Innovation PortAL Creating Seed Fund for Startups
The Business View – December 2017/January 2018 / News You Can Use
With the help of a Regional Innovation Strategies grant, Innovation PortAL is in the process of creating a seed fund to support entrepreneurs and their startup ventures in the Gulf Coast region.
In September, the Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced the award of nearly $300,000, the fully requested amount, to the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation.
“This is a testament to the entrepreneurial talent in our region and illustrates the need to support and develop future innovators,” said 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.”
“Seed investment offerings targeted to entrepreneurs in the Gulf Coast region are limited,” said Hayley Van Antwerp, executive director of Innovation PortAL.“ As a result, our high-potential entrepreneurs are either moving to other markets in search of capital or putting their efforts on hold. This seed fund will offer our region’s entrepreneurs the critical funding required to launch and scale their ventures.”
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.
Innovation PortAL previously received a $2.9 million U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration grant in September 2016. Those funds are being used to renovate the former Threaded Fasteners building at 358 St. Louis St. in downtown Mobile, which will become Innovation PortAL’s headquarters.
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.
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.