Alabama Launchpad program gets $700K grant to help entrepreneurs

Alabama Launchpad program gets $700K grant to help entrepreneurs

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - A 10-year-old program designed to create jobs by helping Alabama's entrepreneurs is getting a financial boost thanks to a $707,000 grant.

The Alabama Launchpad program blasted off in 2006 with the goal of helping people turn their ideas into viable businesses. Those with an idea for a business get guidance through the program and establish relationships with the business, academic, and banking world along the way.

Gov. Robert Bentley awarded the grant to the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama Foundation, which supports the Alabama Launchpad program.

"Alabamians benefit when our entrepreneurs can turn innovative ideas into companies that create jobs," Bentley said. "Alabama Launchpad offers important resources to help start up companies transform from dreams to viable businesses."

Some 365 jobs have been created so far by the program, according to its 2015 annual report.

Alabama Launchpad is conducting multiple rounds of business-plan competitions in 2016 with winners receiving a share of up to $250,000 to develop their businesses. The program also hosts the Alabama Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference each year in Birmingham.

The funds will be managed by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, or ADECA.

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