HOOVER, Alabama – Innovators, entrepreneurs and other business people from throughout Alabama are gathering today and Friday at a conference in Hoover to celebrate successes and jobs created and to help each other move forward.
About 200 people are expected to gather at the Hyatt Regency Birmingham – The Wynfrey Hotel for the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama’s third annual Alabama Launchpad Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference, organizers said.
The conference started this morning with the final phase of a competition among start-up companies seeking funding to expand their businesses. Five start-up companies were chosen from among nine in July to make final pitches to a panel of five judges today in hopes of winning grants of $20,000 to $25,000 each. The winners are to be announced Friday.
Tonight, conference attendees will have a chance to hear from Brad Feld, an entrepreneur from Colorado who invests in software and Internet companies around the United States through companies such as The Foundry Group and TechStars. Feld is scheduled to speak at 7 p.m. via a Google Hangout video link.
Gov. Robert Bentley, who has stressed the importance of entrepreneurship and innovation in his economic recovery speeches around the state, is scheduled to kick off the second day of the conference Friday morning at 8 a.m.