A UAB team has been chosen to advance to the finals of the Alabama Launchpad business plan competition and vie for $175,000 in seed capital. Intellectrode, led by psychology Professor Franklin Amthor, Ph.D., is one of eight teams chosen from a field of more than 40 entries to compete in the final round set April 13-14, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in The University of Alabama Bryant Conference. The competition is open to the public.

Teams will present their business ideas to a panel of judges with experience in venture capital and technology start-ups. These teams are competing for a grand prize of $100,000 cash plus additional in-kind services. Second and third place winners will receive $50,000 and $25,000, respectively.

“This is an alternative form of economic development – encouraging knowledge-based start-ups through the commercialization of Alabama technologies,” said EDPA President James P. Hayes.

Intellectrode is engaged in the development, manufacture and sale of neurotechnology to the research market for neuroscience and pharmaceutical research and development and hopes to expand its products into other markets and applications. The fields of knowledge initially include electrophysiology, electronics and software.

Finalists also include five teams from The University of Alabama and one each from Alabama A&M University and The University of Alabama in Huntsville. Business plans advocated represented ideas in information technology, biotechnology, medical devices, electronics and green technology.

“This group illustrates that the universities in Alabama are involved in cutting-edge programs that have commercial potential across a number of different industry categories,” says Glenn Kinstler, director of Alabama Launchpad.

Alabama Launchpad was formed in 2006 by Economic Development Partnership of Alabama and six universities – the four finalists plus Auburn University and Alabama State University.

Two other teams from UAB made it to the semifinal round:
• FindASpeaker.org – Craig Huggart, student, electrical engineering

• Photonics Innovations – Sergey Mirov, Ph.D., professor, natural science and math.

To learn more, visit www.alabamalaunchpad.com.