Grow your start-up with Alabama's best accelerators & incubators

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Choosing The Right Accelerator

Start-ups are hard. Choose an accelerator that guides you in the right direction.

Patrick Collison, Founder of Stripe

"I doubt that Stripe would have worked without YC. It's that simple."

Patrick Collison, Founder, Stripe

Chris Lynch, Founder of Atlas Venture

"Accelerators claim they are in it for the long haul — I call bullshit"

Chris Lynch, Founder, Atlas Venture

Raj Aggarwal, Founder of Localytics

"The network we built with Techstars was incredibly valuable during and after the program."

Raj Aggarwal, Founder, Localytics

What truly matters

Do they really value your time?

Mentor quality over quantity

Figuring what’s in it for you

Two-way communication > Interview

Discover your perfect match

No accelerator or incubator is perfect for every start-up. Your business’s context and constraints matter. Identify your perfect match by answering this short questionnaire.

Alabama's Top Accelerators By Neighborhoods

Comparing Accelerators

NameAerial ScoreStandard DealAddress#Investments#ExitsDetails
Techstars Alabama EnergyTech Accelerator9.9$120K for 6% equityBirmingham, AL, USA6,002475Learn more
Techstars Alabama Power EnergyTech Accel9.9Alabama, USA13475Learn more
Innovation Depot4.61500 1st Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35203, USA19Learn more
University of Alabama-Birmingham - Institute for innovation and Entrepreneurship4.5$50K710 13th St S, Birmingham, AL 35233, USALearn more
Auburn University - Entrepreneurship & Family Business4.5Edward L. and Catherine K. Lowder Business Building, 405 W Magnolia Ave, Auburn, AL 36849, USALearn more
Deft Dynamics4.53616 5th Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35222, USA21Learn more
DEFT4.4Alabama, USA2Learn more
Innovation Portal3.7358 St Louis St, Mobile, AL 36602, USALearn more
Prosper Health3.4$60K for 6% equityAlabama, USALearn more
MidCity Accelerator Foundation2.15909 University Dr, Huntsville, AL 35806, USALearn more
Auburn Research Park2.1570 Devall Dr, Auburn, AL 36832, USALearn more
Montgomery TechLab2.1150 Dexter Ave, Montgomery, AL 36104, USALearn more

This page covers the top accelerators and incubators in Alabama.

However if geography isn’t a hard constraint, and you are only looking for the best incubators and accelerators across the US, check here.

Brief Overview Of Different Accelerators

1) Techstars Alabama EnergyTech Accelerator

Techstars Alabama EnergyTech Accelerator - Alabama's true entrepreneurial hub

The accelerator, located in Birmingham, Alabama, is a 13-week mentorship-driven program aimed at startups focusing on innovative electrical and utility solutions within the EnergyTech sector. Powered by Alabama Power and supported by the Alabama Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, it offers hands-on mentorship and access to Techstars' global network. The program covers a wide range of domains within the energy vertical, including renewable energy, clean energy, smart grids, and more. The accelerator prioritizes diversity and inclusivity, welcoming founders from various backgrounds worldwide. Startups in Climate Tech, Clean Tech, Energy Efficiency, energy distribution, smart grids, and wind energy are encouraged to apply. Participating companies receive $120K for 6% equity, along with guidance from industry experts and Techstars mentors. Founded by key individuals such as Brad Feld, Chisa Egbelu, Daniel Mason, David Brown, David Cohen, and Jared Polis, the accelerator aims to drive innovation in energy technology and culminates in a Demo Day where startups showcase their progress. Some of the notable alumni start-ups include- EarthABC, Split EV, MaverickIQ.

Techstars Alabama EnergyTech Accelerator's Website
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2) Techstars Alabama Power EnergyTech Accel

Techstars Alabama Power EnergyTech Accel - building Alabama's entrepreneurial future

Techstars Alabama Power EnergyTech Accelerator, as part of the Techstars global platform, specializes in Climate Tech, Clean Tech, and Energy Efficiency, focusing on areas like energy distribution, smart grids, wind energy, and more. The program is set to start in September 2024 in Birmingham, Alabama, and supports startups in renewable energy, clean energy, solar power, wind power, and other energy verticals. The accelerator prides itself on hosting diverse founders worldwide. Founded by Brad Feld, Chisa Egbelu, Daniel Mason, David Brown, David Cohen, and Jared Polis, the 13-week program offers startups mentorship, industry experts, and proximity to a major energy producer to accelerate innovation. Participants benefit from the full Techstars experience and aim to drive energy innovation together, welcoming applicants to join the mission of shaping the future of energy. Interested parties are encouraged to apply now to be part of this dynamic opportunity!

