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State of Innovation Day brings together top Alabama business, political figures

Innovate Alabama’s State of Innovation Day on Thursday was attended by not only some of the state’s brightest tech entrepreneurs and businesspeople — but also some of Alabama’s most influential leaders.
Former U.S. Secretary of State and Alabama native Condoleezza Rice delivered the keynote ahead of the Alabama Innovation Commission board meeting on Thursday. The Commission, created in 2020 by another attendee of the event, Governor Kay Ivey, is the ruling body of Innovate Alabama.

Dr. Rice joined Innovate Alabama Board Chair Bill Poole for a fireside chat, sponsored by Alabama Power, Protective Life and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, and a reception at the Florentine in downtown Birmingham where Innovate Alabama celebrated a successful year among partners and the entrepreneurs and organizations who have benefitted from Innovate Alabama’s robust portfolio of programs.

“Alabama has the resources for entrepreneurs, investors, and talent to turn their ideas into businesses. We want these people bringing their ideas and businesses to our state, and we are committed to having an environment that advances their success,” said Reed.
“Yesterday, the Board of Directors for Innovate Alabama met in Birmingham. It was incredible learning more about success stories of businesses growing right here in Alabama and hearing from Dr. Condoleezza Rice about what we can all do to continue making Alabama a hub for innovation.”
Condoleezza Rice, a native of Birmingham, said the commission’s current efforts will pay dividends going into the future.

“Alabama’s Innovation Commission is doing important work to develop forward-thinking ideas and policies that will inspire the next generation of innovators,” said Rice. “To see my home state come together to think about entrepreneurship and innovation is exciting.”
Innovate Alabama is Alabama’s first statewide public-private partnership focused on entrepreneurship, technology and innovation with a mission to help innovators grow roots in Alabama.
Innovate Alabama has created a supplemental grant program that has already awarded $10 million dollars to fifty small business across the country. It allows businesses to improve by giving them access to funding they may not otherwise have. In the last year alone, the organization has reportedly created around 200 jobs.
Austen Shipley is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News.

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