The Crimson Entrepreneurship Academy (CEA)  is a 9-week business development program, held in the summer, where participants are immersed in a structured environment that helps them refine their business idea. The Academy focuses on three key pillars: 1) building confidence 2) building business and 3) building networks. Eligibility and acceptance into CEA is based on previous participation in AEI/EDGE events. Participants that show strong potential (based on their pitch talent, the strength of the business idea, etc.) are most likely to be accepted into the program. Those accepted into CEA are provided with a stipend (up to $3,500) to help support their efforts so that they are able to spend their summer developing their entrepreneurial skills and working on their businesses. The Crimson Entrepreneurship Academy is supported by a generous sponsorship provided by the Medical Properties Trust organization and its CEO and founder, Edward K. Aldag, Jr..

Apply for the 2021 CEA Program

The CEA program will run from June 8, 2021, to August 7, 2021. The date for the Demo Day is still to be determined.

Decisions will be made on a rolling basis, with the goal of having all final decisions made by May 17.  This means that your chances of securing a spot in the program go up for those who apply earlier. Successful applicants should expect to be at The EDGE at least from 10 am to 2 pm for 3 days per week between 6/8 and 8/7. Additional required hours can be done at The EDGE or location of your choice.  Any commitments for absences should be discussed with the faculty. Due to the fact that Academy students will be sharing space with EDGE tenants and members, we strongly encourage COVID vaccinations.  The EDGE, as part of the University, requires masks within the building when with others and not at your own desk/workspace.

What is the Crimson Entrepreneurship Academy?

The Crimson Entrepreneurship Academy is a 9-week program designed to immerse students in a structured environment for business development that helps them refine their ideas.

Who can join?

Eligibility is based on showing strong potential in AEI/EDGE events such as the Edward K. Aldag, Jr. Business Plan Competition.

What do you do?

As a participant, you will discover the three building blocks of the CEA:

entrepreneurs discussing work

Build Confidence

Discover role-based confidence, storytelling skills, and finalize personal goals.
a team discussing their plan

Build Business

Practice your pitch and take steps to prepare your business plan.
entrepreneurs networking

Build Networks

Learn with your cohort and work with mentors and coaches.


Participants will also


meetings and speaker events.


with peer coaching groups.


the 4-week customer discovery program.

And More!

The Crimson Entrepreneurship Academy is hosted by the Alabama Entrepreneurship Institute in partnership with:

The EDGE Logo


EDGE Labs Logo

Culverhouse College of Business - Capstone A Logo

ORED Capstone A Logo