Birmingham, AL — Fresh off the heels of Birmingham’s annual Innovation Week, the city is making news for its burgeoning startup scene. Auto racing software startup APEX Pro took home the $100K seed prize, as well as the $1,000 audience choice award, at EDPA’s Alabama Launchpad imerge 2018 startup competition.
DEFT is a venture studio,a business that builds startups by bringing together engineers, entrepreneurs and venture capital under one roof. Wesson and his business partner Austin Gurley run DEFT with the idea of inventing products, spinning them off into separate companies, and then funneling profits back into new product and company creation.
Gurley and Wesson, both 27, grew up together until they left for college, Wesson to study finance at the University of Alabama, and Gurley to study engineering at Auburn University. After college, Gurley got his master’s and PhD, and Wesson worked on Wall Street.
Based out of the DEFT Venture Studio in downtown Birmingham, APEX Pro uses an innovative machine-learning technology (invented by Alabama native Austin Gurley, PhD) to make logging data an enhancement to drivers’ experience at the track, and NOT a time consuming, complicated process. “DEFT is excited to have been a part of building APEX Pro from day one,” stated Ross Wesson, who partnered with Austin Gurley to found DEFT’s Venture Studio. “This win by APEX Pro reinforces Birmingham’s national reputation as an ideal city to found world-class startups.”
$1 BILLION REASONS
Smith was part of a panel discussion – “$1 Billion Reasons to Believe in Alabama” – so named because the companies that were a part of it represented more than $1 billion in recent transactions. Also part of the panel were Shegun Otulana, founder and CEO of Theranest, and Chad Trull of Hospicelink.
Birmingham auto racing software developer Apex Pro won $100,000 in the seed category of the startup competition, as well as the $1,000 audience choice award.
APEX Pro, a Birmingham startup company that developed software for auto racers to track and monitor their performance, was the big winner in the EDPA’s annual Alabama Launchpad pitch competition. The company landed both the $100,000 top prize in the seed category, and the $1,000 audience choice award, voted by an online survey.