September 5, 2014
Val Walton – Economic Development Partnership of Alabama
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Two Auburn companies, one with an Auburn University partnership, have been nominated to be honored on Sept. 25 with 2014 Alabama Innovation Awards during the 4th Annual Alabama Launchpad Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference presented by the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama.
iK9, LLC, which joined forces with Auburn University to pursue cutting-edge research to enhance breeding, development and training for explosive detection dogs, is among the nominees for the University-Corporate Partnership Award. Archangel Systems, Inc., a company that specializes in inertial sensing systems and solutions for aerospace, automotive and military application, is nominated for Outstanding Product or Service Award.
Award winners will be announced Thursday, Sept. 25 during a special dinner at WorkPlay Theatre in Birmingham. The awards recognize individuals and initiatives in eight categories that greatly impact the state’s innovation economy.
“We were so pleased to have 70 great nominations,” said Greg Sheek, Alabama Launchpad programs director. “We hope everyone will see on Sept. 25 that Alabama has no shortage of innovative talent.”
The awards dinner kicks off the 4th annual Alabama Launchpad Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference set for Friday, Sept. 26 at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.
At the conference, Auburn University President Jay Gogue and Lt. Gen. Ronald L. Burgess, Jr., Auburn University’s senior counsel for national security, cyber programs and military affairs, are among the 30 mentors available for conference attendees to meet during One-on-One Mentoring Sessions.
The conference will host distinguished panelists and speakers, including Gov. Robert Bentley, who has made research and development, commercialization and entrepreneurship key elements of the statewide economic development plan, and Peter Diamandis, chairman and CEO of XPrize Foundation and considered the world’s foremost expert in incentivized innovation.
The annual event will highlight entrepreneurial and innovation successes statewide.
“Innovation is happening all across Alabama, in every community and in every existing industry,” said Bill Taylor, EDPA president. “Companies must innovate in order to remain competitive. Job creation through innovation, entrepreneurship, research and development, and commercialization is important to sustain Alabama’s future economic growth.”
Alabama Launchpad Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference activities include:
Sept. 25 (WorkPlay Theatre, 500 23rd Street, South)
- Start-Up Competition Finale: Watch and support six teams compete for a share of up to $300,000 in funding. The competition, free to the public, helps the state’s aspiring entrepreneurs gain access to funding and mentors to take their ideas and concepts to actual high paying jobs for Alabama residents.
Sept. 26 (Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex East Ballrooms)
- Keynote Speaker: Peter H. Diamandis, CEO and Founder of the XPrize Foundation, is the New York Times bestselling author of Abundance – The Future Is Better Than You Think. Abundance was #1 on Amazon and #2 on New York Times. (Click here to see Peter’s video)
- Alabama Gov. Robert J. Bentley: Innovation is a centerpiece of the Renewal component of the statewide economic development plan, Accelerate Alabama, and Gov. Bentley will present awards and comment on the importance of innovation to Alabama’s future.
- One-On-One Mentoring Sessions: A new feature where attendees can schedule 15- minute conversations with entrepreneurs, business leaders and research university presidents.(Learn more about the mentors)
- Innovation Showcase: Attendees can learn more about startups and cool technologies in a designated area.
- Tech Job Fair: TechBirmingham is hosting a tech job fair, allowing Alabama companies to meet potential employees with technical skills.
- Panel discussions: Some of Alabama’s top business leaders and educators will talk about innovation in business and how to prepare the state’s future entrepreneurs. (Learn more about our panelists, speakers and judges)
To learn more and register for the Alabama Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference program, go to www.alabamalaunchpad.com or contact EDPA at 205-943-4700.