Melton Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
“Facilitating the Growth of Entrepreneurial Opportunities”

The mission of the Melton Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (MCEI) is to inspire, innovate, integrate, and implement new ways of thinking. Education, research, and outreach that positively impact students, the regional economy, the state of Alabama, and the nation are the tools used to fulfill this mission.

The MCEI plays a leadership role in stimulating and nurturing economic development. The MCEI leverages its resources to elevate the University of South Alabama entrepreneurship and economic development programs by providing opportunities to improve entrepreneurship education, expand the university impact on the economy of the region, and raise the impact of the component programs within the Melton Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

"Key Focus Areas"

Family Business Institute

Family businesses make up the vast majority of the firms in the US and the greater Mobile area. Specific programs to assist family firms to explore succession, estate planning and financial management will be core parts of the program.
The Institute goes past the baseline activities and looks at innovative programs for women in family businesses, how to put the family back in family businesses, a new concept called the “family of family businesses”, social and psychological tensions, and exit strategies.

Social Enterprise Academy (SEA)

The Social Enterprise Academy works with nonprofits to create support mechanisms and resources that nonprofits organizations can use to fulfill their social missions.
The nonprofit sector is a major training ground for entrepreneurial leaders, even if they do not always recognize this role. Women, minorities and younger workers often fill roles they could  not have attained in larger companies. Fundraising, working collaboratively with volunteers, demonstrating a reason for being, and creating networks of contacts that are essential in growth are action tasks for the Social Enterprise Academy.
The SEA works to develop “sustainability” plans, grant writing workshops, intern programs, scholarships, and job paths for students to gain the experience and networks needed to succeed in the future.

Technology Commercialization Council

The technology commercialization council is heavily focused on the biomedical strengths and assets that exist at USA and in the greater Mobile area. A new project with the Mitchell Cancer Institute assists them in getting patents for products and processes to market.
The biomedical program is planned as a multidisciplinary partnership to leverage USA resources by using other university programs.

Coastal Financing Resources Group

MCEI and USA are partnering with multiple organizations to create access to capital for emerging businesses. Funding resources for $500 to $1 million from our partners will be possible for qualifying companies in the region.
A new Venture Capital Fund is also being developed for 2014 investments. The fund will focus on promising technologies in the Southeast U.S.

CEO /Jaguar Consulting

CEO, the Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization, is a national student organization focused on developing an entrepreneurial mindset in a university setting. Speakers, webinars, field projects, and starting a student-led business are examples of activities for CEO.
A second student initiative is Jaguar Consulting. The goal is to provide a student-based consulting service that provides hands-on experience in multiple types of businesses. These experiences help students decide how to use their entrepreneurial skills.

What do you want to do with your life?
Career ideas:

  • Start your own venture
  • Work in a design firm
  • Enter a family business
  • Discover sales and advertising
  • Spin out a new company from a big one
  • Join an economic development organization
  • Contribute to a social enterprise/nonprofit
  • Work in the financial/banking sectors
  • Offer consulting services
  • Change K-12 education leadership