2014, Domestique Coffee  was founded on the idea of “easy access to high quality coffee”. The team sources coffee beans from multiple countries to make sure that they have the the perfect bean for every roast. It’s no wonder why they’ve been named the “Best Coffee Shop in Alabama” by Food & Wine!

“The $50,000 in non-dilutive funding from Alabama Launchpad is going to allow us to take our business to the next level. These funds will help us finalize our easy-to-use mobile app that will help our customers have easy access to high quality coffee.”

Nathan Pocus, Founder and CEO, Domestique Coffee

“Although funding is certainly the primary goal, our favorite part of the Alabama Launchpad process was the advising sessions. The advisors dedicated a lot of time to helping us, and that is really valuable.”

Hannah Hughes, Business Manager, Domestique Coffee

Domestique Coffee: Website | Facebook | Instagram

Cahaba Fire Company, LLC — Concept Stage, $25K

EDPA / Alabama Launchpad
Ben Horton and Ryan King of Cahaba Fire Company. (Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)

Finalists in the concept stage are usually pre-revenue and compete for $25,000.

 In emergency situations, first responders need all the help they can get to make sure every second counts. Cahaba Fire Company aims to create innovative products for emergency rescue teams across the country. The company is led by Ryan King and firefighter Ben Horton, who utilize their expertise to research, develop and engineer multi-functional tools that make first responders more efficient and safer on the job.

“Our competition was very heavy, but we put a lot of work and energy into this program. I believe that this win is going to help us be sustainable and scalable for the future.”

Ben Horton, Co-Founder and CEO, Cahaba Fire Company

“This win is going to launch us off the launchpad! The whole process was amazing—thanks to the help of the advisors, we are so much further in our journey than we thought we would be. This $25,000 is just icing on the cake.”

Ryan King, Co-Founder and President, Cahaba Fire Company

Cahaba Fire Company: Website | Email | Facebook

You could be Alabama Launchpad’s next startup competition winner!

Alabama Launchpad / EDPA
(Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

Whether you have a full-fledged startup or an idea for the next big thing, Alabama Launchpad could be the opportunity you need to take the next step. Advisors offer one-on-one guidance for your business, and of course, there’s a chance to win non-dilutive cash to help your company grow. Early stage entrepreneurs, don’t forget: apply today!

“Applying to Alabama Launchpad is well worth the effort. Even if we hadn’t won, the connections we’ve made in this program have been very valuable. This was our third time participating in Alabama Launchpad, and our first time winning. Perseverance is key!”

Nathan Pocus, Founder and CEO, Domestique Coffee

Applications to Alabama Launchpad’s next competition are open NOW through May 15, 2023. Click here to visit the Alabama Launchpad website and get started on your application.

Sponsored by:

Nathan Watson
Nathan Watson

Senior Content Producer at Bham Now

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