Building Entrepreneurship Skills and Talent for New and Established Ventures.

The Alabama Entrepreneurship Institute (AEI) was founded to promote and support entrepreneurship in the Culverhouse College of Business and across The University of Alabama.

Our goal is to grow businesses, create jobs, and provide students an opportunity to engage in real-world experiences. You can consult with existing businesses or build your own start-up.

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, network with established entrepreneurs, and 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 the 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 by 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 Innovators, 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 the growth of their businesses. The University’s entrepreneurship-related assets contribute to the building of a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem in Tuscaloosa and Alabama.

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Contact Us

Dr. Theresa M. Welbourne -Executive Director of the Alabama Entrepreneurship Institute and The EDGE
Will and Maggie Brooke Professor in Entrepreneurship