Area Resources For Start-Ups

Posted on April 27, 2011

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At Red Mountain Law, we focus on small businesses and business owners. To that end, we often end up working with start-ups and emerging businesses on everything from choice of entity to early-round financing and employment issues like restrictive covenants and labor disputes.

In the Birmingham area, there are a number of free and low-cost resources available to start-ups and entrepreneurs. Some examples include:

  • Startupdrinks.com: This national program has a Birmingham chapter that meets once a month at local bars and restaurants so entrepreneurs can meet up, network and share advice, tips and resources. Meetings are always held on the last Tuesday of the month.
  • Innovation Depot: A project of UAB, Innovation Depot is a business incubator that helps early-stage companies with low-cost rent space, seminars and lectures and mentoring opportunities. The staff and business experts associated with Innovation Depot are there to help its tenants with questions about marketing, PR and a host of issues facing new business owners.
  • Alabama Launchpad: A division of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, Alabama Launchpad offers educational resources to entrepreneurs as well as sponsoring an annual business plan competition.
  • Main Street Birmingham: Another non-profit, Main Street Birmingham encourages start-ups and business owners with free seminars, loan programs and other counsel on succeeding and finding capital.
  • Startupbirmingham.com: A relatively new website, Startupbirmingham.com offers resources to emerging businesses through articles, profiles and up-to-date information on businesses in the area, what they have to offer and how they made it. It also includes lists of events, lectures and seminars that could be helpful to the owner of a start-up company.
  • Central Alabama Women’s Business Center: Providing women “with the tools, knowledge and resources needed to start and grow their business,” this dedicated organization helps female entrepreneurs in seven Alabama counties.

Networking opportunities, mentors and information can be the most powerful tools for an emerging business, so keeping an ear to the ground for opportunities and resources in the area can be invaluable for any entrepreneur.

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