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Innovate Alabama welcomes Dr. Condoleezza Rice for State of Innovation Day

Rice joined Innovate Alabama Board Chair Bill Poole for a fireside chat and a reception at the Florentine in downtown Birmingham.

Innovate Alabama’s CEO and board of directors hosted a State of Innovation Day celebration on Thursday, bringing together the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem to reflect on the progress made this year and to cast a vision for the Alabama of tomorrow.

The State of Innovation Day provided an opportunity to reconvene the inaugural members of Governor Kay Ivey’s Alabama Innovation Commission, including its partners Dr. Condoleezza Rice and Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, for the first time since the Commission delivered its report in 2021. Governor Ivey officially declared December 14, 2023, as “Innovate Alabama Day,” a chance to formally recognize the significant strides made throughout the year.

“Alabama’s future is shaped by innovation and entrepreneurship, and Innovate Alabama embodies our dedication to fostering an environment where those values are recognized and rewarded,” said Ivey. “The continued success of Innovate Alabama serves as a testament to our state’s potential, propelling us forward as a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship.”

Throughout the day, Innovate Alabama facilitated critical conversations with entrepreneurs, economic developers, corporate partners, and other key ecosystem stakeholders about how to continue driving Innovate Alabama’s purpose: to help innovators grow roots in Alabama.

Rice joined Innovate Alabama Board Chair Bill Poole for a fireside chat and a reception at the Florentine in downtown Birmingham, where Innovate Alabama celebrated a successful year among partners and the entrepreneurs and organizations who have benefited from Innovate Alabama’s portfolio of programs.

Earlier in the day, Innovate Alabama invited the former Alabama Innovation Commission to Innovation Depot to hear progress reports on Innovate Alabama’s three core pillars: Access to Resources, Talent Development, and Lifestyle and Recreation. The agenda included highlights on the Supplemental Grant Program, the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), Innovate Alabama Network Designations, and upcoming initiatives such as a 2024 outdoor recreation campaign and the redesigned Innovate Alabama website.

“As we look ahead to opportunities in 2024 and beyond, I am immensely proud of Innovate Alabama’s advancements in fostering entrepreneurship and innovation across our state,” said Crutchfield. “From expanding our Supplemental Grant Program, providing crucial access to capital for our small businesses, to seamlessly transitioning the Growing Alabama Tax Credit into the Innovate Alabama Tax Credit program, our commitment remains unwavering in nurturing a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem. With the addition of the Innovate Alabama Network to promote collaboration and provide additional resources, we’ve established a foundation that not only bolsters local businesses but also positions Alabama as a magnet for innovative enterprises seeking a dynamic and supportive environment.”

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Innovate Alabama also held its final meeting of the year where the board of directors approved another round of tax credits and looked ahead to 2024 priorities, including the organization’s legislative agenda.

For more information about Innovate Alabama visit

Jacob Holmes is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected]

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