Auburn’s EDA University Center Program: Impacting Innovation and Entrepreneurs in Alabama

The Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) supports universities in their mission to assist states and their economic development community through the “EDA University Center” program. Universities have many assets, including expertise, specialized equipment, and commercialization experience that can help grow regional and state economies.

Auburn University’s EDA University Center mission is to provide impactful training and assistance to economic development leaders and entrepreneurs across the state of Alabama. The Center plays a vital role in developing the state’s economic development capacity and its innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem. This is accomplished through a partnership among Auburn’s Government & Economic Development Institute (GEDI) and The Harbert College of Business. Both partners bring unique and diverse resources representing Auburn’s tri-fold mission of outreach, instruction, and research.

To help build local development capacity in communities across Alabama, the center hosts a two-week Intensive Economic Development Training Course accredited by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). For over thirty-nine years, Auburn’s course has introduced participants to all phases of economic development and to Alabama specific resources, including state agencies, non-profit organizations, and potential funding sources. Speakers include national experts in the fields of economic development trends, business retention and expansion, and community development. For those unable to attend this comprehensive training on Auburn University’s campus, the Center offers shorter training classes in partnership with the Economic Development Association of Alabama. The Center provides aspiring and existing student, faculty, and community entrepreneurs with Lean Startup, Business Development, Strategic Planning, and Entrepreneurial Leadership training. The Center provides educational and technical assistance to entrepreneurs throughout Alabama via public workshops, one-on-one consulting, online, and via a virtual accelerator program.

To support innovation across the state, the Center provides assistance with technology commercialization and provides early-stage business model coaching and graphic design assistance to entrepreneurs to facilitate the development of their ideas. The Center serves as an entry point for organizations and entrepreneurs needing university expertise.

For more information on Auburn University’s EDA University center, please contact David Mixson at 334.844.4704 or via email at mixsoad@auburn.edu.

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Last Updated: August 4, 2022