Techstars Alabama Power EnergyTech Accel's Website
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3) Innovation Depot

Innovation Depot - building Alabama's entrepreneurial future

Innovation Depot is the heartbeat of Birmingham's entrepreneurial community, serving as an epicenter for technology, startups, and entrepreneurs in the region. Founded in 1987 through a public-private partnership, this non-profit 501(c)(3) tech accelerator and incubator is located in a 140,000 square foot building that was previously a Sears department store. Till date they have supported 125+ start-ups, and most impressively 77% of their start-ups have survived >6 years. Notable alumni include- Abel Healthcare, Coolbus, LunarLab The accelerator's mission is to incubate and accelerate tech and bio-focused, high-growth businesses by providing teams with a proven blueprint for success, support in strategic areas, and access to an inclusive community. Their programs include Vision ID, a free 7-day online course, and Voltage, a 6-week part-time idea incubator for tech-enabled business ideas. Innovation Depot specializes in technology and bio-related startups, offering resources, mentorship, talent attraction support, press exposure, and funding opportunities. This accelerator is instrumental in nurturing startups, fostering innovation, and contributing to Birmingham's entrepreneurial ecosystem, making it a valuable resource for early-stage companies in the Information Technology and Software fields.

Innovation Depot's Website
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4) University of Alabama-Birmingham - Institute for innovation and Entrepreneurship

University of Alabama-Birmingham - Institute for innovation and Entrepreneurship - accelerating exceptional start-ups in Alabama

The Bill L. Harbert Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (HIIE) at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) serves as a hub for technology commercialization, innovation development, and mentorship for emerging entrepreneurs. Impressively even in a market downturn year like 2023 they were able to engage 680+ investors, and generated >6 Mn $ in licencing revenue. The institute actively translates UAB discoveries and ideas into new products and start-up businesses. It operates within a broad range of domains, including technology transfer, intellectual property, and commercialization, fostering an entrepreneurial community and innovative ecosystem at UAB. This allows faculty, staff, and students to commercialize innovation within the region and beyond. HIIE offers funding opportunities through the Blazer Bridge Fund, providing up to $50,000 for early-stage technologies, and runs the Innovate Fellows Program for graduate students and postdoc fellows. Additionally, the institute has a portfolio of innovative technologies available for licensing. It is a crucial player in translating research into practical applications, fostering entrepreneurship, and supporting the growth of technology-driven ventures at UAB and beyond.

University of Alabama-Birmingham - Institute for innovation and Entrepreneurship's Website
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5) Auburn University - Entrepreneurship & Family Business

Auburn University - Entrepreneurship & Family Business - supporting Alabama's best founders

The Entrepreneurship & Family Business accelerator at Auburn University's Raymond J. Harbert College of Business aims to inspire innovation on a global scale, supporting student and faculty startups through experiential learning opportunities. The New Venture Accelerator, a collaborative co-working space managed by the college and The Auburn Research and Technology Foundation, offers guidance to high-potential startups, aiding in market analysis, investor identification, and pitch strategy development. The Tiger Cage Accelerator and Incubator, a facility within the Auburn Research Park, nurtures student entrepreneurs in launching new ventures. The Auburn University Summer Accelerator, an intensive eight-week program, empowers students with mentorship and resources for business idea development. Participants likely benefit from networking opportunities and exposure to the entrepreneurial ecosystem. While specific metrics are unavailable, the accelerator is committed to fostering innovation and startup support. Alumni include- NanoPrintek, Rodopto, OMNIS.

