HOTCoffee celebrates 24 at Innovation Leadership Awards

Innovation Leadership Awards

Twenty-four groups were recognized as Innovation Leaders at an awards ceremony hosted by HOTCoffee.

Collier Ward | Thousand Story Studio

Twenty-four groups were honored with Innovation Leadership Awards during a ceremony held last Friday by HOTCoffee, Huntsville's longest running meet-up of startup entrepreneurs. Recipients were praised for their work this past year in helping create a startup ecosystem in Huntsville that is vibrant, inclusive, and promotes a high quality of life for all.

Also recognized at the ceremony were the top three groups in the private, public, and social sectors, respectively, as determined by the HOTCoffee community. The full rankings are listed below.

"The community nominated 24 extraordinary contributions to building the startup ecosystem here in Huntsville, and that is just phenomenal," says Dr. John Whitman, visiting professor and interim director of The University of Alabama in Huntsville's Innovation, Commercialization, and Entrepreneurship (ICE) Lab. "We are looking forward to even more exciting initiatives in 2015."

HOTCoffee, originally Huntsville Open Tech Coffee, was launched in September 2013 by the UAH College of Business Administration as part of the mission of the ICE Lab to build the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Huntsville. HOTCoffee meetings are held every other Friday morning at 7:45 a.m. at the UAH Shelby Center for Science and Engineering, room 107. The meetings are free and open to the public.

2014 Innovation Leadership Rankings

Private Sector
  1. MindGear, for Rocket City Launch
  2. Lowe Mill, for expanding space for startups
  3. HuntsvilleWest, for developing a new business incubator
  4. Angel Syndicates Central, for mentoring and supporting startups
  5. Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, for educational support of startups
  6. ONEUnity Media, for promoting and funding the startup ecosystem
Public Sector
  1. Downtown Huntsville, for creating startup spaces such as Clinton Row
  2. Small Business Development Center, for conducting public workshops to strengthen startups
  3. Mayor's Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  4. Huntsville Schools Center for Technology, for engaging students in innovation
  5. The Big Picture, for engaging the community in city planning
  6. NASA, for engaging the community in innovation and tech transfer
  7. The Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center, for supporting technology transfer
Social Sector
  1. Rocket Hatch, for startup networking and competitive pitches
  2. HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, for supporting biotech startups and business pitch coaching clinics for the public
  3. BizTech, for the VIBE Downtown
  4. Farm Food Collaborative, for creating a marketplace for local food
  5. Launch Fiber, for leadership to bring gigabit fiber optic to Huntsville
  6. Women's Business Center, for TechRich and startup training programs
  7. Alabama Center for Sustainable Energy, for promoting clean energy startups
  8. Neighborhood Concepts, for revolving loan funds for startups
  9. Community Foundation, for strengthening nonprofits through Nonprofit University
  10. Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County, for its Small Business Initiatives
  11. Leadership Huntsville, for creating social entrepreneurship opportunities to meet community needs


Dr. John Whitman