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Innovate Alabama opens second round of grant funding to benefit local entrepreneurs

The program supports Alabama entrepreneurs and innovators, particularly underrepresented groups.

Innovate Alabama
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Innovate Alabama will open applications for the second round of the Innovate Alabama Supplemental Grant Program on Tuesday, Jan. 17. Alabama-based recipients of Phase I and Phase II Federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants are eligible to apply for up to $250,000 in supplemental funding. 

The program supports Alabama entrepreneurs and innovators, particularly underrepresented groups, such as women, minority and rural founders. In addition, the disbursement of funding will advance Alabama’s economy by driving research and commercialization, developing exportable products and services and spurring high-wage job opportunities. 

“Alabamians have always been innovators – from cutting edge agricultural techniques and the creation of windshield wipers to the invention of the first portable electric hearing aids and the Saturn V rocket that took humans to the moon,” said Cynthia Crutchfield, Innovate Alabama CEO. “At Innovate Alabama, we are on a mission to continue fostering Alabama’s rich history of innovation by providing entrepreneurs the necessary capital and resources, through initiatives like our grant program, to cultivate a thriving business and life right here in Alabama.”  

In July 2022, Innovate Alabama launched the inaugural Innovate Alabama Supplemental Grant Program, awarding over $4.5 million in supplemental funding to 30 grant recipients in six Alabama cities to support the growth of their small businesses. After a successful first round of funding, the organization looks forward to helping more innovators grow roots in Alabama in 2023 and beyond.  

“Thanks to the Innovate Alabama Supplemental Grant, our team has had the opportunity to invest in resources that help grow our business and the state’s collaborative and expanding entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Dr. Karim Budhwani, CerFlux CEO and co-founder, and first round grant recipient. “We were honored to receive this funding and grateful for Innovate Alabama’s leadership in advancing innovation within the state while placing an emphasis on supporting higher-risk but higher-reward and broader impact ventures, like CerFlux, that seek to drive innovation from new knowledge to address some of the most intractable challenges facing humanity.” 

Eligible applicants must have had an active Phase I or Phase II SBIR or STTR grant on July 1, 2021, or later. Phase I recipients are eligible to apply for 50 percent of their award up to

$100,000, and Phase II recipients are eligible to apply for 50 percent of their award up to $250,000. Innovate Alabama Supplemental Grant Program awards are non-dilutive, meaning businesses receive the money without giving up shares of their company. 

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“It was incredible to see the impact the first round of funding had on so many Alabama businesses. By investing in startups with unique technology like these, our state is able to compete on a national and global scale,” said Rep. Danny Garrett, Innovate Alabama board member. “As Innovate Alabama continues to help innovators grow roots right here in Alabama, we hope to continue expanding the grant program’s reach to support more local entrepreneurs.”  

The application for the first round of funding will open on Tuesday, Jan. 17. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply by 5 p.m. on Feb. 17, 2023. Award notifications for the second round of funding begin in March.  

Later this year, Innovate Alabama plans to open applications for the third round of grant funding. 

To learn more and apply, visit

The Alabama Political Reporter is a daily political news site devoted to Alabama politics. We provide accurate, reliable coverage of policy, elections and government.

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