MONTGOMERY— A program that has helped create jobs and helped many Alabama entrepreneurs turn ideas into viable businesses since 2006 is receiving a boost from a $707,488 grant awarded by Gov. Robert Bentley.
The grant to the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama Foundation will support the Alabama Launchpad program. Now in its 10th year, the program provides opportunities for individuals with a business idea to receive expert guidance and establish working relationships in the business, academic and banking communities. Companies participating in the program have created 365 jobs, according to Alabama Launchpad’s 2015 Annual Report.
“Alabamians benefit when our entrepreneurs can turn innovative ideas into companies that create jobs,” Bentley said. “Alabama Launchpad offers important resources to help startup companies transform from dreams to viable businesses.”
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 Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grant from the Alabama Research Alliance Trust Fund, established by the state in 1981. Interest earned by the trust fund is used to support projects that promote innovation and new technology.
ADECA administers an array of programs supporting law enforcement and traffic safety, economic development, energy conservation, water resource management and recreation development.
“This program shows what we can accomplish when the public and private sectors work together to support innovation-based economic development,” ADECA Director Jim Byard Jr. said. “ADECA is proud to partner with EDPA to support Alabama entrepreneurs and create great jobs for residents.”
Bentley notified Angela Wier, vice president of EDPA, that he approved the grant.
For more information about the program, go to www.alabamalauchpad.com.