BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Oct. 12, 2022) - Alabama Launchpad, a program of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama (EDPA) and the Alabama Power Foundation, are proud to announce that Launch Advisors have selected 10 finalists to participate in the inaugural Social Impact competition. This round of the Alabama Launchpad is focused on entrepreneurs who are intent on making a positive impact on society through their startups. The finalists will compete for a combined $75,000 at a public finale scheduled to take place Dec. 8, 2022, in Birmingham, Alabama.
Alabama Launchpad features entrepreneurs in two stages of development: those in the concept stage, who are usually pre-revenue, and those in the early seed stage who are looking to accelerate the growth of their existing businesses. According to Pitchbook, Alabama Launchpad is the state’s most active early seed funding source. To date, Alabama Launchpad has funded 110 startups and invested over $5.9 million in nondilutive funding. Its winning companies have a combined post-money valuation of over $850 million and have generated over 1,120 jobs across the state.
The five concept stage finalists competing for $25,000 are:
Monthly: Monthly makes gender-inclusive, sustainable and price-accessible menstrual underwear for all people with a cycle. It is a social enterprise business that contributes a percentage of profits to charities fighting period poverty in the South.
Rachel Fry: Rachel Fry Consulting is focused on helping lawyers be successful. Through clinical psychology work with hundreds of lawyers, the company has identified "gap" areas and teaches essential tools needed to thrive in the legal profession.
Oasis: Oasis Family Birthing Center aims to reduce poor maternal health outcomes for low-income women and birthing people of color in Alabama by increasing access to comprehensive midwifery care.
OMNIS: OMNIS is a financial services app for the unbanked and underbanked to allow access to capital and building credit. The company is currently partnered with First Independence Bank, GreenWood, Regions, Wells Fargo and Bank of America, as well as with nonprofit Care International.
Generational Systems: Gene-Sys is developing the world's first low-cost metal 3D printer that even a private individual could own. While most metal printers are expensive, hazardous and difficult to use?, the Gene-Sys technology provides an affordable, safe and easy-to-use option for anyone to own and operate.
The five companies in the early seed stage, who will be competing for $50,000, are:
Pearl’s, LLC: Pearl’s has identified an effective way to train and employ a marginalized community: students with disabilities. Through its pop-up restaurant, which serves breakfast, brunch and lunch, Pearl’s is showcasing the results of its approach in workforce development.
Reboot Reforestation: Reboot Reforestation uses drones to plant trees, deliver herbicide and monitor ecosystems faster, more affordably and with less labor than our competitors. The company utilizes drones to deliver proprietary seedballs to restoration areas to plant longleaf pine trees.
Smart Solutions: Do you believe that individuals with disabilities should be able to live a barrier-free life? Smart Solutions promotes independent living using smart home technology, creating a pathway to autonomy.
VB Ideas: SCHOOLS, by VB Ideas?, provides coaching and a roadmap to success in ACT and SAT scores, so each person can achieve the level they need to pursue the goals they desire.
Kaya: Kaya is building the next generation of workplace mental health culture. The company is changing how workplaces access mental health services through group care that is more accessible, affordable and inclusive.
“It’s exciting for Alabama Launchpad to partner with the Alabama Power Foundation and establish the first Social Impact Competition for Alabama, said Miller Girvin, Executive Vice President of Innovation & Talent at EDPA. “It serves as a major catalyst to make a real impact on our state and cultivate meaningful change through startups. Our teams look forward to further developing these finalists, preparing them for both the finale pitch-competition and beyond.”
The Alabama Power Foundation, which has been growing its involvement in social impact investing, is supporting this cycle of Alabama Launchpad. The Foundation has also been closely involved in the creation of the Alabama Benefit Corporation Association of Alabama, which provides expertise and resources to companies interested in becoming certified as benefit corporations in Alabama.
“The Alabama Power Foundation would like to congratulate each business on being selected as a finalist in the inaugural Alabama Launchpad Social Impact Competition,” said Hallie Bradley, Manager of Strategic Initiatives, Alabama Power Foundation. “We look forward to working with them, alongside EDPA and Launch Advisors, to help define each of their social impacts within their business models. Through this process, we will continue to work together to foster economic growth and social impact throughout the state of Alabama.”
Alabama Launchpad’s Social Impact Competition finale is slated to take place Dec. 8 at Alabama Power’s Corporate Headquarters in downtown Birmingham. To learn more and reserve tickets, please click here.
To learn more about the latest Alabama Launchpad competition and see social impact criteria, click here.
About Alabama Launchpad
Established in 2006, Alabama Launchpad is Alabama’s most active, early-stage seed fund investor, driving innovation and job growth through startup competitions and ongoing mentoring for Alabama entrepreneurs. Alabama Launchpad is made possible by the generous support from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, the Alabama Department of Commerce, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Caring Foundation, Wells Fargo, Alabama Power Foundation and the Daniel Corporation Foundation. It is the state’s longest running business plan and pitch competition. To learn more about Alabama Launchpad, please visit www.alabamalaunchpad.com.
About Alabama Power Foundation
Guided by the mission to elevate the state and to improve the quality of life for Alabamians, the Alabama Power Foundation is committed to empowering communities and bridging the gaps of inequity to create a better Alabama for all. The foundation is funded by Alabama Power shareholders with nonratepayer resources. To learn more about Alabama Power Foundation, please visit www.powerofgood.com.