Alabama Launchpad helps start-up businesses - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Alabama Launchpad helps start-up businesses

Posted: Updated:
BIRMINGHAM - AL -

Two ingredients needed to start a business. Hard work and capital.

As the entrepreneur, you provide the hard work. But, Alabama Launchpad may be able to help provide part of the funding.

The start-ups accepted for the Alabama Launchpad competition pitch their businesses before a panel of judges. Those selected for the final round will compete for a share of $100,000 in investment funding.

The idea is to help provide start-ups that have a solid business model the resources they need to take that next step forward.

Greg Sheek, program director for Alabama Launchpad says what started out as a contest for business planning and writing, has evolved into a program that's awarded more than $1 million to start-ups.

"One of Launchpad's main goals is to help develop Alabama's 'next' economy," says Sheek. "There's not a first place, second place, third place. It's really the amount of money they need to accomplish their most important step."

Launchpad considers market size, management team, intellectual property and other parties involved before selecting finalists who will receive a share of grant money.

Once the money is awarded, Alabama Launchpad keeps tabs on the start-ups selected.

"As they move forward, we try to facilitate connections that we may have in the investment community and management support. So that they can continue moving forward," Sheek explains.

One of the most recent start-ups, Alabama Chai -- which sells organic tea beverages was awarded $30,000.

Marshall Malone, founder of Alabama Chai, is moving into his new office at Innovation Depot.

Malone says the grant money has helped market and brand his product.

"This product would be very far behind, it would be lingering, while we are processing how we can get things on the shelf without money. So we are much less of a 'bootstrap' organization because of Alabama Launchpad," says Malone.

Melanie Rubery is also setting up shop at Innovation Depot after her start-up NutriPilot was awarded $36,000.

Rubery says the grant money helped launch her app and connected her with clients.

"We've been able to take the idea, finish product development and really launch it, as Alabama Launchpad does. Just take my business, my idea, launch it into the marketplace so we can start getting the market validation and to grow our business," says Rubery.

Alabama Launchpad also helps start-ups at the university level.

Sloan McCrary and Will Sanders are grad students at the University of Alabama who founded e-Electricity.

They were awarded $23,000 and received an additional $10,000 for meeting 'milestone goals' by Alabama Launchpad.

"We were given a lot of responsibility being involved in the Launchpad competition, and we took that as a challenge to stay as focused as possible and get this thing developed," says Sanders

"They've just basically helped us jump start everything, it gives us the additional funding to get materials and get things moving," says McCrary. "We're hoping with this that we can go to angel investors and venture capitalists to help us raise even more money get this product to market."

Now it's time for the next round of competitors and more new ideas.

"There are a lot of creative ideas out there that come to us from all points, and we really get excited about reading these first plans," says Sheek.

Registration for this most recent competition began Monday, October 21. The applicants that are accepted will be announced December 19.

  • Central Alabama NewsMore>>

  • Plane crashes in Taiwan, 47 feared dead

    Plane crashes in Taiwan, 47 feared dead

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 11:41 AM EDT2014-07-23 15:41:13 GMT
    A plane landing in stormy weather crashed outside an airport on a small Taiwanese island late Wednesday, and the transport minister said 47 people were trapped and feared dead.More >>
    A plane landing in stormy weather crashed outside an airport on a small Taiwanese island late Wednesday, and the transport minister said 47 people were trapped and feared dead.More >>
  • Kayak BBQ and Blues Festival at the gulf

    Kayak BBQ and Blues Festival at the gulf

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:05 PM EDT2014-07-23 01:05:11 GMT
    The 2nd Annual Kayak BBQ and Blues Festival is coming on September 6th at Perdido Key. The event will be held at Stacey's at the Point, just off Galvez Landing. Last year's event attracted over 3,500 visitors in its first year, more are expected this year.The festival will feature kayak and stand up paddleboard races, arts and crafts vendors, live music, a huge fireworks show and a BBQ cook off competition with cash prizes. This year's kayak and paddleboard races have been expanded with separ...More >>
    The 2nd Annual Kayak BBQ and Blues Festival is coming on September 6th at Perdido Key. The event will be held at Stacey's at the Point, just off Galvez Landing. Last year's event attracted over 3,500 visitors in its first year, more are expected this year.The festival will feature kayak and stand up paddleboard races, arts and crafts vendors, live music, a huge fireworks show and a BBQ cook off competition with cash prizes. This year's kayak and paddleboard races have been expanded with separ...More >>
  • Chrysler recalls older Jeep SUVs worldwide due to faulty ignition switches

    Chrysler recalls older Jeep SUVs worldwide due to faulty ignition switches

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 6:01 PM EDT2014-07-22 22:01:38 GMT
    The ignition switch defects that engulfed General Motors are now a rapidly growing problem at Chrysler.More >>
    The ignition switch defects that engulfed General Motors are now a rapidly growing problem at Chrysler.
    More >>
  • Birmingham Area NewsMore>>

  • Board members extend contract for Superintendent of Birmingham City Schools

    Board members extend contract for Superintendent of Birmingham City Schools

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 11:59 AM EDT2014-07-23 15:59:49 GMT
    Parents all over are getting their child's 'back to school' list together. Classes in Birmingham start August 14, 2014. The school board is also getting ready. Board members checked off a big item during the last board meeting.More >>
    Parents all over are getting their child's 'back to school' list together. Classes in Birmingham start August 14, 2014. The school board is also getting ready. Board members checked off a big item during the last board meeting.More >>
  • One suspect in Ensley quintuple homicide trial agrees to plea deal

