Innovate Alabama Opens Second Round of Grant Funding to Benefit Local Entrepreneurs

Innovate Alabama will open applications for the second round of the Innovate Alabama Supplemental Grant Program on Tuesday, January 17th. Alabama recipients who receive Phase I and Phase II Federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants are eligible to apply for up to $250,000 in additional funding.

The program supports Alabama entrepreneurs and innovators, particularly underrepresented groups such as women, minorities and rural founders. In addition, the disbursement of funds will advance Alabama’s economy by driving research and commercialization, developing exportable products and services, and promoting high-paying employment opportunities.

“Alabamians have always been innovators – from cutting edge agricultural techniques and developing windshield wipers to inventing the first wearable electric hearing aids and the Saturn V rocket that took humans to the moon,” said Cynthia Crutchfield, CEO of Innovate Alabama. “At Innovate Alabama, we are dedicated to continuing to advance the rich history of innovation in Alabama by providing entrepreneurs with the capital and resources needed to thrive in business and life here in to care for Alabama.”

In July 2022, Innovate Alabama launched the first Innovate Alabama Supplemental Grant Program, which awarded over $4.5 million in additional funding to 30 grantees in six Alabama cities to help grow their small businesses. Following a successful first round of funding, the organization looks forward to helping more innovators gain a foothold in Alabama in 2023 and beyond.

“Thanks to the Innovate Alabama Supplemental Grant, our team has had the opportunity to invest in resources that contribute to the growth of our company and the state’s collaborative and expanding entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Dr. Karim Budhwani, CEO and Co-Founder of CerFlux, and First Round Grantee. “We are honored to receive this funding and grateful for Innovate Alabama’s leadership in fostering innovation within the state while maintaining a focus on supporting higher-risk, but higher-reward and broader-impact ventures like CerFlux, aimed at driving innovation of new knowledge to address some of the most intractable challenges facing humanity.”

Eligible applicants must have received an active Phase I or Phase II SBIR or STTR grant on or after July 1, 2021. Phase I recipients can claim up to 50 percent of their award

$100,000 and Phase II recipients are eligible to claim 50 percent of their award up to $250,000. The Innovate Alabama Supplemental Grant Program awards are non-dilutive, meaning companies receive the money without giving up stock in their company.

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“It was incredible to see the impact the first round of funding had on so many companies in Alabama. By investing in startups with unique technologies like these, our state is able to compete nationally and globally,” said Rep. Danny Garrett, Innovate Alabama Board Member. “As Innovate Alabama continues to help innovators put down roots here in Alabama, we hope to continue to expand the reach of the grant program to support more local entrepreneurs.”

The application for the first round of funding opens on Tuesday, January 17th. Applicants are urgently requested to apply by February 17, 2023, 5:00 p.m. The award notices for the second round of funding begin in March.

Later this year, Innovate Alabama plans to submit applications for the third round of grant funding.

To learn more and to apply, visit innovatealabama.org/programs.

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