Governor Kay Ivey and North Alabama leaders helped celebrate a brand new center on the University of Alabama at Huntsville campus on Monday.
The Invention to Innovation Center (I²C) is a regional initiative that focuses on technology start-up companies and helps them grow through co-working, mentorship, funding and support.
"The resources, the facilities are top notch, I've seen other incubators around the country, none of them have anything on this place," Joshua Crumbaugh, CEO of a cyber security company called PeopleSec, said.
Crumbaugh says his company is three years old now, but as they prepare to expand and grow, they are seeking guidance and future employees.
"I'm hoping being here will give us access to all of the best, new talent coming out of UAH," Crumbaugh said.
The goal of the new building is to open the eyes of young entrepreneurs who either want to start their own business or help work with an established group to get a hands-on experience. UAH President Robert Altenkirch says mentoring these start-up companies, making sure they stay afloat, is key.
"Most of these technology-based companies that fail don't fail because of their technology. They fail because they don't know how to run a business," Altenkirch said.
WAAY31 is told the building currently houses five companies, with three more on the way. They will begin working with students this upcoming school year. Crumbaugh says the mentorship from the school, resources and facility will help his company thrive.
"All of those are going to help us be able to achieve that rapid growth, without doing what so many do, and that's step all over their toes and make a lot of mistakes," Crumbaugh said.
President Altenkirch says it is not restricted to business students. All students are welcome to work in the new facility.
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