Birmingham’s next generation of entrepreneurs are finding their stride at the Innovation Depot.
The partnership between the Depot and the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Collat School of Business to establish the UAB Innovation Lab gives UAB students the opportunity to develop their own companies while also providing them with real-world business experience as they prepare to enter the workforce.
Kathleen Hamrick, manager of the Innovation Lab, said that operations started to take off about two months ago and that the lab has grown from one student-led startup to seven.
“There are a lot of opportunities to support student entrepreneurs as well as our existing entrepreneurs at the Depot,” Hamrick said. “It’s helping to fit in the needs that the companies have with top-tier student talent from the (Collat) School of Business.”
Hamrick said that the students rotate into the lab to accelerate their business models and also perform business consulting services with existing companies at the Depot.
She said students in the lab have completed work with Icebox Coffee and are currently working on app development with Directorpoint.
“It gives the students opportunities to plug in with organizations within the community that are doing very hands on, technical work that can be applied in the workforce,” Hamrick said.