Alabama Launchpad officials hope to run a third round of competition this year as part of plans to eventually expand the competition to a total of four annual rounds.
Registration for the second pre-seed phase – the first time the Alabama Launchpad Competition ever had two rounds in one year – opened today, but officials running the contest told me that today marks the beginning of bigger opportunities to come for Alabama startups.
Started in 2005, the Launchpad competition gives startups or early stage companies a chance to win funding that can speed up the process of making their business attractive to investors.
“Funding at this stage is really to help them take the step that gets them more ready to make a pitch to the investment community,” said Angela Wier, director of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama Foundation, the Launchpad’s fundraising arm. “There’s sort of a gap between the initial concept and having it ready for the investment community. Sometimes, you may need to run a field test on a product … or a number of things before the investment community is really ready to talk to you.”