Video Transcript - Entrepreneurship at UAB

In 2020, UAB launched several significant entrepreneurship initiatives, including an Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Major, the fourth one in Alabama and the first one in the University of Alabama system. Our entrepreneurship program puts the entrepreneurial mindset, meaningful outreach projects and external impact at the heart of the UAB student educational experience. 

Here in the Collat School of Business, we're very proud of our entrepreneurship program as part of our 2025 strategic plan. With some 35 students already enrolled in a new major in entrepreneurship, we have positively impacted the Birmingham Community and we're proud of our program.

I took a break from college for several years, but I came back to finish my degree because of UAB's new Entrepreneurship major. The entrepreneurship classes in that program completely transformed how I see my future. When I started university, I couldn't see how things we talked about in the class could help me accomplish my goals. I'm a very entrepreneurial person and this program gave me a context for succeeding in my career.

My entrepreneurship class, we had student from the medical school in it and we had professional and experienced students from many different areas all in the class. We were all learning about entrepreneurship, so that eventually we could launch our new ventures in our respective fields. 

When my mom, my co-founder, and I got to Birmingham just a few years ago, the entrepreneurial ecosystem was just starting to pick up steam. UAB had a big town hall meeting for the launch of the entrepreneurship program in early 2019 and 100s of people came out. We spoke at that meeting because we believed in what the program was setting out to do. Since that Town Hall, UAB has transformed itself as a force in our entrepreneurial ecosystem, from pitch competitions to hackathons, panel discussions, workshops, and even a Coding Academy. They are doing all the things that world-class entrepreneurship programs do. If you're thinking about becoming an entrepreneur, there's really only one thing that you can do and that's get started. That's what UAB entrepreneurship program will help you do.

I used to Heptalogical Model in my entrepreneurship classes at my university. I think it is such a powerful contribution to the entrepreneurship education literature. I've also found that it provided me with a framework for designing these collaborative business based outreach projects with local entrepreneurs. It has really made a real impact. It's also provided me with a framework for designing these collaborative business based outreach projects with local entrepreneurs. It really made a real impact for me.

We have a vision for how entrepreneurship education can have a positive effect on students coming from a wide range of backgrounds. We teach established frameworks as well as our own signature model, but that's only about half of the job. We also serve our local entrepreneurship community. From the student perspective, most of our classes feel like a project that just happens to be a class. Since its inception, UAB's entrepreneurship program has been a driving force that connects the local entrepreneurial ecosystem with the power of our academic program. Our UAB Blazer Hatchery and Hackathon, sponsored by the Alabama Power Foundation, is a two month intensive experience serving UAB students from all disciplines at UAB who are not yet entrepreneurs, but who have strong entrepreneurial aspirations. It gives them a chance to attack real-world problems with entrepreneurial solutions. Our entrepreneurial Coding Academy teaches current UAB students who have entrepreneurial projects but know next to nothing about technology, how to coordinate with specialists, and how coding and programming can be used to scale their benches. The Birmingham Entrepreneurship Academy is a two month workshop series for local entrepreneurs taught by UAB experts and local practitioners.

Entrepreneurship is an important goal at UAB that allows our students to gain competencies and knowledge to achieve their dreams. It's an important part, not just for the business school, but for other schools across the campus, where students have entrepreneurial aspirations and want to build successful careers.

The UAB Entrepreneurship Program is a top strategic priority for our university. UAB as a young, vibrant institution in downtown Birmingham was built on innovation and interdisciplinary collaboration. They're in our DNA. This program teaches an entrepreneurial mindset. We want to be educating the future leaders of our active startup technology community. UAB is focused on five mission pillars. This entrepreneurship program really interfaces with all five; Education, research, world class health care, economic development, and community service. We are working with many partners in Birmingham to create a vibrant innovative ecosystem. This educational program is very intentional to help educate our future CEOs and executives in our startup and emerging technology companies.

Innovation Depot is the epicenter for technology startups and entrepreneurs in the Birmingham region. We help entrepreneurs gain a competitive advantage in winning new customers and attracting talent. We provide mentors, exposure, training, and funding to grow their businesses. UAB's emerging entrepreneurship program has already become one of our closest allies. Their students are exposed to more than 100 startups here at the Innovation Depot. Those startups also benefit from access to these talented students.

