September Innovation Conference Set to Connect Great Ideas

If you’re thinking about starting a business or even expanding one, attending the Alabama Launchpad Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference next month won’t be a waste of your valuable time. The worthwhile conference is scheduled Sept. 25-26 in Birmingham.

Alabama Launchpad is a program of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama Foundation, a public-private partnership consisting of universities and business and economic development groups. The Alabama Launchpad conference is for new ventures and for existing businesses that want to expand.

Event organizers said the conference will be the state’s largest gathering of entrepreneurs, startups, innovative companies, and university leaders. Alabama Launchpad provides a way for individuals to network with experts, investors, and service providers, share ideas, to obtain startup capital, and trade business cards with business, academic, and investment experts.

Governor Robert Bentley is scheduled to address conference participants at 11 a.m. Sept. 26 prior to the luncheon scheduled for the Birmingham-Jefferson County Convention Complex’s east ballroom.

The Innovation Conference’s keynote speaker will be Peter Diamandis, Chairman and CEO of the X PRIZE Foundation. The foundation sponsors the $10 million Ansari X PRIZE for private spaceflight and the $10 million Progressive Automotive X PRIZE for development of 100-mpg-equivalent cars.

Business Council of Alabama Chairman Fred McCallum, president of AT&T Alabama, will be a panelist Sept. 26 during a CEO panel discussion with Diamandis. “If you want to make valuable contacts, learn from proven leaders, and even meet powerful mentors, this conference promises to be a valuable tool in a business’s toolbox,” said BCA President and CEO William Canary.

The conference begins at 9 a.m. with the Alabama Launchpad Startup Competition Finale. The Innovations Awards reception is scheduled at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 25 and the conference dinner is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m., at the WorkPlay Theater in Birmingham.

Innovation Awards will be announced after the dinner. The Innovation Conference continues Sept. 26 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the BJCC.

For information or to register, click go to

-Dana Beyerle