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HudsonAlpha gains Innovate Alabama Network designation, grants for entrepreneurs

HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology has earned the Innovate Alabama Network designation and was awarded funding for two key initiatives to strengthen entrepreneurs across the state.

The designation connects HudsonAlpha to a network of other designated communities, nonprofits, and higher education institutions across the state and funding to further shape and expand Alabama’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The designation and accompanying funding will enable the Institute to assist entrepreneurs and small businesses in and around its biotech ecosystem. It will fund supportive programs for innovators commercializing novel technologies and strengthen Alabama’s biotech ecosystem.

In addition to the Innovate Alabama Network designation, HudsonAlpha was also awarded a $250,000 grant to build out two collaborative spaces across the state. The Innovate Alabama grant will fund a shared lab on the HudsonAlpha Biotech Campus in Huntsville to support startups and entrepreneurs with small research and development operations and minimal capital.

The grant will also fund a maker’s space in the Izell Reese Community Center at the former Grandview School in Dothan. This is a collaboration through HudsonAlpha Wiregrass to provide space and resources for small businesses and innovators to realize their ideas and develop new technologies.

“We are immensely grateful for Innovate Alabama driving entrepreneurship and innovation in Alabama,” said Carter Wells, HudsonAlpha’s vice president for economic development. “It’s an honor to be a part of the ‘Innovate Alabama Network,’ and we will continue collaborating with like-minded, innovative organizations. Creating small, shared labs in Huntsville and Dothan for entrepreneurs and startups to develop ideas lowers a significant barrier to innovation.

“HudsonAlpha is solidly aligned with the goals of Innovate Alabama, and we look forward to strengthening our state’s innovation economy.”

Previously, HudsonAlpha has received Innovate Alabama tax credits for the its AgTech Accelator, and many of the resident associate companies have been awarded funds through the Innovate Alabama Supplemental Grant Award Program. There have been 15 high-growth agriculture technology startups from around the world that have graduated from the AgTech Accelerator through a rigorous selection process from hundreds of applicants. After being selected from over 1,000 applicants, the companies spent 12 weeks networking in Alabama, improving their business plans, honing their pitch, and growing month over month.

Since graduating, those first 15 companies have raised million of dollars in follow-on capital. Lastly, after participating in the AgTech Accelerator, some companies from outside the state chose to move part of their operations to Alabama.

HudsonAlpha will continue the AgTech Accelerator for the next two years and is in the process of recruiting another 20 agtech companies to Alabama. This is happening thanks to the Innovate Alabama Tax Credit Program.

HudsonAlpha is home to over 45 independent resident associate biotech and agtech companies. These companies range in size, scope, and age, benefiting from the Institute’s ecosystem and Innovate Alabama. Several associate companies are winners of Innovate Alabama Supplemental Grant awards.

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