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Third round of SBIR/STTR funding opened by Innovate Alabama

Innovate Alabama is continuing its push to help fund small businesses throughout the state of Alabama.

The organization announced this week that it will be opening a third round of applications for small businesses seeking funding beginning June 1. The businesses can be awarded up to $250,000.

Innovate Alabama CEO Cynthia Crutchfield said she is happy with the results of the funding program so far.

“We’ve already witnessed incredible results from our first two rounds of supplemental grant funding, and I’m eager to see what impact we can have with this third round,” she said.

Crutchfield was also excited about what the funding can do for the Yellowhammer State in the long run.

“Alabama has a long history of innovation, from the early days of the steel industry to the Saturn V rocket,” she said. “Through this funding, we are excited to build on that history with new, innovative companies growing within our great state, and more coming every day.

“I believe everyone will soon see, as Governor Ivey said in her 2023 State of the State address, ‘There is no place like Sweet Home Alabama!’”

Businesses that received the grant in the previous two rounds have been able to expand and improve their businesses.

AnalyticalAI, a Birmingham-based company, was one of those companies.

“Thanks to the Innovate Alabama Supplemental Grant, we are able to hire more people, bring higher-paying jobs to Birmingham and continue to make a difference in safety,” said Thomas Anthony, co-founder of AnalyticalAI. The company uses artificial intelligence to make air travel safer.

Dr. Michael Chambers, associate vice president for research at the University of South Alabama and Innovate Alabama board member, said the grant program has already had a large effect on small businesses within the state.

“It’s been incredible to see the impact the Innovate Alabama Supplemental Grant Program has already had on so many Alabama businesses. By investing in start-ups with unique technology like these, our state is able to compete on a national and global scale,” said Chambers. “As Innovate Alabama continues to help innovators grow roots right here in Alabama, we hope to continue expanding the grant program’s reach to support more entrepreneurs.”

The application for the third round of funding will open June 1. The portal to submit applications will close at 5 p.m. June 30. Award notifications for the third round of funding begin in early August.

Eligible applicants must have had an active Phase I or Phase II SBIR or STTR grant on July 1, 2021, or later. Phase I recipients are eligible to apply for 50% of their award up to $100,000, and Phase II recipients are eligible to apply for 50% of their award up to $250,000.

Innovate Alabama Supplemental Grant Program awards are non-dilutive, meaning businesses will not have to give up shares of the company to receive funding.

For companies interested in applying for a federal SBIR/STTR grant, Innovate Alabama will co-host a virtual webinar with BIO Alabama on May 23 and 24.

The supplemental grant program was launched in 2022 by Innovate Alabama and so far has given over $7.6 million in supplemental funding to 44 grant recipients in nine Alabama cities.

Austen Shipley is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News.

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