Techstars Alabama EnergyTech announces Nate Schmidt as managing director


Schmidt will lead operational efforts and recruitment to bring

leading-edge energy startups to the Magic City.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Techstars, the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed, announced Nate Schmidt as the managing director of the Techstars Alabama EnergyTech Accelerator.

Schmidt is a long-standing member of and mentor for the Birmingham tech ecosystem, helping launch the Velocity Accelerator in 2016 at Innovation Depot and serving as its first managing director. A successful entrepreneur and software developer, he has experience in multiple startups, including Instagift, Preptix, Deal Co-op and Cloverly.

Schmidt is also a Techstars alum, participating in Techstars Seattle in 2010 for e-gift card startup Instagift.

Schmidt will lead the Techstars Alabama EnergyTech team as it recruits the inaugural class of startups for an intensive, 13-week endeavor in Birmingham, which gives startups access to training, hands-on mentorship and investor funding.

"I’m thrilled to join the Techstars Alabama EnergyTech Accelerator as managing director," Schmidt said. "Techstars is an organization that maintains an unparalleled ability to help entrepreneurs. And ever since my own experience going through Techstars, I’ve developed a passion for giving back to the entrepreneurial community, which has come to fruition through my active mentorship in the Birmingham community. Coming on board as managing director furthers my ability to supercharge that mentorship."

Applications for the 2020 program opened Jan. 6 and will close on April 5. Interested companies can find additional information at

Schmidt experienced the advantages of growing through the Techstars process and maintains his mentorship relationship with David Cohen, co-founder and managing director of Techstars.

"It’s amazing to consider that 10 years ago Nate was a founder participating in a Techstars accelerator, and a decade later he’s joining us as managing director of Techstars Alabama EnergyTech Accelerator," Cohen said. "We’re excited to welcome Nate to Techstars – this time on the other side of the table. As a serial entrepreneur with a passion for mentorship and a commitment to founders across the Birmingham and Southeast ecosystems, he’s a fantastic addition to the accelerator team."

The Techstars Alabama EnergyTech Accelerator is supported by Alabama Power, the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama (EDPA), the Alabama Department of Commerce, Altec and PowerSouth.

"Nate has the proven entrepreneurial and leadership experience to ensure the success of both the Techstars Alabama EnergyTech Accelerator and the future startup companies that will join," said Greg Barker, executive vice president of Customer Services for Alabama Power. "We are excited to support him in this new role."

The accelerator will attract startups that are building technologies and business models to enhance the future of energy. Focus areas will include smart cities, the "Internet of things," industrial electrification, connectivity and electric transportation.

"Our Alabama Launchpad program and the startups involved have benefitted from Nate’s mentorship and expertise over the years," said Steve Spencer, President of EDPA. "We are confident the Techstars Alabama EnergyTech Accelerator will be the next step in solidifying Alabama’s spot as a startup-friendly state that has the right resources for businesses to thrive."

EDPA’s Alabama Launchpad program was founded in 2006 and serves the entrepreneurial community throughout the state by providing non-dilutive early-stage seed funds and mentorship to startups.

"The Techstars Alabama EnergyTech Accelerator is a key initiative to recruit more technology-focused jobs and companies to the state, while also acquiring the right funding to help these companies grow," said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce. "Congratulations to Nate as he embarks on this new opportunity; we know he will represent our state well."

About Alabama Power

Alabama Power, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE:SO), is focused on providing innovative energy solutions to improve customers’ lives. Learn more at

About Techstars

Techstars is the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed. Techstars founders connect with other entrepreneurs, experts, mentors, alumni, investors, community leaders, and corporations to grow their companies. Techstars operates three divisions: Techstars Startup Programs, Techstars Mentorship-Driven Accelerator Programs, and Techstars Corporate Innovation Partnerships. Techstars accelerator portfolio includes more than 1,900 companies with a market cap of more than $25 billion.