Serving as UA’s technology commercialization center, AIME helps transform inventions into products that benefit society. From developing an idea, creating a prototype, and launching a company, AIME personnel will work alongside you to turn your idea into a product.
Get Started with AIME:
Entrepreneurship Education: At the very outset of commercialization, innovators must determine if there is a market that values their invention. To kick start your startup, AIME educates faculty, staff and students on how to search for and find a repeatable and scalable business model through our customer discovery program, Crimson Startup. This 6-8 week program enables entrepreneurial teams to identify product-market fit or discover there is not one so that precious resources are not committed to a model that will not work.
AIME is part of the National Innovation Network and is home to UA’s I-Corps Site, partially funded by NSF. I-Corps Site teams that go through AIME training have an opportunity to receive support to provide infrastructure, training, resources, networking opportunities, and modest funding to enable groups to transition their innovation into the marketplace, so these early stage teams can build sustainable companies, create new jobs, and benefit society. Moreover, I-Corps Site teams have the opportunity to submit to the national program, NSF I-Corps Teams, even if they do not have NSF award lineage.
Prototyping: To aid innovators in building minimum viable products that demonstrate value to industry and potential customers, AIME has a dedicated prototyping center with 5,600 square feet and two dedicated research engineers. The prototyping center staff supplies state of the art equipment with expertise and skill sets in benchmarking and scaling processes to guide ideas for prototypes. With state of the art equipment and capabilities including wet benches, processing equipment, 3D printers, and characterization equipment, AIME’s prototyping center will help you build prototypes stemming from scientific research.
Start-Up Support: After teams find product-market fit and demonstrate value through a minimum viable prototype, they begin to transition into a startup company. This is a crucial time in a startup’s life: teams need to find and secure funding. To bridge teams across this transition, AIME helps teams identify financing required to carry out their business. In addition, we communicate financial opportunities including SBIR announcements, business plan competition announcements, and accelerator opportunities. AIME staff help entrepreneurs develop proposals and pitches in response to funding solicitations and competitions. Startups that receive seed funding graduate to the Bama Technology Incubator
These three cycles are implemented in order based on where a student or faculty member’s idea has progressed already when they come to AIME. It is possible for groups or entrepreneurs to go through different parts in each cycle before moving onto the different stages. If an idea/invention graduates the three cycles listed above, they might have an opportunity to take advantage of UA’s Bama Technology Incubator, which is managed by AIME.