It's been a challenging year, but it remains a very exciting time in the city of Birmingham. Our entrepreneur ecosystem has persisted through the challenges of 2020. We continue to intentionally grow our regional economy to make a positive impact on all of our City's neighborhoods. Entrepreneurship is vital, so vital to our efforts. The UAB entrepreneurship program trains our future entrepreneurs and is a key part of our community. Please continue with your growth and the city 100 percent supports you.

We are thrilled with what we've been able to accomplish over the last two years with the support of UAB, our donors and the City of Birmingham. As a research university in an urban environment, UAB is uniquely positioned to make a difference in our community. We will continue our efforts to build a formal curriculum and initiatives that can lead and influence programs nationwide to develop distinct theories, concepts, and frameworks that all make a clear and measurable impact. We will build on the success of our graduate certificate program to develop a master's program in entrepreneurship, enabling us to better serve entrepreneurially minded students outside and inside the Collat School of Business. We seek to build a program that will promote entrepreneurship and innovation as we serve our students and our community for generations to come.

The UAB Entrepreneurship program instills students with a strong entrepreneurial mindset. With relevant and rigorous courses taught by world-class professors and successful entrepreneurs, combined with intense practical experiences, our students truly learn by doing. Our outreach-based approach emphasizes inspiration, ingenuity, and impact. Each class feels like a "project that just happens to be a class," as students teams collaborate with entrepreneurial ventures in the Birmingham ecosystem. By applying course concepts to help those entrepreneurs solve problems, we offer learning experiences that prepare UAB students for success across many industries and career paths.

We also have alliances with the Bill L. Harbert Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Innovation Depot, which yield co-curricular and extra-curricular learning experiences that educate students and yield a powerful impact on our community.

Entrepreneurship Major

With an intensive approach to outreach-based entrepreneurship education, our students learn by doing. UAB entrepreneurship students learn to discover opportunities, formulate ideas, build teams, and launch and grow entrepreneurial projects despite uncertainty and risk.

MBA Entrepreneurship Concentration

Our MBA students can customize their graduate education with a concentration in entrepreneurship. The graduate courses in the entrepreneurship concentration sharpen entrepreneurial focus and bolster experiential acumen with challenging and demanding outreach engagements.

Technology Commercialization and Entrepreneurship Graduate Certificate

Our certificate program trains UAB researchers and students who are technology specialists what it takes to move from the realm of scientific discovery and invention, out of the laboratory or the workshop, and into markets and communities.

Ecosystem-Facing Programs

We offer many programs in partnership with the Birmingham entrepreneurial ecosystem for students to compete, network, pitch, and win funding for their projects. We also offer in-demand educational programs for entrepreneurs in the region to take their ventures to the next level, which offers unique opportunities for UAB students to engage with these practitioners.

Collegiate Entrepreneurs' Organization

UAB has a student chapter of the nation's premier entrepreneurship student network, the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization (CEO). This group welcomes students across UAB, regardless of degree program, to engage in all kinds of entrepreneurial activities and receives support from the UAB Entrepreneurship program.

Bill L. Harbert Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Our strategic partnership with the Bill L. Harbert Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship provides valuable opportunities for entrepreneurs across the UAB ecosystem to commercialize inventions, learn the legal and intellectual property aspects of entrepreneurship, and secure support for their entrepreneurial projects.

Innovation Depot

Our partnership with one of the largest co-working spaces in the Southeast offers fantastic opportunities to UAB students. With over 100 entrepreneurial companies located in-house, and located five minutes from UAB, Innovation Depot offers UAB students unmatched networking, professional opportunities, and an entrepreneurial learning environment that is truly "real-world."

Our Team

The UAB entrepreneurship program team is composed of world-class scholars, experienced practitioners, and engaged advisors. The team has a strong passion for entrepreneurship education and is devoted to serving UAB students and making an impact on the Birmingham community, Alabama, and beyond.