Biotech Mentoring at HudsonAlpha

HudsonAlpha Navigate is a business mentorship program for entrepreneurs at the Institute and in North Alabama who want to sharpen their business plan, management skills and receive confidential, unbiased advice on their business’ strategy. Modeled after MIT’s Venture Mentoring Service, Navigate is a team mentoring program with volunteer mentors from various organizations who are passionate about transferring knowledge to entrepreneurs in North Alabama.

The program is a product of an Appalachian Regional Commission grant through the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama. HudsonAlpha entrepreneurs and North Alabama LaunchPad winners are the beneficiaries of the program.

Entrepreneurs receive in-person team mentoring focused on the entrepreneur and their specific needs to start or grow their business. Navigate has a network of Mentors: CEOs, serial entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and subject matter experts.

  • Confidential and conflict-free environment for the entrepreneur
  • Practical, actionable advice for short term goals/challenges
  • Operations handled by HudsonAlpha staff
  • Mentors that are driven to support entrepreneurship & diversify the economy


Interested in taking your life sciences business to the next level with guidance from local business leaders? Apply to the HudsonAlpha campus and sign up for the mentorship program here!


Are you an experienced business professional in the North Alabama area interested in mentoring bioscience startups?

Apply now to provide mentoring to support the advancement of innovative technologies through real-world guidance and connectivity conducted in a confidential and conflict-free environment.


Currently, the program is open to all HudsonAlpha Associate Companies and Alabama LaunchPad winners in the North Alabama region. We hope to open the program up to more entrepreneurs in the future.

Our mentors are serial entrepreneurs, C-suite executives, subject matter experts, and local investors who are passionate about developing entrepreneurial talent in North Alabama.

Navigate is a team mentoring program, giving entrepreneurs a diverse perspective to their most pressing business challenges. Navigate is also part of the MIT Venture Mentoring Service network.

The program is completely confidential. Entrepreneurs and mentors adhere to a statement of principles that requires confidentiality and removes conflict from the mentoring setting.

Think of the Navigate Mentors like a conflict-free board of directors who are solely interested in your success and growth as an entrepreneur. At Navigate we curate targeted teams of mentors for each entrepreneur and coordinate regular mentoring sessions that focus on your real-time, short-term and long-term strategic needs.

No. The program managers work with entrepreneurs to identify their areas of need and assign mentors based on subject matter expertise. Entrepreneurs are able to submit feedback after each mentoring session on the performance of the mentoring team.

Mentors are required to attend a monthly mentors-only meeting and at least one mentoring session every 4-6 weeks. The mentors-only meetings feature interesting speakers and guests with global expertise in life science company development, venture capital, and industry trends.

There is no cost or equity commitment associated with the program.

Entrepreneurs are protected by confidentiality clauses that are agreed upon through our Statement of Principles.

Currently, we are only accepting entrepreneurs who are located at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology or are Alabama LaunchPad winners located in our region. To learn more about if you qualify, please email [email protected].

We’re always looking for talented mentors who want to serve biotechnology entrepreneurs. Please email [email protected] if you’d like to learn more about becoming a mentor.

Mentor Profiles

Paul Gierow

Founder, GATR Technologies

Matthew Parker, PhD

Associate, Maynard Cooper

Kevin Gold

Operating Partner, Integrated Openings Solutions

Steve Hettinger

Former engineer, manager and public servant

Irma Tuder

Founder and CEO, Analytical Services, Inc.

Patrick Shields

Senior Vice President, Morgan Stanley

Gary Bolton

President and CEO, Fiber Broadband Association

Barry Derrick

Product Manager, Adtran

Danny Windham

COO, HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology

Peggy Sammon

CEO, GeneCapture

Rex Vaughn

President, Madison County Farmers Federation

Michelle Stark

Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Red Sage Communications

Brian Pollock

CEO and Founder, Kailos Genetics

Richard Marsden

Shareholder, Maynard Cooper

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