The Economic Development Partnership of Alabama (EDPA) held its Reignite Alabama Finale to the Alabama Launchpad Response Pitch Competition Thursday, awarding a total of $150,000 in funding to four businesses that have developed innovations to address challenges presented by COVID-19. The event, produced within the headquarters of the EDPA with no live audience, was streamed on the website and Facebook.
Seventeen judges volunteered to evaluate applications and pitches to determine one winner for each sector in Reignite Alabama. Each of the winners will be awarded $37,500 to build their business. In advance of the finale, judges reviewed the 41 applications made to the competition, which were more applicants than ever before. Reignite Alabama focused on four sectors: healthcare, education, manufacturing and lifestyle.
“The dedication shown by our team of judges was remarkable,” said Greg Barker, president of the EDPA. “Their expertise in our four sectors will help shape these entrepreneurs’ businesses as they move forward, even for those finalists who did not win Launchpad funding.”
Motion Mobs, where Taylor Peake and Emily Hart have developed a mobile-based anonymous notifications app for COVID-19 exposure and future airborne viruses. Motion Mobs is based in Birmingham.
Obex Health/Satterfield Technologies is led by Forest Satterfield and is offering a 3D-printed, comfortable and reusable N95 face masks that improves fit and function. Obex Health is based in Birmingham.
Safe Cops Stops, founded by Mike Burrow, is a timely concept to help motorists learn their legal rights, contact loved ones and access witnesses during stops by law enforcement. Safe Cops Stops is based in Riverside.
Seamley, envisoned by Susan Spencer, is an app-based solution for customizing clothing patterns at scale for the custom tailoring industry. Seamley is based in Huntsville.
“Now more than ever, we need the spark of innovative ideas to drive new growth and add resilience to our recovering economy,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, which supports the Alabama Launchpad program and Reignite Alabama. “The Alabama Reignite competition allows us to identify creative approaches and bright ideas from entrepreneurs on how we can accelerate that recovery, especially in sectors that are critical to the state’s future.”
Canfield began the event with remarks about the importance of Reignite Alabama and Alabama Launchpad. He was followed by Elaine Fincannon, deputy secretary of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA). Fincannon highlighted ADECA’s long-term funding support and belief in the value of the 14-year startup pitch competition.
Alabama Launchpad has awarded over $5 million in funding to 98 startups, which have generated over 700 jobs. Alabama Launchpad winners now have an estimated combined post-money valuation of more than $325 million.