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:

ACYT celebrates decade of success in Cullman
5 hrs ago

In just 10 years, Alabama Cullman Yutaka Technologies (ACYT) has nearly tripled its workforce and has grown into a premier player in Cullman County's already-healthy industrial climate.

State, company and city officials took some time to commemorate that success on Monday at a celebration event for the company's 10-year anniversary in Cullman.

"This was made possible through the cooperative efforts of the State of Alabama, Cullman and Honda," ACYT's Masayuki Matsuda said. "We want to extend our deepest gratitude to everyone."


Birmingham startup IllumiCare raises $2.2M from local investors
By Alan Alexander
A Birmingham startup and past winner of the Alabama Launchpad Startups Competition has closed its first funding round from a pool of local investors.
IllumiCare has raised $2.2 million from a mix of individual investors and venture capital firms including Timberline Investments, Stonehenge Capital and Jemison Investments.

In August of last year, the company received $100,000 from Alabama Launchpad, a program of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, to help fund the launch of its non-intrusive electronic medical record tool that provides clinicians with patient-specific information ranging from real-time costs of procedures to predicted patient harm data.

G.T. LaBorde, CEO of IllumiCare, said the funds will be used to add to its existing team of veteran leadership and further develop its product.
"We've got very big ideas and a big vision for what IllumiCare can be, and to realize that vision takes talented people and resources, so we took this first round of outside capital to grow the team and to accelerate both our product and sales growth," LaBorde said.

LaBorde, who was a cofounder of MedMined, which was acquired by Cardinal Health in 2006, said the company's core seven-member team all come from successful startups.

"The team here is one of health care IT veterans from this area that have been involved with major players and are part of major success stories in Birmingham," he said.

The company has hired three employees since closing its funding round and plans to grow to 14 by next year. LaBorde said they will be looking for technologists, developers, sales professionals and customer service representatives.

"IllumiCare has a lot of potential to change medicine in a significant way that not only helps patients but also helps hospital's bottom lines and empowers doctors," LaBorde said.

The Best Place to Start a Business Might Not Be Where You Think
April 18, 2016

Before you develop that grooming app for ferrets, or open a boutique selling crocheted popsicle-holders, make sure you are giving yourself a head start by setting up your business in a city that welcomes entrepreneurship - and offers the incentives to make your venture a success. However, experts caution that tolerance and open-mindedness are as important - if not more so - than obvious qualities such as lower taxes and an attractive cost of living.

A recent WalletHub survey of 1,268 small cities across America reveals the top locations for startups, based on metrics such as cost of living, average revenue growth for small businesses, prevalence of investors, and corporate tax rate.
Topping the list is Holland, Michigan, a city on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan known for its tulip festivals. North Chicago, Illinois, home to Abbott Laboratories and several medical schools, placed second. Brighton, an upstate New York brick-making city and hometown of Frederick Douglass, came third.
Tech-heavy Mountain View in California - where Google, Symantec, LinkedIn, and Samsung all have offices - unsurprisingly rated as the most expensive small city in which to purchase office space, with a price averaging $66 per square foot. Kentwood, Michigan, and Dothan, Alabama tied for the most affordable office space, at $8.76 per square foot.


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