EDPA names 2016 Alabama Innovation Awards winners at state conference

The state’s growing startup ecosystem was at center stage during the Alabama Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference in Birmingham.

The sixth-annual event, held at the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center, is organized by the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama to celebrate Alabama’s top visionaries for innovation, entrepreneurship and job creation.

The conference was also held in conjunction with the 10th-anniversary of Alabama Launchpad, another popular EDPA startup program.

One of the honorees at this year’s event was from the Mobile, AL area.

Outstanding Achievement in Innovative Manufacturing

  • Horizon Shipbuilding, Bayou La Batre, a shipyard recognized for its GORDHEAD collaboration software aiming to revolutionize the way shipbuilders and other manufacturers conduct business by improving communication more easily by sharing problems and quickly arriving at collaborative solutions.

For the full article on the Innovations Awards, click here.

2016 Alabama Innovation Award

Horizon Shipbuilding was named as one of the 2016 Alabama Innovation Award winners by the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama and honored with the Outstanding Achievement in Innovative Manufacturing category for its GORDHEAD collaboration software.

Before Horizon Shipbuilding developed its own specialized project management soft ware, the Bayou La Batre-based company relied on conversations remembered, estimates and drawings. And the more the company expanded, the more difficult it became to keep projects on track.

Horizon designs, constructs, repairs and maintains vessels for commercial, private and government customers, and was named the Mobile Area Chamber’s Innovator of the Year.

The idea for the software, called Gordhead, came when president Travis Short thought about how the project details he studied could be just as useful to managers and production team members.

Drawing on his persona; sense of humor, Short named the software after a muffled conversation he overheard on the company’s walkie-talkies, where one employee asked another, “Did you just cal me a Gordhead?”

Now Gordhead symbolizes a clear line of communication logging accurate, concise and timely information, including material costs, labor hours and schedules.

With the software loaded on wireless tablets, managers can see the daily impact to the company’s bottom line, resulting in shortened project timelines and a more efficient work schedule that saves labor costs.

But perhaps the greatest benefit, says Short, is an “increased degree of harmony among different levels of management . And when employees ask a questions or expresses a concern, they know they will be heard.”

Business – Getting Started

The hardest part of starting a business is, well, getting started!

The Chamber is partnering with the University of South Alabama, Innovation PortAL and local non-profit One-Mobile to host STARTUP WEEKEND, powered by Google for Entrepreneurs, August 26-28. The event, pat competition and part educational experience, will give aspiring entrepreneurs access to expert advice from mentors and coaches, successful entrepreneurs, capital resources and other tools to jump start their business concepts. By Sunday evening, new businesses will be born.

Those interested in competing in this program can learn more by contacting Danette Richards at drichards@mobilechamber.com

Updates from Rural Sourcing Inc.

Rural Sourcing Inc. (RSI) has several happenings to share. So far, 2016 has been a great year.

The current colleague count at RSI is 76 people at our Mobile location. They outgrew the temporary space just in time to move into our permanent location. RSI renovated the old Turner Todd Motor Company Dealership, also known as the Buick building, on St. Louis Street downtown. The company is committed to hiring an additional 25-35 people this year.

In February, Trey Sparks joined the Mobile, AL RSI team as the Development Center Director. Trey is an alumni of University of South Alabama. He most recently served as the Director of IT for a local company and has experience overseeing multiple locations for over 300 corporate employees.

RSI held its second annual RSI Mobile Hackathon in April. Seven teams of students from the area colleges competed for a paid internship as they created a mobile app for the city’s Mardi Gras parade routes. Two students from Pensacola State College have been offered an internship and started with RSI this month.

Rural Sourcing Inc. has recently been recognized by several entities for stellar growth and company culture. Among the recent awards are:

  • Computer World’s Best Place to Work in IT
  • Inc. 5000
  • IAOP Rising Star
  • Best Places to Work for Recent College Graduates
  • As well as several Best and Brightest awards for excellence

If you are interested in the opportunities available at RSI, please send your resume to: recruiting@ruralsourcing.com or see the complete list on our careers website at: http://www.ruralsourcing.com/careers/job-search/

Tech Infrastructure Now in Place at Mobile Commerce Park

AT&T and the Industrial Park Board of Mobile County announced Mobile Commerce Park is certified as being AT&T Fiber Ready, reflecting the presence of fiber-based, high-speed Internet.

The designation – the first in the state of Alabama – will be another marketing tool for the board and NAI Mobile in recruiting additional tenants. “AT&T is investing in high-speed Internet in urban and rural areas all across Alabama using the latest wired and wireless technologies, and we are proud to highlight Mobile Commerce Park as one of many places in Alabama where AT&T’s fiber infrastructure is in place and ready to help local businesses drive job creation,” said Fred McCallum, president of AT&T Alabama. In today’s world, he said, connectivity is vital to new employers and businesses of every type.

“Our resources in Alabama are extensive, but if potential investors aren’t aware of the tech infrastructure in place across the state, then we face the potential of losing many opportunities,” said Troy Wayman, the Mobile Area Chamber’s vice president of economic development. “This certification helps to eliminate those missed opportunities.”

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