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About Hatch Fairhope

The collaborative efforts of the City of Fairhope and the Baldwin Community and Economic Development Foundation have led to the establishment of Hatch Fairhope—a pioneering business resource hub tailored to technology-based entrepreneurs in Baldwin County. Serving as a dynamic platform, Hatch Fairhope nurtures both fledgling startups and established ventures, offering them a conducive environment for learning and development.

This strategic partnership is instrumental in cultivating a vibrant entrepreneurial culture within the region, fostering the growth of an extensive resource ecosystem tailored to the needs of local innovators. Moreover, it facilitates the seamless integration of the University of Alabama’s resources with the burgeoning tech landscape of Baldwin County, further amplifying opportunities for collaboration and growth.

Funding for Hatch Fairhope is made possible through contributions from the City of Fairhope, Coastal Alabama Community College, and the Baldwin Community and Economic Development Foundation. The hub will be centrally located in Downtown Fairhope, occupying space generously provided by BBVA Compass.

Inspired by the success of a similar pilot program initiated by Clemson University in South Carolina, Hatch Fairhope draws inspiration from the achievements of Technology Village programs in Bluffton and Rock Hill. In just 18 months of operation, these programs catalyzed the establishment of an estimated 12 to 14 companies, generating approximately 70 new jobs and boasting a combined payroll of $2.8 million.

Our Team

Rick Miller

Rick Miller has over 30 years of experience working in both public and private companies in financial, operational, and administrative roles. He has served as CFO for companies in a wide variety of sectors including medical practices, manufacturing and distribution, real estate, advertising, and recreation. He has also served as COO for a fast-food operation in Oregon and Washington. As CEO of a venture-capital backed fitness technology company, he secured private placement financing and a national distribution agreement with a specialty retailer.

In addition to coaching, Rick has extensive experience in team building at the corporate and/or divisional level, strategic planning and budgeting, private equity negotiations and transition planning, line-staff conflict resolution, and entrepreneurial networking. Rick is the facilitator for the Mobile Chamber of Commerce’s Emerging Leader executive leadership program. Rick’s personal mission is to joyfully help individuals develop their God-given talent and abilities, and his passion is coaching/advising people to positively impact their colleagues, community, and companies in meaningful and lasting ways. Rick holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Alabama, where he was named outstanding undergraduate in the College of Business Administration. He holds an MBA from Harvard University and a middle school teaching certificate from Regis University in Colorado.

Keith Glines

Keith Glines’ professional journey is marked by a commitment to innovation, creativity, and connecting businesses with their audiences. After 9 years in medical sales, Keith left the corporate world to start a digital consulting firm focused on creating web environments and specializing in social media in 2003. Keith holds the title of Visionary at Back Porch Productions, a content firm that specializes in developing, representing, producing, and investing in innovative creators across various media. With his extensive background in startups, Keith serves as Technologist for Hatch Fairhope and facilitates strategic partnerships for the incubator. In addition to his professional roles, Keith is a co-host of The Overlap Podcast, a weekly series that discusses the intersections between work, fitness, family, faith, and leadership, with the goal of simplifying big business brilliance for small business leaders.

Lee Lawson

Lee Lawson boasts over 20 years of experience in economic development and has been the President of the Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance (BCEDA) since 2012. The BCEDA leads all economic development efforts for one of the fastest-growing counties in the U.S., Baldwin County, AL. Those efforts include marketing the county to corporate decision-makers, aligning its workforce development efforts, working with existing businesses and industries to help catalyze their growth, and fostering small business growth and entrepreneurship. Lee played a large part in not only identifying the need for a technology entrepreneur hub in Baldwin County but also in founding Hatch and seeking funding. Lawson is a native of Montgomery, Alabama, and a 2003 graduate of Troy University, where he lettered in Men’s Basketball and received a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism and public relations. Lawson resides in Montrose with his wife, Regan Ware Lawson of Mobile, and is the father of son Knox and daughters Greer, Libby, and Ann Garrett. 

Our Board

Jason Padgett

Ormand Thompson

Gia Long

Riviera Utilities

Bill Mitchell

Stuart Contracting

Jerod Pilot

Pilot Catastrophe

Services We Provide

  • Risk Evaluation and Developmental Strategy 
  • Technology Evaluation and Collaboration on Intellectual Assets 
  • Access to Market and Technology Sector Data 
  • High-Speed Connectivity and Workspace Solutions 
  • Business Operations and Strategic Planning 
  • Regional Business Networking 
  • Nationally sourced talent and resources 
  • Corporate partnering (marketing, research, manufacturing)
  • Advantageous venture opportunities and funding channels 


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