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U of Alabama at Birmingham launches $500,000 seed fund for start-ups


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: November 7th, 2018

A new fund will help researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) commercialize their innovations through start-up companies.

Launched by the Bill L. Harbert Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UAB, the $500,000 Innovation Fund will accept applications from researchers whose work has demonstrated commercial potential. Each applicant may receive up to $35,000 for further technology development such as prototyping, software coding, and market validation.

“The Innovation Fund builds on the university’s research, innovation and economic development strategic mission pillar,” says UAB president Ray L. Watts. “Our local innovation ecosystem is more promising than ever, and this program provides another way UAB research can continue to support the Birmingham start-up pipeline.”

An advisory board of local community stakeholders has been established to evaluate applicants and oversee distribution of the Innovation Fund awards. UAB hopes that over time the fund will grow beyond its initial $500,000 through reinvestment of future revenue from portfolio sales and fundraising.

“This is an exciting time for Birmingham’s growing entrepreneurial ecosystem,” says James W. Childs, partner at Maynard Cooper & Gale and chair of the Innovation Fund’s advisory board. “UAB plays a lead role in fostering innovation and entrepreneurship that works within the framework of the city. The launch of this innovation fund will help leverage UAB’s tremendous research engine to create new companies that will grow Birmingham and its economy.”

Source: UAB News

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