Two Alabama companies have been awarded a total of $150,000 in the latest Alabama Launchpad startup competition round.
The Economic Development Partnership of Alabama (EDPA) last week hosted its fourth Alabama Launchpad finale of the year in Troy. The public event was held at the Emporium in partnership with Troy University.
In this round, seven finalists competed for non-dilutive funding in one of two tracks – a concept stage for entrepreneurs launching businesses and a seed stage for entrepreneurs accelerating growth.
In the concept stage, Bluewater Hemp, Community Owned Grocery Stores, TruSpin Nanomaterials and Yente competed for $50,000, with TruSpin taking home the money.
TruSpin, a company based out of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), aims to make affordable nanomaterials with a new technology, as its fibers are usable across many different industries. The company’s founders are Anthony Brayer and Robert Agnew.
In the seed stage, Chonex, GLOW and Watts.AI competed for $100,000.
GLOW, a beauty-on-demand company with professionals offering makeup, hair and spraytan services, won this prize. The company’s clients can book on the GLOW app and get service in the comfort of their own home or wherever is convenient. The CEO and founder is Yazmin Cavale.
In a statement, EDPA president Steve Spencer said, “Alabama Launchpad was honored to conclude 2019 with a great finale on the campus of Troy University and the City of Troy. 2019 was the most competitive year yet for the number and quality of applicants as we’ve seen Alabama’s entrepreneurial spirit front and center. We are proud to be a statewide part of growing Alabama’s startup economy.”
Since its inception in 2006, Alabama Launchpad has invested over $5.3 million in 90 companies that have created more than 500 jobs and raised over $70 million in follow-on capital and revenue. Alabama Launchpad is the most active early-stage investor in Alabama, according to PitchBook, which tracks the public and private equity markets.
In this round, four judges heard from Alabama Launchpad companies during a lengthy application process, offering feedback and raising questions throughout the process. Before the public finale, all companies pitched to the judges in a closed-door event at Troy University, during which every company could answer questions posed by the panel.
Alabama Launchpad is a public-private partnership made possible through support from the business community, the state’s research universities, the Alabama Research Alliance, the Alabama Department of Commerce and the Appalachian Regional Commission.
Now in its 29th year, the non-profit EDPA represents the private sector’s contribution to economic development in Alabama. EDPA is supported by more than 60 partners from across the state and works to attract, retain and grow jobs, while also encouraging innovation through its Alabama Launchpad program.
Read more about the EDPA and its important efforts here.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn