Croux and House Plant Collective, two startup companies, took home top prizes in the Alabama Launchpad Cycle 1 2022 Finale.
Croux won the $25,000 concept-stage competition, and House Plant Collective earned the $50,000 seed-stage top prize at the competition held at the Innovation Portal of Mobile Thursday night.
“The Alabama Launchpad prize money is game-changing,” said Jennifer Ryan, co-founder of Croux, which helps restaurant owners connect with talent looking for employment opportunities. “It allows us to accelerate the growth and to launch in Birmingham, our flagship market. The World Games are coming to Birmingham, where there are terribly under-staffed restaurants, bars, hotels and event venues that are in desperate need of people.”
That talent is seeking “flexible work opportunities,” Ryan said. “We are bringing the two worlds together, ahead of a really big event in Birmingham. The funds allow us to do that faster, more thoughtfully and build the platform as tightly as we can.”
House Plant Collective is focused on connecting a community of plant enthusiasts and providing consumer information about plants. It is based in Birmingham but has operations in Tuscaloosa, too.
Alabama Launchpad, a program of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, has funded 108 startups since its inception in 2006. Companies coming out of the Launchpad program include Blox, Gene Capture and Acclinate Genetics.