A groundbreaking and innovative venture will soon have its very own space in downtown Mobile, and we couldn’t be more excited to be overseeing its construction.
Innovation PortAL is a regional innovation and entrepreneurial hub that’s all about accelerating startup growth in south Alabama and the central Gulf Coast through targeted programming, funding opportunities, networking, and community events. It does so by providing entrepreneurs access to expertise, resources, and funding, which allows entrepreneurs to more quickly increase their ventures to regional, national, and international markets.
The nonprofit is the brainchild of the leaders of the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, the city of Mobile, Mobile County and USA, which all sought to build upon the area’s already strong base of manufacturing. After years of prepping and planning, a groundbreaking was held for the entrepreneurial center on February 27 at 328 St. Louis Street in Mobile—a site that’s in the heart of the city’s growing technology corridor. In fact, the $4 million facility—which we are overseeing the construction of—is expected to lead to the rebirth of the St. Louis Street corridor and position the Port City as an entrepreneurial hub on the Gulf Coast. The mixed-use incubator will welcome a variety of industries, focusing especially on advanced manufacturing, technology solutions, aviation and shipbuilding, and biomedical development.
Innovation PortAL will take up an entire city block and include renovating 30,000 square feet of old industrial space. The building will include office space, shared workspaces, classrooms, conference rooms, and other amenities that will help entrepreneurs turn their great ideas into successful businesses. Renovations are expected to take up to 12 months, and it will serve eight counties in southwest Alabama: Baldwin, Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Escambia, Monroe, Washington, and Mobile.
The entrepreneurial hub is expected to significantly impact not only Mobile, but the Gulf Coast. Projections are that Innovation PortAL will be completely self-sustaining with five years, and by the end of its fifth year, it is projected to have created 500 local jobs, served 350-plus entrepreneurs and contribute approximately $5 million in economic impact to the local economy.