Auburn University - Entrepreneurship & Family Business's Website
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6) Deft Dynamics

Deft Dynamics - supporting Alabama's best founders

Founded by Austin Gurley and Ross Wesson, Deft Dynamics operates as a Startup Studio focusing on IoT, AI, and Robotics. It specializes in embedded electronics, RTM composites, app development, production design, and acting as a business studio. Their approach involves collaboration between designers, engineers, and business professionals to efficiently create high-quality products. The accelerator offers a world-class prototyping lab where Engineers and Entrepreneurs work together. It has a track record of successfully bringing ideas to life. Clients benefit from in-house developed comprehensive services, showcasing the company's commitment to providing end-to-end solutions. Deft Dynamics combines creativity, expertise, and speed to transform concepts into tangible products. Prominent alumni- ApexPro, Moxie, Gentle Machine

Deft Dynamics's Website
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DEFT - Alabama's true entrepreneurial hub

DEFT, a Summit company, is an award-winning data center service provider of colocation, cloud, and disaster recovery solutions worldwide. The company's accelerator, known as DEFT (Deep Electron FLASH Therapy) Accelerator, is a collaboration between the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudoise (CHUV) and CERN. It aims to develop an accelerator system for FLASH therapy to treat large, deep-seated tumors rapidly using high-energy electrons accelerated with CLIC-developed technology. The first clinical trials are set for 2025. It specializes in FLASH therapy and leverages technology from the CLIC project, emphasizing X-band and high-gradient technology. Founded by Daniel Brosk, Eric Dynowski, and Jordan Lowe, the DEFT accelerator's industries include Robotics, Healthcare Tech, Artificial Intelligence, and General Tech. The facility's goal is to reduce toxicity to healthy tissue while maintaining tumor control by delivering radiation quickly. It draws on simulation tools and hardware from CLIC, combining various components for efficient treatment.

DEFT's Website
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8) Innovation Portal

Innovation Portal - a prominent start-up growth supporter in Alabama

Innovation Portal, a nonprofit incubator and innovation hub, is dedicated to accelerating startup growth in Southwest Alabama and the central Gulf Coast region. The organization serves as a platform that supports companies in scaling up high-impact innovations to create or disrupt markets. The EIC Accelerator, a key program, offers funding ranging from EUR 0.5 million to EUR 17.5 million through two modes of support: EIC Accelerator Open and EIC Accelerator Challenges. With a total budget of EUR 613 million for 2023, the EIC Accelerator Open has no specific topics assigned, while the EIC Accelerator Challenges, with an overall budget of EUR 524.7 million, focuses on specific themes beyond the digital sector. Companies applying to the EIC Accelerator go through a two-step process involving short and full proposals, leveraging Business Acceleration Services such as mentoring and networking. Innovation Portal caters to various domains like technology, healthcare, and sustainability, seeking to foster innovation and entrepreneurship. Notable categories for Innovation Portal include 'Communities' and 'Non Profit'. Prominent donors include- US EDA and Alabama Power.

Innovation Portal's Website
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9) Prosper Health

Prosper Health - Alabama's true entrepreneurial hub

Prosper Health is a nonprofit organization that connects corporate, civic, and community leaders to understand issues and increase economic growth. The organization runs the Prosper HealthTech Accelerator, powered by gener8tor, supporting cutting-edge health technology startups by providing up to $60,000 investment for 6% equity in each of the five companies per 12-week cohort. The accelerator focuses on health technology solutions such as digital health, medical devices, telemedicine, and health informatics. Prosper stands out by nurturing a diverse community around each startup, offering connections to industry leaders, investors, and partners from Redhawk Advisory. Participants benefit from access to gener8tor's global network, aiming to position Birmingham as a hub for health technology innovation. The accelerator is led by a small team of leaders dedicated to fostering collaboration and inclusivity to boost the economy. The industries served by Prosper Health include Healthcare Tech.

Prosper Health's Website
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10) MidCity Accelerator Foundation

MidCity Accelerator Foundation - building Alabama's entrepreneurial future

The MidCity Accelerator Foundation collaborates with global venture firm gener8tor to run the gBETA Huntsville Accelerator, focusing on early-stage companies in Huntsville and surrounding areas. The program offers intensive coaching, access to mentors, customers, partners, and investors to help startups build economically impactful ventures. Each cohort, such as the one in spring 2023 with 10 companies, lasts seven weeks. Since 2021, the program has generated 20 high-tech jobs in Alabama, aiming to make startups venture-backable. Though details on funded startups and specialization domains are not provided, the accelerator ensures startups benefit from valuable networking opportunities. The foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, aids in community investment and local business ecosystem growth, focusing on enhancing the entrepreneurial landscape through gener8tor-funded programs. Industries served include General Tech.

