1702 Kicks Off Second Year: Bringing Silicon Valley’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem to Mobile

The Business View – June 2016


After a successful inaugural class in 2015, 1702 began its second class of networking, counseling and training among a group of Mobile area CEOs and business leaders in the spring. Designed to foster a thriving entrepreneurial community similar to that in Silicon Valley, this year’s class of 19 executives will spend the next eight months in this program learning from various subject-matter experts. 6-2016_1702


Class presenters will share their success stories and lessons learned on topics critical to launching, scaling and exiting a company. These include: corporate formation structures, legal and risk, raising venture capital, driving revenue, building a board, recruiting and retaining top talent, and successful exit strategies.


1702, formed in partnership with the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, represents the combined vision of Michael Chambers with the University of South Alabama and entrepreneur Dean Parker. Its mission is to stimulate collaboration on critical aspects of growing a business and drive innovation along the Gulf Coast, in an effort to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses. Participants come from companies across the Mobile area in the technology, manufacturing, aerospace, healthcare and consumer sectors. To support participants, a local board serves as mentors and works one-on-one with class participants to help implement business start-up best practices.


Marcus Neto with Blue Fish Design Studio was in the inaugural 1702 class that graduated in December 2015. When reflecting on his time in the program he said: “The ideas that are spawned when you are spending time with entrepreneurial minded individuals were great.” His participation, he said, let him focus more time to consider the long-term sustainability of his company.


“As we move into our second year in this program, it’s exciting we have another large, diverse class of entrepreneurs. Our region’s entrepreneur ecosystem continues to grow, and this large class size shows it,” said Bill Sisson, president and CEO of the Mobile Area Chamber. “We saw, by the cross-section of industry sectors these participants represent, innovation is taking place in all of the Chamber’s industry recruiting sectors.”


Click here to read The Business View – June 2016