University of South Alabama, Office of Public Relations
April 19, 2012
Contact: Jennifer Z. Ekman, USA Public Relations, (251) 460-6360

USA Melton Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Director
Offers Advice for Mobile Region

  Dr. Mark Weaver
Dr. Mark Weaver

The University of South Alabama Mitchell College of Business Melton Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Director Dr. Mark Weaver recently offered Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce executives insights on the region’s business climate and its possibilities.

Weaver, who is the Ben May Chair for Entrepreneurship, advised members of the Chamber’s Executive Roundtable that the region needs both big companies and small, one-person start-ups in its economy. The area also requires pools of talented experts, such as specialists in marketing, finance, commercialization and operations, in order to help these start-ups succeed.

To this end, USA will host an Invention 2 Venture workshop in late May. The workshop will lead to a two-day boot camp for the best ideas. The top 20 ideas found at the workshop will receive assistance to file for federal funds, refine the business model, and work to perfect a “pitch” for early-stage funding, known as “angel” capital.

Weaver also said that the region needs ways to inspire innovation among entrepreneurs and help prepare them for the challenges they will face. Additionally, one of the greatest entrepreneurial needs is that of capital, including bank loans, small enterprise micro funds, angel networks and governmental grants.

Most of all, Weaver told the Chamber that they need to create an entrepreneurial climate and culture that celebrates small business owners and lets them know that Mobile is a great place for their companies.

For more information on the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, contact Weaver at or (251) 610-0988.


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