Fairhope, Ala. – Innovate Alabama has admitted the Baldwin Community + Economic Development Foundation (BCEDF) into their Innovate Alabama Network and granted it $250,000 in support of Hatch. Hatch is Baldwin County’s technology village and entrepreneurial support hub, based in Fairhope, Alabama, and developed to support and grow the technology-based entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region.
The BCEDF, a nonprofit under the Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance (BCEDA), has partnered with the City of Fairhope, Coastal Alabama Community College, and other entities to develop Hatch, currently located in the PNC Bank building in downtown Fairhope. Hatch will relocate to the historical Fairhope K-1 Center building in downtown Fairhope after renovations are completed in the 2025 timeframe. Hatch provides office space, co-working space, access to funding, programming, consulting, networking, and other resources for technology-based entrepreneurs to start and scale their businesses.
The $250,000 awarded for Hatch will help fund two 8- to 10-week biotech programs to bolster biotechnology growth in Alabama and pave the way for innovation internships. Participating firms will receive $20,000 in funding (half upfront and half upon completion) for a 5% equity stake, culminating in a demo day where they will pitch to investors. This initiative, which includes partnering with a national researcher at Hatch, aims to boost Alabama’s innovation economy, benefiting the state’s tech advancements and entrepreneurial ecosystem.
The Innovate Alabama Network selected the BCEDF among 51 applicants pursuing technology-related projects in Alabama. Lee Lawson, the President & CEO of the BCEDA, said he was proud that Hatch was noted for its innovation. “The Baldwin Community + Economic Development Foundation being added to the Innovate Alabama Network shows that Hatch, along with the Innovation Portal in Mobile, Alabama, are the two go-to entities in South Alabama for innovation,” said Lawson.
The Innovate Alabama Network is a comprehensive resource connecting communities, nonprofits, and higher education institutions across the state that foster innovation in their backyard. Through this designation program, Innovate Alabama recognizes those shaping the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, investing in these organizations to drive innovation-related activities, and encouraging collaboration and growth amongst the network’s members. “The Innovate Alabama Network is a major step forward to growing the entrepreneurial and innovation environment in Alabama,” said Innovate Alabama CEO Cynthia Crutchfield. “By providing funding and resources to our local communities, nonprofits, and higher education institutions, we are developing a statewide network for innovation programming and catalyzing entrepreneurship in all of our communities, both rural and urban.”
The BCEDF is housed under the BCEDA and contributes to initiatives that strive to develop the economy in Baldwin County. The BCEDA is a partnership of local public and private professionals, leaders, and officials dedicated to providing opportunities for businesses in Baldwin County and ensuring exceptional quality of life for Baldwin County’s residents and employees. The organization focuses on growing a diverse industry base through efforts to create jobs, generate capital investment, and increase the quality of life in its community. The Alliance’s strategic efforts include marketing, business recruitment, workforce development, talent attraction and development, state and local government affairs, data-driven research, existing industry support, and entrepreneurial assistance.