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Singing River Trail Launch Tank business competition lifts off

MOORESVILLE – Based loosely on the business reality television show “Shark Tank,” and building on the success of last year’s program, Launch2035 is accepting applications for the second annual Singing River Trail Launch Tank.

The program is open to entrepreneurs who reside within the eight-county Singing River Trail footprint: Madison, Limestone, Marshall, Morgan, Colbert, Jackson, Lauderdale and Lawrence.

“This is your chance to be part of something big and make a positive difference,” said John Kvach, executive director of the Singing River Trail. “Like Singing River Trail itself, the Singing River Trail Launch Tank competition offers a unique opportunity to be a part of something that we can all be proud of as we work together to make North Alabama a better place to live, work, and play.

“Our vision is to offer this program as a platform to spur entrepreneurship and hope to see as many of Launch Tank’s participants grow, thrive and stay connected to the trail as possible.”

The application period closes Feb. 24. Applicants with big ideas, community solutions, and emerging business endeavors should apply here.

The public finale is March 20 at Athens State University.

The Singing River Trail Launch Tank is a collaborative initiative between Singing River Trail and the Launch2035 Entrepreneurship pillar. The program is organized by regional leadership from the Decatur/Morgan County Entrepreneurial Center, Urban Engine, the Mountain Lakes Chamber of Commerce, Athens State University, Athens-Limestone County Chamber of Commerce, Shoals Business Incubator, and Visit North Alabama.

“We are very excited to bring this marquee event to Limestone County to not only show off our community and entrepreneurial ecosystem, but to highlight entrepreneurship and regional collaboration throughout North Alabama,” said Pammie Jimmar, president of the Athens-Limestone Chamber of Commerce and Singing River Trail Launch Tank event co-chair.

The inaugural event last March received more than 40 applications and more than $20,000 and other prizes were awarded to nine finalists.

Last year’s grand prize winner, Fellows Faith Enterprises, received $5,000 in cash and benefits including E-Center coaching support; meetings and mentoring with an angel investor network; fees waived for a BCA membership for one year and the application fee for the Alabama Launchpad application; the possibility of $100,000 credit line through TARCOG; and a human relations consulting package by Spur.

“The first pitch competition demonstrated the true power and potential of regionalism for people across North Alabama,” said John Joseph IV, Launch2035 Entrepreneurship co-chair. “The number of applicants, interesting and exciting pitches, and collaboration from different county stakeholders, highlighted the fact that when we work together toward a unified goal, our entire region benefits.”

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