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Innovate Alabama taps Huntsville business owner as founding CEO

Innovate Alabama has named Huntsville businesswoman and Alabama A&M alum Cynthia Crutchfield as its first founding CEO.

Crutchfield, a Montgomery native, brings 40 years of experience to the position of helping innovators grow roots across the state.

“Throughout my career, I have witnessed startups with incredible potential struggle to find success, not because their idea was not strong enough, but because they did not have access to the capital and resources necessary to build a business,” said Crutchfield. “Innovate Alabama’s mission is to solve this exact problem.

“With a passion for entrepreneurship, supporting underrepresented communities and bettering our state, I am honored to lead the organization as we work to foster an innovation ecosystem to compete in the 21st century economy.”

Crutchfield is chief operating officer of The Crutchfield Company, a Huntsville real estate investment business that provides affordable housing to underprivileged families, veterans and college students.

The addition of a new CEO marks the next chapter in Innovate Alabama’s impact and growth, according to Gov. Kay Ivey.

“When it comes to innovation, Alabama offers something that other states do not – a home where the culture of entrepreneurship is not transient, where movers and shakers put down roots,” Ivey said. “With the induction of Cynthia Crutchfield as the founding CEO, I am confident Innovate Alabama will continue to reach new heights to cultivate our state’s economy of the future.”

Crutchfield received her undergraduate degree in computer science from Alabama A&M University was a civil servant for the Air Force and Navy for 18 years. She also founded Crutchfield Management Consulting in 2021; it is an IT services and consulting company.

“Since 2020, we have seen Innovate Alabama evolve to meet the needs of the statewide innovation ecosystem – from developing state policy recommendations as the commission to creating the infrastructure to execute these recommendations through new legislation,” said Innovate Alabama Bill Poole. “Now, we are excited to enter another chapter of our growth.”

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