MidCity Accelerator Foundation's Website
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11) Auburn Research Park

Auburn Research Park - building Alabama's entrepreneurial future

The Auburn Research Park accelerator, affiliated with Auburn University, serves as an entrepreneurial ecosystem dedicated to fostering creativity, innovation, and collaboration. Leveraging the university's intellectual property assets, the accelerator focuses on technology-based economic development by facilitating technology transfer, establishing industry partnerships, supporting new business ventures, and attracting knowledge-based companies across industries such as Biotech, Healthcare Tech, General Tech, and Agriculture Tech. Notable success stories include ventures like Lawrence-McInof Probiotic Library, Canine Disease Detection, NanoPrintek, and XO Armor, showcasing the accelerator's support for cutting-edge research and commercialization. The accelerator's New Venture Accelerator within the Research and Innovation Center provides startup guidance and office space, while offering first-class facilities, fostering industry collaborations, and nurturing communities of innovation. Led by a team of resident experts, the accelerator emphasizes business model creation, pricing strategies, and investor pitching to drive the growth and success of startups within its vibrant ecosystem.

Auburn Research Park's Website
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12) Montgomery TechLab

Montgomery TechLab - supporting Alabama's best founders

The Montgomery TechLab Accelerator offers a 12-week industry-agnostic and immersive venture development program designed for early-stage technology-focused startups. Partnering with organizations like the City of Montgomery, Montgomery County, Alabama Power, the Lab on Dexter, MGMWERX, DCODE, and Fearless, it caters to startups in sectors like AgTech, Arts, Defense, Education, FinTech, Food Security, Healthcare, Hospitality/Tourism, Public Safety, and Social Innovation. The program aims to assist startups in improving their attractiveness to government and commercial customers. Applicants must provide detailed information about their company, product, target customers, business model, and more, with experience with the Federal Government and government customers being considered during the selection process. Their efforts are supported by Made in Alabama, BeSpin, TechMGM and more.

Montgomery TechLab's Website
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Top Reasons Start-ups Participate In Accelerators

Rapid learning curve

There’s a reason accelerators are called accelerators. It’s a fast ride.

Accelerator brand power

Like Ivy-League credentials, your start-up’s story benefits from an accelerators’ brand.

Learning about market forces

The market seems fair from a distance. But there are certain patterns to how it operates.

Holistic growth

Marketing, Sales, Tech, Ops, HR, Finance, Admin...... you can’t go wrong in any one field.

Why an accelerator might not be right for you

It's usually helpful to consider potential pitfalls. Some common misconceptions

Correlation isn't causation

What worked for Airbnb might not work for you. If the accelerator playbook was 100% full-proof, they would have been running a start-up and not an accelerator. After all, everyone's chasing a unicorn.

Are you really important for them?

An accelerator or investor can hedge their bets by investing in multiple start-ups, but as a founder your start-up is your only bet.

Only you feel the punch

Everybody has a plan till they get punched in the face. Strategy & accelerators can only guide you to a point. No one else will feel the struggle as you would.

FAQs About Start-up Accelerators

Author Bio

Michael Li

Michael Li

For the last 10+ years Michael has helped start-ups of all scales and sizes succeed. A 2X entrepreneur, he is now working on Aerial to help founders avoid costly mistakes. He regularly writes for publications like the Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, Harvard Business Review and others.

Last updated date 5/30/2024

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Accelerators and Incubators in alabama

Looking for the best accelerators in Alabama? Here are some top reasons to choose an accelerator in the state - access to mentorship, networking opportunities, and resources to help your startup succeed. Alabama boasts a vibrant start-up culture with a growing number of accelerators catering to various industries, making it an ideal environment for budding entrepreneurs. When selecting the right accelerator for your startup, consider factors such as the industry focus of the accelerator, the track record of successful startups they have nurtured, the quality of mentorship and networking opportunities, and the funding opportunities available. This will ensure that you choose an accelerator that aligns with your business goals and needs. Some notable start-ups that have emerged successfully from Alabama include Shipt, a grocery delivery service acquired by Target, and AirMedCare, an air medical transport company. These success stories highlight the immense potential for growth and success that accelerators in Alabama can offer to start-ups in the state. So why wait? Explore the best accelerators in Alabama and kickstart your start-up journey today!

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