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Top 5 move on to finals in Shoals Alabama Launchpad competition

FLORENCE, Ala. – Eight teams began Thursday morning in the Shoals competing for $100,000. The teams are made up of entrepreneurs who are trying to develop a new business.

010517-ld-launchpad-semi_finals-5pm-pkg3Six minutes, that’s all the time teams had to impress judges. Contestants pitched products they have developed and want to get to market.

It’s a big deal for Shoals entrepreneurs to get this far.

“The teams that are here, we really had to survive,” explained Alchemy founder Ashley Morrow. “Normally with a pitch competition like this you don’t have 500 people sign-up because it’s hard. It is really hard.”

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Ashley Morrow gives her pitch during the Shoals Alabama Launchpad competition.

Morrow is one of the eight contestants making a pitch. She began developing Alchemy in 2009 and got serious about retailing it in 2013. It’s a spray-on sealer which protects the skin from becoming irritated by jewelry.

A portion of the $100,000 prize would go a long way to helping Morrow get Alchemy to a large-scale market.

“You don’t have an investor or a new partner or a payment schedule that you have to pay this back, its grant money,” Morrow said.

Shoals Alabama Launchpad is the first regional site for Alabama Launchpad. The program helps high growth companies start and stay in Alabama.

The winning contestant will have to establish a headquarters in the Shoals and stay for a minimum of five years.

The five teams who made it to the finals on February 21st are listed below.

Alchemy is a jewelry sealer that protects your skin from discoloration and irritation and protects your jewelry from tarnishing.

LUXE-BRAND represents luxury leather shoelaces at their most refined, with an enduring dedication to unrivaled craftsmanship.

Sycamore Physician Contracting is an open marketplace for physicians and contract groups.

Southern Swaddle makes innovative infant products that lower the infant mortality rate.

nSide offers the world’s first fully collaborative, building interior, and campus visualization solution.