Providing the fuel for Alabama’s next big thing.
Alabama is full of amazing talent with big ideas. Alabama Launchpad is dedicated to raising them up to greater heights that propel job growth and prosperity in their wake.
Our competitions give Alabama’s budding entrepreneurs the tools they need to turn their ideas into real-world businesses, helping propel our state to a bigger, brighter, and better tomorrow. Rigorous training and invaluable feedback from our expert Launch Advisors help prepare our contestants for the challenges of business, and our financial seed funding gives rising stars the opportunity they need to reach their full potential.
OUR PARTNERS Everything we do at Alabama Launchpad wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of our partners whose shared vision for a bolder and brighter future for our state is lifting everyone higher.
Our team is your team.
When you compete, you never do it alone. Our team at Alabama Launchpad is ready to lend our decades of combined experience to help you polish your pitch and guide your company on an ever-upward trajectory.
The Launchpad Team
Miller Girvin is the Executive Vice President of Innovation and Talent at EDPA. A graduate of Princeton University, she serves on boards for the Innovation Depot, the EDGE Incubator, UAB’s O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center, and more.
EVP of Innovation & Talent
Estes Hughes is Vice President of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at EDPA. A graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, Estes worked for the Aspen Ideas Festival before helping launch the first cohort of the Velocity Accelerator at the Innovation Depot.
VP of Innovation
Audrey Ferguson is the Director of Communications and Talent at EDPA. A graduate of the University of Alabama, she helped establish the marketing department for the Alabama Golf Association where she served as both manager and Director of Communications.
Director of Communications & Talent
Nasir Jordan is Program Coordinator for Alabama Launchpad. He brings his experience in the Economic Development division of Alabama Power to help support aspiring entrepreneurs in their journey to success.
Alabama Launchpad Coordinator
The Launch Advisors
Mary Ila helps program finalists assess team strengths and weaknesses, developing strategies to optimize future hires.
Mary Ila is the owner of Horizon Point Consulting, which strives to move the workplace forward through innovative people practices.
MARY ILA WARD
Human Resources Advisor
Cecil helps Launchpad finalists work through financial projections, problems and opportunities.
Cecil is a taxation planning specialist and retired partner with Warren Averett, LLC. A former partner with Ernst & Young, Cecil has over 42 years of practice experience.
Ryan Robinett works with finalists to understand, develop, and implement sales messages and processes.
Ryan is a leader with a proven track record of generating revenue. He founded Multiply, Inc., a tech-enabled services firm helping companies optimize their sales process.
Keith Cromwell works with Launchpad finalists to develop and optimize their pitches.
Keith is the Executive Director of Red Mountain Theatre Company. Keith has had an illustrious decades-long directing and performing career with the American Guild of Variety Artists, Screen Actors Guild, and others.
Gayle Rogers works one-on-one with Launchpad finalists to optimize their marketing strategies.
Gayle is the founder of Atomic, a digital marketing agency that combines his 20 years of experience in the marketing industry.
Bebe Goodrich works with our consumer goods finalists on operations and products.
Bebe is the VP of Business Operations for Interior Installations, LLC. Her experience in operations and consumer goods includes a previous role as Director of Liquid Innovation at Royal Cup Coffee, Inc.
Matt Fitzgerald works with our hardware finalists to develop and optimize their products.
Matt is a registered Professional Engineer with 20 years of experience in design and product manufacturing. His firm, Fitz-Thors Engineering, offers capabilities from design to customized solutions.
Matthew Jaeh works with Launchpad finalists to develop and optimize their products.
Matthew is a founder and former CTO of ProctorU, the industry’s first remote online proctoring company. He has been leveraging his 20+ years of leadership, software, technology, and entrepreneur experience to coach, mentor, and develop start-ups.
Stephanie Pearl works with Launchpad finalists to develop and optimize their products.
Stephanie holds a PhD in Plant Biology and is the founder and Principal of Adaptive Roots Consulting. She works with individuals in the sciences to grow their potential and deliver impactful science in service to society.
Shegun Otulana works with Launchpad finalists to develop and optimize their products.
Shegun is the founder of TheraNest, a software solution for mental and other health providers and now leads Harmony Venture Labs (HVL), a venture studio that acquires and scales technology companies.
Hunter Strickler works with Launchpad finalists to develop and optimize their products.
Hunter has co-founded two technology startups, Visify, an online training and compliance solution for commercial transportation, and Clutch!, a parking platform serving sports fans. He is now the VP of Business Development at OHD.
- Alabama Launchpad receives applications during its open application period.
- A set of qualified Launch Advisors covering core business areas and various industries review all applications – and decide who’s moving forward as finalists. During this time, all applicants get access to multiple high-value seminars covering key business topics.
- Finalists receive weeks of one-on-one mentorship, pitch coaching, and seminars all designed to improve their businesses – and make them more competitive for the finale. Alabama Launchpad has hand-picked Launch Advisors to help with various elements of a startup’s growth, from sales and finances to product specifics and hiring. These mentoring sessions are mandatory, so expect to spend at least an hour per week dedicated to Alabama Launchpad, not including practicing your pitch!
- THE FINALE: Behind closed doors, finalists pitch to a panel of judges, which is comprised of business executives, startup founders, investors, and/or other experts. After the closed-door session, finalists condense their pitch to a 90-second version, before a live audience. Ultimately, only one concept company walks away with $25,000, and one seed company with $50,000. This prize money is delivered in two tranches: the first within 30 days, and the second after winners have completed milestones designed by the competition judges.
- To qualify as eligible, a business must have (1) raised not more than $1 million in equity capital, and (2) received no more than $2 million in revenue. evaluation criteria.
- Generally speaking, judges will review your application based on these evaluation criteria.
- Please review the Launch Prep for exact criteria.
- A concept stage company is generally pre-revenue. Concept stage companies have more than an idea; they often have a prototype or MVP (Minimum Viable Product), and perhaps customers on a trial basis. A company in the concept stage could have revenue if it is a pivot for an existing business.
- A seed stage company has revenue and customers, even on a small basis. A seed stage company has a working product. These companies have sometimes raised equity capital at some level or are in the midst of raising equity capital. Remember, in order to be eligible for Alabama Launchpad, a company has to have less than $1 million raised in equity capital.
- Alabama Launchpad applicants are responsible for choosing their competition stage. Please note: concept stage winners can go on to apply and win the seed stage competition in a later cycle, but seed stage winning companies cannot compete in the concept stage competition.
- 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.
- Your video should introduce your founding team and explain why you are building the company and the product you’re building. We are not looking for an edited, expensive marketing video. We want to learn more about you and your company in a quick, simple, and personal way.
- Please see the deck template included in the application for further details. This deck is meant to guide you on the content included, not its graphical style. Broadly speaking, we are looking for information on your problem, solution, product, traction, revenue model, market size, competitors, competitive advantage, team, and needs.