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  • Writer's pictureHBCU CARES

‘Innovate Alabama Network’ entities receive $9.3M to support local opportunities

By Mary Sell via Alabama Daily News lFifty-one communities, colleges and nonprofit groups recently received funding totaling $9.3 million from Innovate Alabama, the state’s relatively new public-private economic development organization aiming to support local entrepreneurs and innovators.

The awardees are inaugural members of the Innovate Alabama Network, meant to support and create economic growth in their local areas by increasing innovation-related activities and providing access to seed funding.

“The Innovate Alabama Network is a major step forward to growing the entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem in Alabama,” said Innovate Alabama CEO Cynthia Crutchfield. “By providing funding and resources to our local communities, nonprofits and higher education institutions, we are developing a statewide network for innovation programming and catalyzing entrepreneurship in all of our communities, both rural and urban.”

The Alabama Innovation Corporation received $25 million in both the 2023 and 2024 education budgets. Entities can receive up to $250,000 for the network designation and can also apply for additional grant money.

“I’m encouraged and energized to see the overwhelming response to the Innovate Alabama Network,” said Innovate Alabama Board Chairman and Alabama State Director of Finance Bill Poole. “We have a diverse ecosystem for innovation in Alabama, so to bring all of these partners together in one place to partner and collaborate together on moving our state forward is a move in the right direction for Alabama.”

Applications for the second round of Innovate Alabama Network designees are open through Jan. 5. Any interested Alabama community, nonprofit or higher education institution can learn more here.

First-round designees include 30 nonprofits, 11 communities and municipalities and 10 colleges and universities.


  • City of Auburn

  • City of Bessemer

  • City of Dothan

  • City of Henagar

  • City of Hoover

  • City of Marion

  • City of Mobile

  • City of Pinson

  • City of Talladega

  • Shelby County

  • Town of Pike Road

Nonprofit entities: 

  • AL AI Center

  • Alabama Trails Foundation

  • Baldwin County Community and Economic Development Foundation

  • BioAlabama

  • Birmingham Bound

  • Birmingham Business Alliance

  • Bronze Valley Foundation

  • Cordova Economic Industrial Development Authority

  • Ed Farm

  • Economic Development Partnership of Alabama

  • Hardware Park

  • HBCU Cares

  • Higher Education Partnership

  • Innovation Depot

  • Innovation Portal

  • Main Street Marion

  • McWane Science Center

  • Montgomery Tech Lab

  • Prosper Foundation

  • QIE Foundation

  • REV Birmingham

  • Singing River Trail

  • Southern Research

  • Teach2Lead

  • The Alabama Collective

  • The Arc of Madison County

  • The E-Center

  • The Overton Project

  • United Way of Southwest Alabama

  • Venture for America

Higher Education Institutions: 

  • Alabama A&M University

  • Alabama State University

  • Auburn Lowder Center for Family and Entrepreneurship

  • Drake State Community and Technical College

  • Talladega College

  • Trenholm State University

  • Troy University

  • University of Alabama

  • University of Alabama at Birmingham

  • University of South Alabama

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