Meet the Judges for Alabama Launchpad Startup Competition

Birmingham, Ala., – Alabama Launchpad, a program of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, announces the judges for the Cycle B Startup Competition round.

“We are fortunate to have top entrepreneurs and investors ready to volunteer their time and expertise and provide feedback to help other aspiring entrepreneurs learn, grow and succeed,” said Greg Sheek, Alabama Launchpad programs director.

The judges are:

Jason Thomas-Executive Vice President and General Counsel of the Atlanta-based Total EHR and the Company’s technology partner, Total Dental.

Jason Thomas

Dr. Ashok K. Singhal-Principal Founder and Chairman of  the Huntsville-based CFDRC.

Dr. Ashok Singhal

Bob Crutchfield-General Partner with Harbert Venture Partners (HVP), an institutional venture capital firm located in Birmingham and Richmond, Va.

Bob Crutchfield

Bob Crutchfield


Antonio Montoya-Founder of the Huntsville-based Rocket Hatch, formed to promote and support entrepreneurship in the region. Montoya also is co-founder and advisor to early-stage companies and consult at www.antoniomontoya. com.

Antonio Montoya


Dean Parker –Founder and CEO of the Mobile-based Callis Communications, the leading provider of cloud-based Unified Communication as a Serve (UTAS) solutions for Tier 2 markets throughout the Southeast.

Dean Parker

The five-judge panel of investors, entrepreneurs and tech luminaries began its duty on Wednesday by selecting the startups to enter this competition round.

Twenty-two teams applied. Alabama Launchpad will announce on Friday the 11 teams chosen by the judges to compete.

The teams are vying for a share of up to $250,000 in prize money.

During the Pitch Phase, teams make pitches before the judges at a free, live pitch event set for 9 a.m. on June 26 at Evonik Industries, 760 Lakeshore Parkway, Birmingham.  At the conclusion of the pitch event, the teams advancing to the Assessment Phase will be announced.

Teams that advance will submit a revised business plan for a market assessment by a third party. Each team receives a copy of the assessments valued at $2,000.

The team members are asked to incorporate into their final business plans and pitch presentations how they plan to incorporate the assessment feedback into their business models.

Following the assessment phase, each team advances to the Finale Phase and submits a final version of their business plan. Finalists will present a 10 minute pitch at the Alabama Launchpad Startup Competition finale on Aug 27 at WorkPlay Theatre, 500 23rd Street, Birmingham. The finale, free and open to the public, begins at 4 p.m. Winners will be announced.

Started as a pilot project in 2006, Alabama Launchpad has assembled a network of business leaders, entrepreneurs and service providers who serve as mentors and judges.

Financed by business, the state of Alabama and eight universities, Alabama Launchpad has led to the creation of more than 305 knowledge-based jobs.

Alabama Launchpad helps high growth companies start, stay and grow in Alabama while supporting, advocating and recognizing entrepreneurship statewide.

Alabama Launchpad Startup Competition judges met Wednesday at EDPA to select teams to make first pitches.