Entrepreneurs compete in Launchpad competition - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Entrepreneurs compete in Launchpad competition

Posted: Updated:

In the state of Alabama, local people with big dreams of starting a business have a chance through a statewide competition. Small business and entrepreneurship were hot button topics during the latest presidential election.

It's called Launchpad. What's at stake here is several thousand dollars in grant money for the people with the best business idea. More importantly, this could mean economic growth for the entire state.

"If we go through additional downturns in the economy, if we don't have diverse companies whether they're technology or small mom and pop organizations we won't be able to weather another economic storm," said Greg Sheek,  director of Launchpad programs.

So what exactly is Launchpad?

"Alabama's path to commercialization for the research an innovative ideas that entrepreneurs are generating across the state. So we want to get ideas to market as fast as possible."

And what better way to get ideas to market than hosting a competition. The seventh annual Launchpad start-up competition is open to entrepreneurs at any stage in the business-building process.

But what about winning?

"The key behind winning is a market potential, having an idea whether it's a service, whether it's an app; but it has to have demonstrate able market," said Sheek.

One-hundred thousand dollars in start-up grant money is up for grabs. Jobs are also at the forefront of everyone's mind. Especially Bill Taylor, President of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama.

He says Launchpad fits perfectly with Accelerate Alabama, a state-wide plan initiated by Governor Robert Bentley to encourage business recruitment, retention and renewal.

"Jobs. A lot of people use that term; but good paying jobs, sustainable jobs, growth jobs. Those are some of the words we need to put into that picture too. Launchpad is all about that," said Taylor.

One person who can attest to that is Molly Wasko, last year's winner.

Wasko is co-founder of Indegree, an alumni tracking service that helps universities connect with graduates. By entering the Launchpad competition, she was able to walk away with a lot more than money.

"What I found valuable about the experience was not only the opportunity to win the money but the mentoring that went into it along the way," she said.

Since winning the competition, Wasko has five universities signed up to Indegree, and the company is generating revenue.

She says the experience has changed her life.

"We would have given up. It's given us enough momentum now that where we are attractive to additional investors to either take on a higher level investment. But we've also been approached by companies that are players in the higher education space," she said.

For more information go to http://www.alabamalaunchpad.com/

 

  • Anniston - Gadsden Area NewsMore>>

  • Deputies in Etowah County arrest three women for chemical endangerment

    Deputies in Etowah County arrest three women for chemical endangerment

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 7:47 PM EDT2014-09-02 23:47:56 GMT
    The Etowah County sheriff's office arrested three women for chemical endangerment of a child. Investigators charged 28-year-old Ashton Lauren Wood, 25-year-old Jessica Amber Abner and 24-year-old Keeley Elizabeth McCain. Sheriff's Office Deputy Jeremy Lasseter say Wood and her baby both tested positive for amphetamines following the baby's birth. Her bond is set at $10,000. Wood will be supervised by Community corrections and must comply with DHR requirements. She will not be allowed to make ...More >>
    The Etowah County sheriff's office arrested three women for chemical endangerment of a child. Investigators charged 28-year-old Ashton Lauren Wood, 25-year-old Jessica Amber Abner and 24-year-old Keeley Elizabeth McCain. Sheriff's Office Deputy Jeremy Lasseter say Wood and her baby both tested positive for amphetamines following the baby's birth. Her bond is set at $10,000. Wood will be supervised by Community corrections and must comply with DHR requirements. She will not be allowed to make ...More >>
  • Clean out your cabinets for Drug Take-Back Day

    Clean out your cabinets for Drug Take-Back Day

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 1:38 PM EDT2014-09-02 17:38:07 GMT
    Do you have a drawer or cabinet of medicines? Are any of them out of date? Now is the time to check because you can safely dispose of the medications at the Etowah County Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. It is part of a nationwide effort. The event will be Saturday, September 27. A take-back station will be set up at the East Gadsden Walmart from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.A law enforcement officer will remain with the drug disposal box at all times, and the drugs that are turned in will be tr...More >>
    Do you have a drawer or cabinet of medicines? Are any of them out of date? Now is the time to check because you can safely dispose of the medications at the Etowah County Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. It is part of a nationwide effort. The event will be Saturday, September 27. A take-back station will be set up at the East Gadsden Walmart from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.A law enforcement officer will remain with the drug disposal box at all times, and the drugs that are turned in will be tr...More >>
  • Arrest made in large level extortion scheme

    Arrest made in large level extortion scheme

    Friday, August 29 2014 12:45 PM EDT2014-08-29 16:45:16 GMT
    "Everett Leon Stout, 72 and Miriam Clair Schultz, 67 are charged with 14 counts of extortion.More >>
    "Everett Leon Stout, 72 and Miriam Clair Schultz, 67 are charged with 14 counts of extortion.More >>
Most Popular
Stories
Videos
loading...