TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – A partnership with an organization that supports startups in the area of energy technology will advance The University of Alabama’s educational and research mission.
In an agreement with the Techstars Alabama EnergyTech Accelerator, UA students will have access to unique opportunities to engage with startups to broaden their own skillsets and help improve Alabama’s economy.
Students will be given the opportunity to intern with participating startups in the accelerator, learning how to build a company in the dynamic energy sector. The accelerator will provide hands-on learning experiences around energy, technology, entrepreneurship, and research opportunities for students and faculty. Pending COVID-19 conditions, there are also plans for students to visit the accelerator and participate in other networking events affiliated with the program.
“This partnership with Alabama Power and Techstars demonstrates our efforts to provide innovative, entrepreneurial, research-oriented and student-centric opportunities,” said Dan Blakley, associate vice president for economic and business engagement. “This public-private partnership is a great example of our focus on statewide workforce development, job creation and technology transfer that create opportunities for our students to remain in state and succeed after graduation.”
With Alabama Power Company as the founding partner, the Techstars Alabama EnergyTech Accelerator identifies and evaluates high-potential startups addressing industry problems with solutions to better serve customers and local communities. The accelerator invests in early-stage companies with a technology or business model relevant to the energy industry.
In addition to UA and Alabama Power, the Techstars Alabama EnergyTech Accelerator is supported by the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, the Alabama Department of Commerce, Altec and PowerSouth. These supporters play a key role in the accelerator and share the common goal of growing the number of startup companies based in Alabama.
The accelerator recently announced its inaugural class of 10 startups selected to participate in the 2020 program, which launched an intensive 13-week endeavor on Sept. 8. Companies from seven states make up the class, three of which already call Birmingham home.
At UA, the accelerator’s companies will work with faculty, the UA Career Center, The EDGE and EDGE Labs, and other relevant UA units to provide experiential entrepreneurship and learning opportunities for students. As part of the partnership, students will also have the chance to participate in the accelerator’s Demo Day, scheduled for December.
The partnership will also explore ways to engage faculty and students in six core technology emphasis areas of the program, including: battery storage and charging; electric vehicles; cybersecurity; smart homes and businesses; renewable energy; and connectivity.
The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.