After oil: Looking for Alaska 2.0

Heather Kelly
Heather Kelly, born and raised in Bird Creek, founded Heather’s Choice, a company that provides food for adventurers. This is one of the five companies chosen for the Launch : Alaska accelerator this summer. (Photo courtesy of Heather’s Choice)

We know Alaska will diversify over time, and entrepreneurs are stepping up now to get that ball rolling.

Launch : Alaska is an Alaska non-profit business accelerator for start-ups. It got going last September with a board of local and regional angel investors and business experts. Its goal: Build a world-class business accelerator in the north. The mission? Help founders build companies and raise the bar for entrepreneurship throughout Alaska.

Just last week—May 17—it named its first cohort of five budding companies that will get the accelerator treatment this summer. Each start-up won $25,000 and three months of on-site-in-Alaska mentoring in exchange for 6 percent of their company. Launch : Alaska lists a mentorship team of 40 on its website, with skills in technology, marketing, start-up survival—you name it.

On this week’s Hometown Alaska, we’ll meet the managing director of Launch : Alaska, Lance Ahern, learn about all five companies, and meet one or two of the start-up founders.

The five start-ups entering the summer accelerator are:

  • Aquilo provides drone flight operational services, training and consulting.
  • Eiden Innovators creates devices and integrated services for the Internet of Things.
  • Heather’s Choice offers healthy meals and snacks for outdoor adventurers.
  • Kwema produces smart jewelry that enhances personal safety.
  • Roborzoid develops a voice assistance platform and devices.

What does Alaska’s future look like? Join us as we take a look. Your questions and comments are always welcome!





  • Lance Ahern, managing director for Launch : Alaska
  • Heather Kelly, founder, Heather’s Choice
  • Carl France, founder, Aquilo



Call 550-8433 (Anchorage) or 1-888-353-5752  (statewide) during the live broadcast (2:00 – 3:00pm)

  • Send email to before, during or after the live broadcast (e-mails may be read on air)
  • Post your comment or question below (comments may be read on air)

LIVE BROADCAST: Wednesday, May 25, 2016, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. (Alaska time)

REPEAT BROADCAST: Wednesday, May 25, 2016, 8:00 – 9:00 p.m. (Alaska time)

SUBSCRIBE: Get Hometown, Alaska updates automatically — via emailRSS or podcasts.