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Helping Innovators Grow Roots

May 31, 2024

Innovate Alabama awards nearly $8 million to new and existing designees of the Innovate Alabama Network 

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BIRMINGHAM, AL (May 31, 2024) – Innovate Alabama has announced the second round of designees of the Innovate Alabama Network, a comprehensive resource to connect communities, nonprofits and higher education institutions across Alabama fostering innovation in their local footprint. Sixty-two designees make up the newest group, bringing the total to 113 Innovate Alabama Network designees. New and existing designees are receiving nearly $8 million in supporting funds through designation awards and project grants from Innovate Alabama. 

“Through the Innovate Alabama Network, we’re focused on developing a statewide network for innovation programming and catalyzing entrepreneurship in all of our communities, large and small,” said Cynthia Crutchfield, CEO of Innovate Alabama. “The program has become extremely competitive in this second round, with record-breaking engagement. As we continue to expand the Innovate Alabama Network, we’re eager to build on this momentum and create more resources that help foster connections among the designees.” 

In this application round, 24 nonprofit entities, 32 communities and municipalities and six colleges and universities received an Innovate Alabama Network Designation. This round’s funding request exceeded $42 million with approximately $7 million in project-specific funding and $1 million in general awards for new designees. The substantial amount requested underscores the program’s escalating competitiveness. 

Innovate Alabama is fueling the state’s entrepreneurial landscape by backing key organizations, both rural and urban, that shape it. Through investments that spark innovation, foster statewide collaboration and offer crucial seed funding, these organizations will ignite innovation at both a community and regional level.  
 
The program’s designees, past and present, are not only contributing to the success of their local communities, but also helping set the foundation for future growth and innovation across Alabama. 

“The Innovate Alabama Network’s support has transformed Trenholm State Community College’s electric vehicle training program by expanding access to classes and acquiring vital equipment, all of which has equipped our students with essential skills for this emerging industry,” said Dr. Kemba Chambers, president of Trenholm State Community College and first round Innovate Alabama Network designee. “The program’s emphasis on cross-collaboration with innovation-focused organizations across the state has truly enriched our network. Innovate Alabama’s dedication to innovation in education is evident, and we’re deeply thankful for the opportunities it creates.” 

To learn more about the Innovate Alabama Network, please visit https://innovatealabama.org/programs/innovate-alabama-network/.  

Innovate Alabama Network Designations for Round 2 (*notations made for entities who also received project grants): 

  • Alabama Capital Network 
  • Athens State University 
  • Breakthrough Birmingham* 
  • Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce Foundation 
  • CHOICE Uniontown 
  • Circle Cares* 
  • City of Albertville* 
  • City of Andalusia* 
  • City of Attalla* 
  • City of Center Point* 
  • City of Chelsea* 
  • City of Clay* 
  • City of Collinsville 
  • City of Crossville* 
  • City of Enterprise* 
  • City of Evergreen* 
  • City of Florence* 
  • City of Gadsden 
  • City of Glencoe 
  • City of Graysville* 
  • City of Guntersville* 
  • City of Hueytown* 
  • City of Irondale* 
  • City of Leeds* 
  • City of Lincoln* 
  • City of Montgomery* 
  • City of Roanoke* 
  • City of Uniontown* 
  • City of Vestavia Hills 
  • City of Westover* 
  • Create Birmingham 
  • Endeavor 
  • Freshwater Land Trust* 
  • HudsonAlpha* 
  • Huntsville Madison County Chamber of Commerce Foundation 
  • Huntsville Metro Black Chamber of Commerce 
  • Industrial Development Foundation of Tuscaloosa County 
  • Jasper Main Street 
  • Lakeshore Foundation 
  • Lawson State Community College 
  • Miles College* 
  • Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Inc. 
  • Mobile County 
  • Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation* 
  • Montgomery County* 
  • Northwest Alabama EDA* 
  • Red Mountain Park* 
  • Shoals Area Chamber Foundation 
  • Shoals Business Incubator 
  • Sylacauga Alliance for Family Enhancement, Inc 
  • Talladega Main Street 
  • TechBirmingham Foundation 
  • The Catalyst Center for Business & Entrepreneurship 
  • Town of Altoona* 
  • Town of Fyffe* 
  • Town of Shorter 
  • Town of Sylvania* 
  • Town of White Hall 
  • Tuscaloosa County* 
  • Tuskegee University 
  • University of Alabama in Huntsville* 
  • University of West Alabama 

An additional group of entities who were Round 1 designees also received Round 2 project grants: 

  • City of Dothan  
  • City of Marion 
  • City of Pinson  
  • City of Talladega 
  • EDPA Foundation  
  • Innovation Portal  
  • Prosper Foundation  
  • Southern Research  
  • The Alabama Collective  

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About Innovate Alabama  

Innovate Alabama is Alabama’s first statewide public-private partnership focused on entrepreneurship, technology and innovation with a mission to help innovators grow roots here in Alabama. Innovate Alabama was established to implement the initiatives and recommendations set forth in the Alabama Innovation Commission’s report, including smart policy solutions that will create a more resilient, inclusive and robust economy to remain competitive in a 21st-century world. With founding CEO Cynthia Crutchfield leading the charge, Innovate Alabama is also made up of a board of 11 innovation leaders appointed by Gov. Ivey, collaborating across sectors to advance industries, drive technology and facilitate an environment where innovation and entrepreneurship thrive. Learn more about Innovate Alabama at www.innovatealabama.org


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