The Office for the Advancement of Developing Industries (OADI) is the University of Alabama Birmingham’s high-tech business incubator. OADI’s mission is to provide Birmingham-based, technology-oriented entrepreneurs with an unique environment that will increase their company’s chances for success. By providing affordable office and lab space, professional and support services, and access to the University’s resources, OADI fosters entrepreneurial ideas from the early stage of company development until graduation from the incubator.

OADI Staff

Susan Matlock – Executive Director
Devon Laney – Vice President Client Services
Shaun Pollard – Executive Assistant

OADI 2005 Year End Report

2004 Year End Report

2003 Year End Report

What is Business Incubation?

Excerpt taken from the National Business Incubation Association website

Business incubation is a dynamic process of business enterprise development. Incubators nurture young firms, helping them to survive and grow during the start-up period when they are most vulnerable. Incubators provide hands-on management assistance, access to financing and orchestrated exposure to critical business or technical support services. They also offer entrepreneurial firms shared office services, access to equipment, flexible leases and expandable space–all under one roof.

An incubation program’s main goal is to produce successful graduates, businesses that are financially viable and free standing when they leave the incubator, usually in two to three years. Thirty percent of incubator clients typically graduate each year. According to the Impact of Incubator Investments Study, 1997, 87% of incubator graduates are still in business.

Services Offered

A wide range of professional services are provided to tenant companies by OADI’s experienced business personnel. Tenants are offered help with the development of a business plan, formulation of marketing strategies and discussion of proprietary rights protection issues. In addition, the staff provides tenants with access to a professional network that serves as a support group comprised
of accounting, insurance, payroll, and legal firms. These firms offer discounted rates to small, start-up companies within the incubator

Business Assistance

  • Strategic Planning
  • Regular busines seminars on a variety of business topics
  • Assistance with determining marketing strategies, marketing goals, Internet marketing strategies, sales strategies, direct marketing, etc.
  • Mentoring from OADI and Entrepreneurial Center staff and Board of Directors
  • Business plan guidance
  • Networking opportunities
  • Access to a professional network that serves as a support group comprised of accounting, insurance, payroll, and legal firms
  • Help with identifying financing sources
  • Help initiate contacts for strategic partnerships and other business alliances

Professional Development

  • Networking Opportunities
  • Regular business seminars on a variety of busines topics
  • Keep you informed on business related events in the area

Facilities and Equipment

  • Receptionist to sign for packages and greet and direct visitors
  • Telephone answering & Nortel-Meridian phone system
  • Telephone rental, voice mail, and long distance service
  • Business library with entrepreneurial reference materials, business software, and online services
  • Email address
  • Web site hosting services
  • Janitorial services
  • Dedicated T-1 line to the Internet
  • Conference Rooms Facilities
  • Binding Machines
  • Four-Color and Black & White Photocopying
  • Fax Machine
  • Postage Machines
  • Security System and card access entry
  • Fire resistant safe
  • Parking
  • Mail system with Fed Ex drop boxes, postage meter and scale
  • Tradeshow booth and tabletop display
  • Audio visual equipment (InFocus project, slide projector)
  • Typewriters
  • Employee Lounges
  • Tenant Storage Area
  • Outdoor Terrace

Other Services

  • Provide technical assistance and support for some software packages
  • Identify computer personnel for hardware sales/problems
  • Scan photographs, logos, or other art and save to disks for use in your documents
  • Coordinate newspaper articles on your business events and other news worthy items, including writing press releases
  • Notarize documents
  • Keep resumes on file to aid in your search for qualified employees
  • UAB library privelages
  • Design services, including newsletter publication and design, brochure design, PowerPoint presentations, and letterhead/business card design
  • Website design services

Entrepreneurial Center

The Entrepreneurial Center is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit business incubation program dedicated to helping emerging technology and service businesses develop, grow, and succeed. It provides affordable space and services as well as on-site business consulting, training opportunities, and dedicated T1 internet access and website hosting. The Entrepreneurial Center is an economic development organization sponsored by the City of Birmingham, Jefferson County, and the private business community. The Entrepreneurial Center continues its collaborative relationship with the University of Alabama at Birmingham to manage the technology and life sciences incubator, OADI Technology Center at UAB. UAB and the Entrepreneurial Center are further strengthening this relationship by developing a joint business incubation program that will be housed in a new 145,000 square foot facility in downtown Birmingham. The new facility is scheduled to open in early 2007.

Entrepreneurial Center Staff

Susan Matlock – President / CEO
Eddie Hill – Vice President Client Services
Gerry O’Toole – Vice President Financial Services
Kevin Herren – Director of IT Services
Tatanisha McCain- Executive Assistant

EC 2005 Year End Report

2004 Year End Report

2003 Year End Report

Business Incubation Sites:

The National Business Incubation Association (NBIA)

Entrepreneurial Center

The Bessemer Industrial Development Board

Associations and Organizations:

Biotechnology Association of Alabama

Alabama Information Technology Association (AITA)

Birmingham Venture Club


Small Business Assistance and Resource Sites:

Birmingham Business Resource Center

The Small Business Administration

The Alabama Small Business Development Consortium

Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at UAB

The Birmingham Area Chamber of Commerce

SCORE: Counselors to America’s Small Business

SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research program) Links:

Information on Small Business Innovation Research grants

SBIR Gateway

Department of Agriculture

Department of Defense

Department of Education

Department of Energy

Department of Transportation

Environmental Protection Agency

National Institutes of Health

National Aeronautics & Space Administration

National Science Foundation

Economic Development Sites:

The Office of Economic Development, City of Birmingham

Metropolitan Development Board

The Economic Development Partnership of Alabama

Board of Directors


David Brown, Chairman
Jemison Investment Co., Inc.

Stan Graves, Vice Chairman/Chairman-Elect
Graco Resources

Gene Price, Treasurer
Burr & Forman

Susan Matlock, President/Secretary
Entrepreneurial Center


Michelle Bloodworth

Carol Clarke
Mayor’s Office, City of Birmingham

Fred Crum
Wachovia Bank, Retired

Vincent DiChiara
AmSouth Bank

Mark Drew
Maynard Cooper & Gale

Bryson G. Edmonds

William Goodrich
Richgood Corporation

Michael P. Harbin
Bellsouth Telecommunications

Robert Holmes
U A B School Of Business

Walter Howlett
Booker T. Washington Insurance Co.

John Johns
Protective Life Corporation

Alex B. Leath, I I I
Balch & Bingham

Mark R. Miehle
Y2 Marketing

John North
First American Bank

William D. Ritter
Regions Bank

James Rotch
Bradley Arant Rose & White

Daniel Sansone
Vulcan Materials Company

David Sher
Amsher Receivables Management

Councillor Carole Smitherman
Office Of The Birmingham City Council

Steve Spencer
Alabama Power

Lee Styslinger, I I I
Altec, Inc.

Tim Taylor
Southern Research Institute

Perry Ward
Lawson State Community College

Forest Whatley
First Commercial Bank