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January 30, 2024 | Tom Ballard

Techstars expanding its offerings in Alabama

Techstars is partnering with the University of Alabama and an economic development group to bring a hydrologic innovation-focused accelerator, along with a pre-accelerator, to Tuscaloosa.

Techstars is expanding in Alabama with two new accelerator programs coming to the Tuscaloosa community as a result of a partnership between the Tuscaloosa County Economic Development Authority (TCEDA) and the University of Alabama (UA), according to a report in Alabama Inno 

The two organizations have joined forces with Techstars to bring a hydrologic innovation-focused accelerator, along with a pre-accelerator, to the city. The “Techstars WaterTech and Sustainability,” a program for early stage start-ups, and the “Techstars Founder Catalyst WaterTech and Sustainability,” a pre-accelerator program for idea stage start-ups, will recruit founders building water technology companies.

According to the article, the programs merge the business and technology know-how of TCEDA with UA’s water-related research capabilities and Techstars’ accelerator model. The University is home to the Alabama Water Institute, which administers the Cooperative Institute for Research to Operations in Hydrology (CIROH), as well as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Water Center and the soon-to-be-opened U.S. Geological Survey Hydrologic Instrumentation Facility. Less than two years ago, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced up to $360 million in funding for CIROH, the largest external award in the University’s history

Applications for the Founder Catalyst pre-accelerator program are being accepted through March 3 at this link. The 10-week, non-equity-based program will provide idea stage to early stage founders access to start-up education, mentorship, community building, and access to Techstars’ global network of entrepreneurs, mentors, and corporate partners. The program runs April 1 through June 7.

Like most or all Techstars full programs, the WaterTech and Sustainability accelerator is a 13-week, equity-based program for early stage start-ups scheduled to launch in September. Founders who are selected will receive hands-on mentorship, curated entrepreneurial content, and programming, up to $120,000 in funding, and access to Techstars’ global network of mentors, investors, alumni, and corporates.

The “Techstars Alabama EnergyTech Accelerator,” based in Birmingham, was announced in 2019 and hosted its first cohort in 2020.


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