Estes Hughes is the Program Manager for Alabama Launchpad, an initiative of the EDPA funding and assisting Alabama entrepreneurs in the early phases of their businesses. She came to the EDPA after years working in the startup ecosystem in Birmingham, first as part of the team that launched the first cohort of the Velocity Accelerator at the Innovation Depot and, later, an employee of Covalence, a coding education startup that graduated from the accelerator.
Estes made her way to Birmingham from Colorado, where she worked for the Aspen Institute on its flagship public program, the Aspen Ideas Festival. She was a program associate, working on coordinating speakers and content for the Ideas Festival, its first-ever Youth Ideas Fest, and other programs, such as the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit.
She graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a degree in journalism in 2012. She is a member of the Junior Board of IMPACT Family Counseling and lives in Avondale with her husband and two dogs.