Building Entrepreneurship Skills and Talent for New and Established Ventures.

The Alabama Entrepreneurship Institute (AEI) delivers learning that accelerates the growth of businesses and creates new jobs. AEI provides students with unique opportunities to move beyond the classroom and learn by doing. They work on entrepreneurial projects with both new and established businesses as part of consulting teams. They also start up their own businesses or become part of teams working on startups. Students participate in competitions, attend networking events, are part of boot camps to quickly move ideas forward, and they get help from entrepreneurs and business executives.

AEI is in the business of creating new knowledge. Our professors and colleagues are working on cutting-edge research, creating new learning tools and teaching students of all ages around the world.

AEI is located at the EDGE, which is a partnership with the West Alabama Chamber of Commerce and the City of Tuscaloosa. Students use the co-working space at the EDGE; it provides space for teams to work together, to network with established entrepreneurs and to meet with mentors who help get their new ventures up and running.

Our Mission

AEI Mission

The mission of AEI is to become a magnet program for UA Innovators, Inventors and Entrepreneurs (faculty, staff and students) as well as the people who support their work (e.g. investors, business leaders and community members). Through programming, research and the use of incubator spaces on and off campus, AEI spurs growth of innovation, new jobs and businesses as well as sharing research-based best practices. AEI’s work goes beyond the start-up stage to help new and established enterprises succeed through successful entrepreneurial growth.


AEI delivers on its mission utilizing the space and assets that are part of The EDGE Incubators. The mission of The EDGE and EDGE Labs incubators is to provide opportunities for UA Innovatoras, Inventors and Entrepreneurs who may be students, faculty, alumni and/or community members, to assess commercialization potential, realize economic benefits for inventions, build startups and drive growth of their businesses. The University entrepreneurship-related assets contribute to the building of a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem in Tuscaloosa and Alabama.