Techstars, Alabama Power and state leaders team up to attract energy start-ups to Birmingham

Photo courtesy of Techstars

This is a big deal Birmingham.

On Wednesday, state business leaders, Alabama Power and Techstars, a worldwide network that helps connect entrepreneurs to investors, mentors, community leaders, and corporations to grow their companies announced the formation of the Techstars Alabama EnergyTech Accelerator.

Their objective? Attract leading-edge energy startups from around the world to Birmingham.


The new accelerator will focus on innovations in energy technology and will be supported by the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama (EDPA) and the Alabama Department of Commerce.

EDPA’s Headquarters at 1320 1st Avenue South. Photo by Jon Eastwood for Bham Now

According to an Alabama Power news release,  the Techstars Alabama EnergyTech Accelerator will attract startups that are building technologies and business models to enhance the future of energy. Focus areas will include smart cities, the “internet of things,” industrial electrification, connectivity and electric transportation.

How the Techstars Alabama EnergyTech Accelerator will work

Photo courtesy of Techstars

A three month intensive program, through its corporate accelerators, the Colorado-based Techstars develops partnerships with corporations to add industry expertise through mentorships, business development opportunities and access to resources.


Alabama Power is Techstars’ first electric utility partner.

Birmingham Alabama, Birmingham Innovation Week 2018, Alabama Power Smart Cities
Alabama Power Headquarters. Photo by Bham Now

The first class is planned for 2020. Each class of the annual mentorship-driven accelerator will run for 13 weeks and accept 10 startups.

Throughout the program, startups will receive seed investment, mentorship through Techstars’ worldwide network of business leaders, and business coaching through the program’s educational components. At the end of the 90 days, the program will culminate in Demo Day, a public pitch event.


Bham Now Imerge
Techstars will hold public pitch events most likely similar to Imerge.  Photo courtesy of EDPA

“This partnership with Techstars is an exciting opportunity that supports our commitment to find better ways to serve our customers and elevate the state,” said Alabama Power CEO Mark Crosswhite. “With a world-class accelerator program, the Techstars Alabama EnergyTech Accelerator will be an important catalyst for Alabama to continue strengthening its reputation as a growth center for technology and energy innovation.”

The Techstars Alabama EnergyTech Accelerator will source applicants from around the world for the three-month intensive program. Techstars accelerator portfolio includes more than 1,900 companies with a market cap of $23 billion.

Photo courtesy of Techstars

“We’re thrilled to launch our first accelerator in Alabama in partnership with Alabama Power, with support from the EDPA and Department of Commerce. This accelerator program will combine these organizations’ dedication to economic development and electrical and utility innovation with our expertise and global network reach,” said Keith Camhi, Techstars senior vice president of Accelerators.

In addition to the state agencies and Alabama Power, numerous organizations and companies throughout the state, including Altec and PowerSouth, were involved in the recruitment of Techstars. These supporters will have a key role in the accelerator process, with the common goal of growing the number of startup companies based in Alabama.

Want to be part of the class of 2020?

Learn how to apply for the Alabama EnergyTech Accelerator program at: https://www.techstars.com/programs/alabama-energytech-program/


 

Author: Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.