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Alabama Launchpad bringing new emphasis on mentorship to 2021 competition cycles

Alabama Launchpad, a fund that invests in Alabama-based startup companies, is heightening its focus on mentoring and supporting young companies in 2021.

Launchpad is a program of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama. Companies receive investments from the fund after a panel of judges determine they are the best among a cycle’s finalists. Over the course of 2020, the competition ran four cycles.

In 2021, the program plans to “place a greater focus on intensive and personalized support for the state’s entrepreneurs, boosting all participating companies, regardless of the competition’s outcome,” according to a release.

Organizers of Alabama Launchpad solicited feedback from the competition’s judges, winners and finalists, as well as investors and entrepreneurs in the state in creating the new emphasis on coaching to go along with the competitive nature of the event.

The new priorities arrive alongside the EDPA’s new executive vice president of innovation & entrepreneurship, Miller Girvin.

“We are focused on helping Alabama entrepreneurs succeed – and we know that Alabama Launchpad has done that for 15 years. We’re excited to build on that tradition and expand the support that our program offers to early-stage companies around the state,” remarked Girvin in a release.

She added, “Entrepreneurs are problem solvers and executers, but often a mentor or subject matter expert can illuminate the path to success.”

Alabama Launchpad’s first cycle with the fresh focus on mentoring will open for applicants on February 1. Interested companies can apply online beginning that day; the fee to enter is $150.

The competition has awarded $5.6 million across 100 Alabama companies over its 15 years of existence.

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: [email protected] or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.

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