Innovation PortAL Awarded Second U.S. Department of Commerce Grant
Innovation PortAL received another vote of confidence from the U.S. Department of Commerce. Today the Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced a Regional Innovation Strategies grant award of $299,995, the fully requested amount, to the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation program.
The monies will help Innovation PortAL create, launch and administer a seed fund to support entrepreneurs in the Gulf Coast region.
“This is a testament to the entrepreneurial talent in our region and illustrates the need to support and develop future innovators,” says Mobile Area Chamber President and CEO Bill Sisson. “Our continued work with local and regional partners helps us stand-out in a very competitive process.”
“Currently, there are limited seed funding offerings targeted to entrepreneurs in the Gulf Coast region. As a result our high-potential entrepreneurs are either moving to other markets in search of capital or putting their efforts on hold. Thanks to the continued support of the EDA, this seed fund will offer our region’s entrepreneurs the critical funding required to launch and scale their ventures,” says Hayley Van Antwerp, executive director of Innovation PortAL.
From a pool of 217 applicants, 42 organizations – including nonprofits, institutions of higher education and entrepreneurship-focused organizations from 28 states received more than $17 million to create and expand cluster-focused proof-of-concept and commercialization programs, and early-stage seed capital funds.
Last September, Innovation PortAL received a $2.9 million U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development grant. It is being used to renovate the former Threaded Fasteners building at 358 St. Louis St. that will become Innovation PortAL’s base.
Innovation PortAL connects entrepreneurs with the tools, equipment and resources they need to be successful, including intensive mentoring, specialized curriculum and access to networks and capital.
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About the Mobile Chamber
The Mobile Chamber is a private business organization with more than 1,700 members and the economic developer for the City of Mobile and Mobile County. The Mobile Chamber’s focus is to provide members with networking, marketing and professional development opportunities, expand jobs in the area, develop the local workforce, advocate legislative priorities and offer resources to help small businesses grow. Additional information is on the Chamber’s website, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.