Overview – Startup Competition


  • What defines a concept v. a seed stage company?

    We recognize that determining which stage a company is at is a fluid process. Given the variety of businesses applying to the start up competition, we cannot offer a black and white definition separating concept v. seed. However, we can provide general guidelines.

    • A “Concept” stage company is generally very early in the process of developing a business. These companies/ entrepreneurs are still in the process of customer discovery and validation and generally are pre-revenue or are generating little revenue. We would also expect a concept-stage business to have had very little capital investment (e.g., less than $250K largely raised from friends and family).
    • A “Seed” stage company, on the other hand, is moving into creating clear customers (going from an ad-hoc sales process with one customer to scaling your sales process) and is building customers. These companies will be formed, have existing teams and products, and be approaching commercialization of their offering. We would expect seed-stage businesses to have revenue (unless they are in an industry where that is not reasonable such as biotech) and have raised capital, but still be on the smaller side of raising capital (e.g., less than $2M raised).

    We encourage entrants to use their judgment when selecting a track. In rare cases, we will suggest to an entrant that they are in the wrong track and switch them.

  • How will my application be evaluated?

    Generally speaking, judges will review your application based on these evaluation criteria.

  • If I created a YouNoodle account before, do I need a new account in order to apply for another round?

    No, users with YouNoodle accounts do not have to open a new account.

  • How can I learn how to apply?

    Alabama Launchpad offers a free “how to apply webinar” prior to the application closing date for each round.  Check the calendar for more information on upcoming webinars.

  • What must be submitted in order to apply?

    Please review the application page for exact criteria.

  • When is the application deadline?

    Cycle 1
    The deadline to apply is January 8, 2018 at 9:00 am CST. Prizes will be awarded at a finale event on March 15, 2018.

    Cycle 2
    The deadline to apply is April 23, 2018 at 9:00 am CST. Prizes will be awarded at a finale event on June 28, 2018.

    Cycle 3
    The deadline to apply is TBD at 9:00 am CST. Prizes will be awarded at a finale event on TBD.

    Cycle 4
    The deadline to apply is September 10, 2018 at 9:00 am CST. Prizes will be awarded at a finale event on November 14, 2018.

  • When does the application open?

    Applications for the next cycle of the startup competition will open July 10th.

  • Is there a fee to apply?

    The application fee is $150.00 (Paid through Paypal, credit cards accepted). The application fee is required when you submit your completed application, but is not required to begin an application. Application fees offset some of the costs of administering the program and help to ensure that only serious candidates are entering.

  • What is YouNoodle and do I have to open an account?

    The Alabama Launchpad Startup Competition uses the online platform YouNoodle to collect, review and progress applications. To apply, each team must first create a free YouNoodle account. A YouNoodle account provides each applicant cloud based access to collaborate, review, submit and track applications. YouNoodle will be the primary communication vehicle for the Alabama Launchpad competition. Each application owner can invite other team members to view and/or edit an application. Each team member will need to create their own YouNoodle account and accept their invitation to fill out their personal form.

    Need help with YouNoodle? Contact support@younoodle.com


  • What information do I put in the video pitch presentation?

    Your video pitch presentation should be directed to potential investors who have never seen your innovation before.

  • Where can I find templates of the required documents?

    Templates can be downloaded from the resources page.



If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact Greg Sheek or Mary Hope Garmon.

Greg Sheek

Mary Hope Garmon