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Huntsville, Madison entrepreneurs reach final stage of Alabama Launchpad contest

BIRMINGHAM – Huntsville startup Score Pharma and Madison newcomer GutChek are among 10 finalists who made the cut to participate in the finale of Cycle 3, a competition for cash awards backed by a program that supports fledgling businesses.

Alabama Launchpad, an initiative of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama
(EDPA), in partnership with Innovate Alabama, announced the finalists selected by Launch

Score Pharma develops next-generation antibody therapeutics; Gut-Chek enables patients to self-schedule colonoscopies without an office visit. They’ll join eight other companies vying for prizes of a combined $75,000 in two categories during oral presentations Dec. 7 in Hoover at a site to be determined.

Alabama Launchpad features entrepreneurs in two stages of development: those in the concept stage, which are usually pre-revenue, and those in the early seed stage, looking to accelerate the growth of their existing businesses.

According to Pitchbook, Alabama Launchpad is the state’s most active early seed funding source.

“We are eager to see the rapid growth of these 10 companies as they work with our Launch
Advisors in preparation for the in-person pitch finale,” said Miller Girvin, executive vice
president of Innovation and Talent at EDPA. “Alabama Launchpad provides both the necessary financial support and mentorship to turn ideas and early-stage companies into thriving businesses within the state.”

Alabama Launchpad and EDPA released a statement saying the former has funded 115 startups and invested more than $6.2 million in non-dilutive funding. Its winning companies have a combined post-money valuation of more than $1 billion and have generated more than 1,300 jobs across the state.

The four concept stage companies competing for $25,000 are:

  • OMNIS DBA LucidTrade (Auburn) offers a product to revolutionize finance by
    merging blockchain tech with traditional banking – empowering users with peer-to-peer
    loans, credit-building and seamless transactions.
  • DevClarity (Birmingham) is an AI-powered platform for proactive developer
    management. With DevClarity, developers are able to maximize and streamline
    operations, while optimizing resource allocation.
  • Revive Recovery Solutions (Birmingham) is a wearable opioid overdose detection
    device and alert system. It is also a data collection company to provide real-time OD
    information for the fight in the opioid epidemic.
  •  Score Pharma (Huntsville) uses CoreX technology platform to develop next-
    generation antibody therapeutics from existing clinically validated products. This process
    can create drugs with increased potency, decreased costs and shortened time to market
    for better patient outcomes.

The six companies in the early seed stage, which will be competing for $50,000, are:

  • Autonoma (Auburn) creates autonomous vehicle simulation and validation tools. It
    combines an AV simulator with high-bandwidth, low-latency wireless communications to
    allow a real vehicle to “see” a virtual environment around it. This allows for a safer
    transition from simulation to on-road operation and is much cheaper and more efficient
    than current validation methods.
  • Dryft Coffee (Birmingham) is currently operating as a mobile coffee camper – but is also
    building its first brick and mortar in downtown Birmingham. Dryft coffee sources its
    product from women-owned farms and provides a portion of its profits back to the
    women in their supply chain.
  • Datus Henry Industries (Birmingham) is a family-owned business in the hemp industry, based around products grown on one of the first Alabama Black Belt farms licensed to grow hemp. DHI specializes in the growing CBD sector, offering products in its retail location in Birmingham, and it is expanding into the industrial hemp fiber sector.
  • GutChek (Madison) is the first marketplace that enables patients to self-schedule
    colonoscopies without an office visit. It deems itself as the “Calendly for Colonoscopy.”
  • Circool (Birmingham) realizes that today, most schools leave their doors open when
    hosting large events, allowing easy access for potentially unwanted people. Circool
    protects schools, children and staff by validating school entry and child pick-up during
    planned and unplanned events.
  • VirtuOwl (Birmingham) links, facilitates and hosts learning sessions between a school’s
    population of students and certified counselors and educators – all on its online platform.

Alabama Launchpad, established in 2006, bills itself as the state’s most active, early-stage seed fund investor, driving innovation and job growth through startup competitions and ongoing mentoring for Alabama entrepreneurs.

Alabama Launchpad is supported by Innovate Alabama, the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, the Alabama Department of Commerce, Truist, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Caring Foundation, Wells Fargo, Alabama Power Foundation and the Daniel Corporation Foundation.

It is the state’s longest running business plan and pitch competition. For information, visit www.alabamalaunchpad.com, www.innovatealabama.org and www.edpa.org.

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