Launch : Alaska Begins: Startups Arrive, Investors Announced
Intensive 13-week program
Anchorage, AK – The state’s first startup accelerator, Launch : Alaska, kicks off tomorrow, June 1, 2016 with the arrival of participating teams in Anchorage. Aquilo and Eiden Innovators from Fairbanks, Roborzoid from Pittsburgh, and Kwema from Santiago, Chile will join Anchorage-based Heather’s Choice for the intensive, three month long residential program. Companies in this first cohort are receiving mentorship, business training and $25,000 of investment in order to take their company as far as they can in the 13-week Anchorage program.
Investors placing capital into the five companies through the Launch Alaska Fund include Alaska Growth Capital, Cook Inlet Region, Inc. and a group of individual angel investors affiliated with the state’s angel investors network. Also investing is the Alaska Accelerator Fund, a seed capital fund created by individual community investors and the Municipality of Anchorage’s 49th State Angel Fund. Ongoing investment in new local startups is an essential component of achieving a stronger, more diversified economy, and the Launch : Alaska program will help companies prepare to receive investment.
Joe Morrison, Launch : Alaska Board President, says “We’re thankful to be supported by forward-thinking investors who recognize the importance of a more robust private sector in the state. This program is great; it’s showing Alaskans can come together and try new things affordably to shape our economic environment, planting small seeds for a more diversified economic future.”
The accelerator program culminates in “Demo Day,” an event held at the Bear Tooth Theatre Pub, on August 25th with startups pitching their companies to investors and the public to secure additional financing. While more than 300 startup accelerators exist across the United States, this is Alaska’s first such program and first cohort. Another cohort is expected to be selected for a 2017 program.
About Launch: Alaska
Launch: Alaska is a grassroots initiative to create a world-class startup accelerator in Alaska. The program mixes two entities: A nonprofit business accelerator that focuses on delivering “experience-based” entrepreneurial education, and an underlying investment fund. Additional information can be found by visiting www.launchalaska.com The Launch Alaska nonprofit has been supported by an SBA Grant, the Small Business Development Center, The Boardroom and volunteers committed to building Alaska’s future economy. The Launch Alaska Fund is now fully funded for this cohort. The nonprofit organization is continuing to solicit funds to grow and sustain its programs. Contact Lance Ahern for more information.