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Inspired by the Mobile Area Chamber’s Leaders Exchange to St. Louis in 2014, Mobile’s first-ever peer network of chief executive officers and business leaders, known as 1702, was created to foster a thriving entrepreneurial community similar to Silicon Valley.
1702 is a combined vision of Michael Chambers with Swift Biotechnology and immediate past Chamber board chairman, and entrepreneur Dean Parker. A local board will serve as class mentors.
“Launching 1702 is all about forming an entrepreneurial ecosystem that will transcend our city as one of the best cities for innovative, world-changing companies,” said Parker, 1702 board chair. “We have a ripe opportunity to build critical mass among the top companies in our region and bring the Silicon Valley entrepreneurial DNA to Mobile.”
Class presenters will share their success stories and lessons learned on topics critical to launching, scaling and exiting a company, such as corporate formation structures, legal and risk, raising venture capital, driving revenue, building a board, recruiting and retaining top talent and successful exit strategies.
“Right now we are in a growth phase,” said class participant Marcus Neto, owner of Blue Fish Design Studio. “I’m hoping to learn from other business owners in the services sector how they have grown their businesses.
“1702 is where business innovation happens, and the impact of that will be exponential,” said Bill Sisson, president and CEO of the Mobile Area Chamber.
Twenty-four chief executives from the region’s most promising companies spanning the technology, aerospace, manufacturing and consumer sectors were selected to join the inaugural class and year-long program. Graduates will play a significant role in future programs, according to Parker.
Members of the Inaugural Class of 1702 are:
Jeffrey Adams, Advanced Integrated Security
Bart Briggs, Safety Plus Inc.
Ty Bullard, Joe Bullard Automotive Cos.
Andrew Byrd, University of South
Austin Cadden, University of South Alabama
Drew Delaney, Beard Equipment Co.
Will Fusaiotti, Foosackly’s
Andrew Grinstead, Leavell Investments Management Inc.
Monique Henley, H&S Management Co.
Richard Inge, Inge & Associates Inc.
Silas Leavesley, SpectraCycle
Janice Malone, Business Resource Center Design & Print
Nik Martin, Open Frame LLC
Marcus Neto, Blue Fish Design Studio
Harris Oppenheimer, Entrepreneur
David Padgett, Davison Fuels & Oil
Lyman Ramsay, Gulf Equipment Corp.
Paul Shorrosh, AccuReg
Travis Short, Horizon Shipbuilding Inc.
Michael Smith, ASF Intermodal LLC
JC Smith, Skilled Jobs Direct
James Wink, WEI
Martin Yost, Warion Industries LLC
Scott Zimmerman, Televox
Board Members for 1702 are:
Michael Chambers, Swift Biotechnology LLC
Terry Harbin, BancorpSouth
John Jefferies, Wilkins Miller LLC
Kim Littlefield, University of South Alabama
Frank Lott, Heritage Homes
Keith Manwaring, ManwaringSolutions
Sandy Myers, ASF Logistics Inc.
Andy Newton, Southern Light
Dean Parker, Vita Capital
Bill Sisson, Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce
Billy Stimpson, Bienville Capital Management LLC
Rich Sullivan, Red Square Agency
Jay Watkins, Maynard Cooper & Gale PC
Brian Willman, Regions Bank
Click here to read The Business View – May 2015