    One suspect in Ensley quintuple homicide trial agrees to plea deal

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 11:35 AM EDT2014-07-23 15:35:52 GMT
    Artavius Underwood, along with 2 other men, are accused of killing five men in an Ensley house in 2012.More >>
    Artavius Underwood, along with 2 other men, are accused of killing five men in an Ensley house in 2012.More >>
  • Governor Bentley meets with children relying on Carly's Law

    Governor Bentley meets with children relying on Carly's Law

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 9:05 AM EDT2014-07-23 13:05:26 GMT
    Governor Robert Bentley spent time with families that fought for the passage of Carly's law.The new law allows research on cannabis oil, as a potential treatment for seizure patients.The oil is derived from marijuana plants.The studies will be conducted at UAB."How is she doing, she's doing better. She had brain surgery two years ago." Governor Robert Bentley greeted Monday by several happy families at Pelham City Hall. "This is Carly, I know Carly, Carly came to see me in my office." Dustin ...More >>
    Governor Robert Bentley spent time with families that fought for the passage of Carly's law.The new law allows research on cannabis oil, as a potential treatment for seizure patients.The oil is derived from marijuana plants.The studies will be conducted at UAB."How is she doing, she's doing better. She had brain surgery two years ago." Governor Robert Bentley greeted Monday by several happy families at Pelham City Hall. "This is Carly, I know Carly, Carly came to see me in my office." Dustin ...More >>
  • Anniston - Gadsden Area NewsMore>>

  • Oneonta police need help identifying woman who stole flowers from gravesite (pictures)

    Oneonta police need help identifying woman who stole flowers from gravesite (pictures)

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 12:55 PM EDT2014-07-23 16:55:33 GMT
    Oneonta police have turned to Facebook in trying to identify a woman who apparently stole flowers from a gravesite at a Oakhill Cemetery on Tuesday.More >>
    Oneonta police have turned to Facebook in trying to identify a woman who apparently stole flowers from a gravesite at a Oakhill Cemetery on Tuesday.
    More >>
  • Suspect in Jacksonville shooting from June turns self in

    Suspect in Jacksonville shooting from June turns self in

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 7:06 PM EDT2014-07-22 23:06:38 GMT
    Jacksonville police said the suspect in the June shooting of a Calhoun County man turned himself into police Tuesday afternoon.More >>
    Jacksonville police said the suspect in the June shooting of a Calhoun County man turned himself into police Tuesday afternoon.
    More >>
  • Jacksonville man arrested for child pornography

    Jacksonville man arrested for child pornography

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 7:05 PM EDT2014-07-22 23:05:18 GMT
    William Franklin Harper (Photo: Calhoun County Sheriff's Office)William Franklin Harper (Photo: Calhoun County Sheriff's Office)
    The Alabama Bureau of Investigation’s CyberCrimes Unit arrested a Jacksonville man Tuesday for possession of child pornography.ABI officers served a search warrant at the home of 49-year-old William Franklin Harper. Harper is charged with four counts of possession of child pornography.He is currently in custody at theCalhoun County Jailwith bond setat $100,000 bond.During the search, investigators found methamphetamine. Agents of the Alabama Alcohol Beverage Control Board and the Calhoun Coun...More >>
    The Alabama Bureau of Investigation’s CyberCrimes Unit arrested a Jacksonville man Tuesday for possession of child pornography.ABI officers served a search warrant at the home of 49-year-old William Franklin Harper. Harper is charged with four counts of possession of child pornography.He is currently in custody at theCalhoun County Jailwith bond setat $100,000 bond.During the search, investigators found methamphetamine. Agents of the Alabama Alcohol Beverage Control Board and the Calhoun Coun...More >>
  • Tuscaloosa Area NewsMore>>

  • Warrants issued to arrest Forkland mayor

    Warrants issued to arrest Forkland mayor

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 1:46 PM EDT2014-07-23 17:46:27 GMT

    Warrants allege: Theft of Property & Tampering Govt Records

    More >>

    Warrants allege: Theft of Property & Tampering Govt Records

    More >>
  • Forkland mayor surrenders to authorities, charged with felony theft of property

    Forkland mayor surrenders to authorities, charged with felony theft of property

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 1:35 PM EDT2014-07-23 17:35:20 GMT
    The mayor of Forkland surrendered to the authorities Wednesday to face charges related to the theft of money from the city.More >>
    The mayor of Forkland surrendered to the authorities Wednesday to face charges related to the theft of money from the city.More >>
  • Elderly Tuscaloosa man charged with sexual abuse of 18-year-old woman

    Elderly Tuscaloosa man charged with sexual abuse of 18-year-old woman

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 12:07 PM EDT2014-07-23 16:07:42 GMT
    Tuscaloosa man, 77, charged with sexual abuse of an 18-year-old woman.More >>
    Tuscaloosa man, 77, charged with sexual abuse of an 18-year-old woman.
    More >>
Most Popular
Stories
Videos
loading...