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 are based on previous participation in AEI/EDGE or UA entrepreneurship-focused events or similar programs that provide opportunities to learn the fundamentals of starting a new venture. Students will work on their own ideas during the summer, or they can join other start-up teams. 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 $4,000) 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., who is an alum and long-time supporter of the Alabama Entrepreneurship Institute. This is an in-person program with everyone meeting on site at The EDGE from Tuesdays – Thursdays from 10 am to 2 pm. The commitment is 40 hours per week working on their businesses, and beyond time at The EDGE and together as a group, the rest of the participant time is spent working on their own and doing things like customer discovery work, developing prototypes and meeting with potential customers and mentors.

The Application Portal is Open

The CEA program runs from June 11, 2024, to August 6, 2024.

Demo Day will be part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, which in 2024 will be the week of November 18, 2024.

Click here to learn more about Demo Day..


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: