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How south Alabama is attracting entrepreneurs

Business leaders and innovators in Mobile are learning new ways to attract more entrepreneurs and startup businesses to south Alabama.

Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson, members of the Mobile Chamber of Commerce and many other business and civic leaders met recently with leaders from the Alabama Capital Network (ACN) at downtown Mobile’s Innovation PortAL for ACN’s Startup Showcase to discuss new ways to drive innovation in Alabama. Stimpson reiterated the importance of having players from both the public and private sectors at the table.

“There are so many more opportunities when both public and private partners realize what the other group brings to the table,” Stimpson said. “We all have so much to gain when they come together.”

Teamwork helping entrepreneurs thrive across Alabama from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

Joshua Jones, CEO of Alabama Capital Network, speaks during a recent visit to Innovation PortAL in Mobile. (Dennis Washington / Alabama NewsCenter)

ACN is one of those partners. ACN is a statewide nonprofit that looks to connect entrepreneurs with community resources. ACN CEO Joshua Jones said his group focuses on putting entrepreneurs in touch with investors and helping improve their financial presentations, which increases the likelihood of getting funding.

“It’s exciting to see people from across the state really embracing the need for Alabama to look at how we can be a more innovative state,” said Jones. “We’re really excited about what Alabama has been building and we believe it’s really just the start of something bigger that’s going to come.”

The Startup Showcase was hosted by Innovation PortAL, an incubator program on the Gulf Coast that supports entrepreneurs through demand-driven programming. Innovation PortAL’s Executive Director Todd Greer said one-on-one mentoring, connecting entrepreneurs to financial or legal experts, and hosting events similar to the Startup Showcase are some of the ways he and his team are helping entrepreneurs and startup businesses thrive.

“When we look at the ability to bring people together, we recognize there’s no one-size-fits-all,” said Greer. “To bring all these partners across Alabama together and for the entrepreneurs to see all these groups are cheering them on, it’s a big lift.”

Greer adds the easiest way for people who want to start a business but don’t know how to get started is to attend a discover session at Innovation PortAL. To learn more visit