Montgomery TechLab (MTL) last week hosted a demo day for its inaugural accelerator cohort of 10 tech startups. An engaged audience of potential investors, stakeholders and technology professionals from across Alabama attended in person and virtually to see the businesses and solutions that have been developed over the past 12 weeks through MTL.
MTL, a non-profit, was created through a public/private partnership between the city, county, local economic development partners, IT companies and the Maxwell-Gunter Community. The inaugural tech accelerator cohort featured startups from around the nation.
Through this new program, MTL provides startups unique access to experts across government, industry and education to accelerate growth and economic development across the River Region. These opportunities include connecting startups with local talent and building relationships with potential customers in the federal, state and local government and commercial sectors desiring to better position themselves to compete in the digital economy.
“The accelerator program highlighted the incredible potential for tech startups to engage with local partners. It is clear that Montgomery has the resources and the vision to build a strong tech ecosystem that will drive growth in the region,” stated Montgomery TechLab founder Marcus Shaw.
TechMGM, the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce’s technology initiative, coordinated a full day of events around the demo and invited state-wide business and government leaders to Montgomery’s tech and innovation district to connect, engage and learn about the area’s initiatives, partnerships and potential.
“The completion of the first cohort of the Montgomery TechLab marks major step for our tech and innovation community,” said Anna Buckalew, Montgomery Chamber CEO. “Montgomery TechLab, combined with our unique infrastructure and resources and powerful economic development partnerships positions Montgomery as a tech hub and incubator for tech startups.”
The MTL accelerator program is part of Alabama’s bold strategic effort to advance economic growth through innovation, technology and entrepreneurship.
For example, one of the successes of MTL’s first cohort included the partnership between Riis Technology and Alabama State University that was recently awarded a $1.5 million Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant to develop a medical records management solution for a Texas military installation.
The Riis/ASU success story coming out of Montgomery’s innovation ecosystem is a tremendous example of how these collaborations between private and public entities can result in employment and opportunity for local communities in every corner of Alabama.
If HBs 540 and 609 were currently enacted and in effect, the STTR grant awarded to Riis/ASU could have been matched with a $750,000 Innovate Alabama Matching Grant if certain conditions were met that include the company physically locating and creating jobs in the Yellowhammer State.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn