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Here is today's summary of economic development news, a free service of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, representing Alabama's private sector investment in economic development.  If you enjoy NewsFlash, thank an EDPA Partner


In this issue:
Bentley to announce new focus on education and workforce development
Birmingham, other Alabama communities poised to get spillover business from Airbus' Mobile project
Former NASA administrator Mike Griffin: Huntsville should harness PNT market
Birmingham rises to 47th in economic index
Gulf Coast Angel Network Inks Deal with Angel Investor Management Group



Bentley to announce new focus on education and workforce development
By Evan Belanger | ebelanger@al.com 
on November 10, 2012 at 10:20 PM

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield hinted this week at increasing collaboration between state education and economic-development officials intended to improve workforce development for industry. 

Speaking at the University of Alabama at Birmingham's Leader to Leader Breakfast Series, Canfield said he expects an announcement "very soon" from Gov. Robert Bentley that "will be spotlighting the whole issue of education and workforce development."

He described the anticipated announcement as a spin-off of ongoing efforts by the Alabama Economic Development Alliance, which Canfield chairs.

Established last year through an executive order, the alliance has made improving workforce development a major goal for recruiting industry. It includes both education and economic development officials. 






Birmingham, other Alabama communities poised to get spillover business from Airbus' Mobile project 
Published: Friday, November 09, 2012
By Dawn Kent | dkent@al.com

 BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- Airbus' plan to build giant jets in Mobile is expected to ripple across Alabama and the Southeast in the form of new suppliers, new jobs and new business for the state's existing industrial base, a company executive said today in Birmingham.

Allan McArtor, chairman of Airbus Americas Inc., was the keynote speaker today at a Birmingham Business Alliance luncheon at The Club, where he outlined the company's plans to build a $600 million, 1,000-job aircraft assembly plant in Mobile that will produce the A320 single-aisle jet.

In his speech to BBA investors, as well as in remarks at an earlier editorial board meeting with al.com, 
McArtor focused on a common theme: Alabama, and not just the Gulf Coast, will benefit from the Airbus project.

"I can't tell you exactly how it will affect Birmingham, but I can tell you it will," he said.






Former NASA administrator Mike Griffin: Huntsville should harness PNT market
Published: Friday, November 09, 2012, 2:56 PM  

By Martin Swant, al.com


HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- There is plenty of room for Huntsville to harness the commercial space market, and opportunity lies more with utilizing data than it does with building shuttles, according to former NASA

administrator Mike Griffin. 


Griffin, who served as NASA administrator during the George W. Bush administration, said one of the most promising global markets is for space-based positioning, navigation and timing. For 2013 alone, forecasts for the PNT market is valued around $10 billion, with an annual growth rate of 12 percent. PNT refers to GPS, GPS augmentations and other global navigation satellite systems. 

Griffin in August became chairman and chief executive officer of Schafer Corp., which provides services and products to the defense industry. He was also an eminent scholar at theUniversity of Alabama at Huntsvilleand the architect of a new department of systems studies.


"I submit that we've barely scratched the surface of that market," he said during a speech at the 
GEO Huntsville conference at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center  on Friday.
 "We can scratch it in Huntsville and we can scratch it nearly anywhere."





Birmingham rises to 47th in economic index
Birmingham Business Journal
Date: Monday, November 12, 2012

Birmingham continues its climb in the On Numbers Economic Index.

Birmingham has once again improved its standing in the On Numbers Economic Index.

The Magic City landed at No. 47 in the monthly index that tracks the economic health of the nation's 102 largest metro areas.


The metro has steadily climbed since the index was launched in September. At that point, it ranked 60th.

The On Numbers Economic Index is generated by an 18-part formula that assesses private-sector job growth, unemployment, earnings, housing-price appreciation, and construction and retail activity.




[Birmingham Business Journal]




Gulf Coast Angel Network Inks Deal with Angel Investor Management Group


Mobile, Ala. (Nov. 9, 2012) - The Gulf Coast Angel Network ("GCAN") has signed a contract with the Angel Investor Management Group ("AIM") to manage its network, deal flow and due diligence.


 Dr. Michael Chambers, GCAN Chairman of the Board, announced the new relationship stating, "We are very excited to enter into this relationship because it offers our members a uniform, structured due diligence process and increased deal flow."

AIM was founded in 2011 by three investment veterans: Dick Reeves, head of the Huntsville Angel Network, Jim Corman, Professor of Entrepreneurship at Auburn University, and Clay Corman, a former investment banker with private equity experience. Jim Corman, COO of AIM, explained, "adding GCAN to our client portfolio adds a significant number of potential investors to our deals and expands our scope throughout Alabama."


AIM now manages the Huntsville Angel Network, the Central Alabama Angel Network (Birmingham), the Auburn Angel Network and GCAN (Mobile). Mr. Corman, a successful entrepreneur and veteran angel investor, explained that "most new companies that have the ability to ramp up to deliver large returns need substantial capital to make that happen. We now have the ability to access investors across the entire state to provide $1,000,000 or more to a young company." Chambers, currently president of Swift Biotech and former CEO of InnoRx Pharmaceuticals, added, "as an entrepreneur I know that easy, efficient  access to organized capital is critical for a start-up. AIM helps make that happen."


The creation and collaboration of angel groups throughout the state was one of the primary goals identified in the "Commercialization" component of Alabama's Science and Technology Roadmap, commissioned by then Governor Riley.

 Both Reeves and Chambers served on that commission and helped author that section of the Roadmap. Reeves explained that "before the birth of AIM and collaboration among the angel groups, each network had to do its own due diligence. It was an unnecessary duplication of effort by the networks and the companies trying to raise money. Now, entrepreneurs can go through one uniform, organized due diligence process and all members of AIM-managed networks receive the benefit."


Because of the collaboration, investors are also able to require terms that are more favorable to their long term interests. Clay Corman explained, "We grade each company in due diligence and each investor can make his or her own decision. But, we also ensure that if members do the deal they receive key contract terms that protect their investment and have access to required company progress reports."


GCAN and AIM also announced that Bo Megginson of Mobile would serve as Executive Director of GCAN. Megginson stated, "thanks to our efforts together GCAN now has more than 50 members who will hear presentations from Alabama companies and others throughout the Southeast." Investors interested in becoming a GCAN member can obtain more information at www.gulfcoastangelnetwork.com. 


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Enjoy the day, 

Val Walton
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