On Aug. 30, the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce will open the doors of The Lab on Dexter, a leading-edge entrepreneurial learning and innovation facility. Located on Montgomery’s historic Dexter Avenue, The Lab will provide a collaborative learning environment for entrepreneurs, with the goal of creating a sustainable social and tech innovation ecosystem.
“Montgomery continues to cultivate a successful and sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystem,” Montgomery Mayor Steven L. Reed said. “The Lab on Dexter will leverage our unique cultural and IT assets with the needs of tech companies and small and minority business startups. I look forward to the possibilities this project will bring to our community.”
Featuring small business suites and co-working spaces for lease, tech and entrepreneurial training, and an atmosphere that encourages collaboration, The Lab will help solidify Montgomery’s position as an innovation center and enhance the city’s reputation as a center of excellence for defense-related businesses. In addition to the Montgomery Chamber’s TechMGM initiative and the City of Montgomery, partners in The Lab are Montgomery County, the Montgomery TechLab (which will be housed in the new facility) and Alabama Power.
“This project is another great example of the ways Montgomery’s public and private partners work together every day to provide greater opportunity and access for small and minority businesses,” said Montgomery County Commission Chair Elton N. Dean. “The Lab on Dexter will be a cornerstone of our growing tech and innovation district, providing essential space, training and community engagement.”
Establishment of The Lab is a direct outgrowth of Montgomery TechLab and other TechMGM initiatives to accelerate entrepreneurship and innovation. It will house programs providing access to resources, networking opportunities and equipment, as well as capital.
“As the chamber prepares for its 150th anniversary in 2022, we are leaning forward to accelerate growth,” said Anna Buckalew, president and CEO of the Montgomery Area Chamber. She noted that the chamber and its public sector partners previously established two Air Force-related innovation centers. She said The Lab on Dexter will provide “a strong commitment to underrepresented, minority and women-owned businesses.”
Following its grand opening Aug. 30, The Lab on Dexter will host quarterly workshops and informational sessions to provide companies with guidance about growing their business. Among the topics will be finances, digital literacy and building a social media presence. The Lab will also host roundtable discussions on business development topics and provide mentoring programs centered on best practices and lessons learned by established business owners.
“The Lab on Dexter provides a new way for Montgomery’s diverse tech and entrepreneurial communities to collaborate and deepen their digital, engineering and business skills,” said TechMGM Executive Director Charisse Stokes. “The Lab will be a catalyst to reinvigorate our small business development efforts.”
The grand opening of The Lab on Dexter will take place at 11 a.m. Aug. 30, at 150 Dexter Ave in downtown Montgomery. The event is open to the public.