Innovate Alabama Awards LaunchBox $20,000 Grant


Innovate Alabama recently announced the second round of designees of the Innovate Alabama Network, a comprehensive resource to connect communities, nonprofits and higher education institutions across Alabama fostering innovation in their local footprint. LaunchBox, Athens State University’s new entrepreneurial center in downtown Athens, was included in the group of 62 designees. There are now 113 Innovate Alabama Network designees that are collectively receiving nearly $8 million in supporting funds through designation awards and project grants from Innovate Alabama. 

As one of their new designees, Innovate Alabama has awarded LaunchBox a $20,000 grant to help equip the facility with a training classroom, build out reduced-cost rental space for new and transitioning small businesses, and continue to provide free counseling, workshops, seminars, and hands-on training to local small business owners.

“Through the Innovate Alabama Network, we’re focused on developing a statewide network for innovation programming and catalyzing entrepreneurship in all of our communities, large and small,” said Cynthia Crutchfield, CEO of Innovate Alabama. “The program has become extremely competitive in this second round, with record-breaking engagement. As we continue to expand the Innovate Alabama Network, we’re eager to build on this momentum and create more resources that help foster connections among the designees.”   

“Being a part of this network enables us to collaborate with other mission-aligned partners, supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses in Athens-Limestone County,” said Tyler Jones, Director of LaunchBox. “Together, we can create a thriving environment where innovation flourishes and small businesses succeed.”

Innovate Alabama is fueling the state’s entrepreneurial landscape by backing key organizations, both rural and urban, that shape it. Through investments that spark innovation, foster statewide collaboration and offer crucial seed funding, these organizations will ignite innovation at both a community and regional level. The program’s designees, past and present, are not only contributing to the success of their local communities, but also helping set the foundation for future growth and innovation across Alabama. 

The LaunchBox at Athens State University was created to guide, inspire, and propel entrepreneurs toward success in their business ventures. Located in Limestone County, the fastest growing county in the State of Alabama, it became abundantly clear that a facility that supports and trains aspiring and existing small businesses was not only needed, but absolutely necessary in order for Athens and Limestone County to thrive as part of the Huntsville Metropolitan Statistical Area. LaunchBox has supported the growth of over 100 local small businesses with technical assistance, leadership training, business coaching; created local networks; and helped small business owners understand how to scale their business that will lead to the creation of new jobs.

For more information about Innovate Alabama and the Innovate Alabama Network, please visit

Article courtesy of Innovate Alabama

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