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The University of Alabama

Tech Tour to visit UA, Tuscaloosa

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The autoXLR8R “TechTour,” a 13-week program to visit several of the region’s top automotive research institutions to refine autoXLR8R’s technologies and work with world-renowned engineers and entrepreneurs, will bring its program to Tuscaloosa and The University of Alabama June 24 and 25.

The autoXLR8R Tech Tour is designed to connect Southeastern venture capitalists, angel investors, original equipment  manufacturers, tier 1 industry experts and innovators.

In addition to visiting The University of Alabama’s College of Engineering and the Alabama Entrepreneurship Institute, participants will make commercialization strategy visits to:

  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Research and
  • Mississippi State’s Center for Advanced Vehicular Research

While autoXLR8R’s home base is in Spring Hill, Tenn., at the former Saturn Corp. headquarters, the program benefits from research and business development assets across the region.

The Tech Tour is made possible through a regional Automotive Accelerator Alliance – an agreement between Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi and South Carolina to support each state’s accelerator programs. Through the alliance, member states work together to identify high-potential start-up companies and to expose them to regional and nationally recognized leaders in the automotive and entrepreneur communities. The Alliance will also work to build a Southeastern network of venture capital firms.

The goal of the tour is to help start-ups move a technology from concept to investment as quickly as possible by exposing them to the best experts available, no matter where they are located.

The Center for Advanced Vehicle Technologies, or CAVT, is a cross-discipline research center focused on automotive innovation that strives to provide the automotive industry with novel ideas, scientific consultation and engineers and scientists trained in the latest technologies.

The Alabama Entrepreneurship Institute, part of the Culverhouse College of Commerce at UA, promotes entrepreneurship and economic development throughout Alabama with the objective of creating wealth and jobs. AEI combines University of Alabama resources and students with entrepreneurs and industry, and providing students learning opportunities.

The AEI is located at the Edge in downtown Tuscaloosa, a business incubator managed in partnership with the West Alabama Chamber of Commerce.

Ron Davis, executive director of the Alabama Entrepreneurship Institute, is president of the Alabama Automotive Manufacturing Association, and a member of the Southern Automotive Women’s Forum Advisory Board.

Davis said the autoXLR8R Tech Tour will include an “Entrepreneurship Evening with Bill Taylor.”

The June 24 agenda at The Edge will include a welcome, elevator pitches from several companies, and comments and coaching from Taylor.Taylor, the longtime head of Mercedes-Benz’s Alabama operations, is president of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama.

The June 25 program will include an overview of autoXLR8R, followed by more pitches, discussions and coaching.

Following lunch, Dr. Bharat Balasubramanian, UA professor and executive director of the Center for Advanced Vehicle Technologies, will speak, and the remainder of the day will be spent at the Alabama Institute for Manufacturing Excellence on the UA campus, with Dr. Dan Daily, AIME director and his team.

The EDGE is located at 800 22nd Avenue in Tuscaloosa.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.

  • CONTACT: Bill Gerdes, UA Media relations, 205/348-8318,
  • SOURCE: Ron Davis, executive director, Alabama Entrepreneurship Institute, 205/657-5101