The Alabama Power Company announced last week that it has partnered with the University of Alabama and Techstars on the Alabama EnergyTech Accelerator.
The EnergyTech accelerator organization will support startups in energy technology and advance the University of Alabama’s educational and research mission.
“This partnership with Alabama Power and Techstars demonstrates our efforts to provide innovative, entrepreneurial, research-oriented and student-centric opportunities,” said Dan Blakley, the associate vice president for economic and business engagement at Alabama Power. “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.”
According to the Techstars Alabama EnergyTech Accelerator agreement, UA students will be given access to unique opportunities to engage with the energy startups to broaden their own skill sets and help improve Alabama’s economy.
UA Students will be given internship opportunities with participating startups in the accelerator.
There they will learn how new companies in the increasingly dynamic energy sector are built and grow. The accelerator will provide hands-on learning around energy, technology, entrepreneurship and research for students and faculty.
If and when COVID-19 conditions improve, there are plans in place for students to visit the accelerator and participate in networking events.
The Alabama Power Company is the founding partner in the Techstars Alabama EnergyTech Accelerator. The accelerator identifies and evaluates high-potential startups addressing industry problems with solutions to better serve customers and communities. The accelerator invests in early stage companies with a technology or business model relevant to the energy industry.
The Techstars Alabama EnergyTech Accelerator is also supported by the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, the Alabama Department of Commerce, Altec and PowerSouth. These supporters are playing a key role in the accelerator and share the common goal of growing the number of startup companies in Alabama.
The accelerator recently selected and inaugural class of 10 startups for the 2020 program, which launched an intensive 13-week endeavor on Sept. 8. Companies from seven states were chosen. Three of them are already headquartered in Birmingham.
The accelerator’s companies will work with UA 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 have the chance to participate in the accelerator’s Demo Day, which is currently scheduled for December.
The partnership will explore ways to engage faculty and students in six core technology emphasis areas including battery storage and charging, electric vehicles, cybersecurity, smart homes and businesses, renewable energy and connectivity.
Techstars is the global platform for investment and innovation. It was founded in 2006. The company began with three simple ideas: entrepreneurs create the future, collaboration drives innovation and great ideas can come from anywhere.
Since 2006, Techstars has invested in more than 2,200 companies and today has a market cap of $29 billion.