Toss, a startup concept that provides a low-waste alternative to single-use plastic shampoo and conditioner containers, won this year’s Startup Weekend Mobile. The winning concept originated around the use of “pods” that are eco-friendly, dissolvable and safe for human hair and skin.
Over the course of three days at The Steeple, participants worked together to develop seven concepts into fully formed startup business plans. A large contingent of students from the University of Mobile (UM) made its presence known at this year’s event. Todd Greer, Dean of UM’s School of Business, served as one of Techstars group mentors.
Other local business leaders also assisted, including Chris Yokley, CTO and co-founder of cigarclub.com (originally conceived at Startup Weekend Mobile in 2017) and Jarrett McCraw, partner and CEO of the Mobile-based firm Mighty Advertising, among others. Local high school students also made a significant appearance. Attendees were also drawn in from as far away as Birmingham and Pensacola.
“The concept behind Startup Weekend Mobile casts a wide net into the community in the hopes of exposing as many people as possible to the fundamentals of launching a startup,” said Danette Richards, the Mobile Area Chamber’s director of small business development.
“Over the course of 54 hours, contestants work in teams to build an idea into as much of a company as possible, which culminates on Sunday in a pitch competition to a panel of judges and to the general public,” she said.
Initiated four years ago, Startup Weekend Mobile has experienced considerable growth. Participant categories were expanded in 2018, so creative ticket categories included designers, videographers, photographers and mixed-media artists.
“Startup Weekend has become an event that attracts high-profile judges from across the country,” said Corey James, director of operations at Innovation PortAL. “Judges are flown into Mobile to meet community leaders.”
Some of the high-level evaluators brought in for this year’s event included Techstars’ Director of the Americas, a product manager for a multi-billion dollar mixed-reality company and venture capitalists from as far as New York and Vancouver.
“This was my third Startup Weekend Mobile, and it never fails to amaze me how our community can materialize brilliant business concepts in such a short amount of time,” Jarret McCraw, CEO of Mighty Advertising, said.
“In this year’s case, the winning concept was extremely well analyzed and assembled, and they accomplished it all in just three days,” McCraw said. “If there is one thing for people to take away from Startup Weekend Mobile, it’s that you just have to dare to be creative, stay agile and surround yourself with a team that can provide the resources you need to get the idea off the ground.”
Business moves, transactions
Cunningham Head LLC announced that Sky Condominiums, a beachfront development situated due south of State Hwy 161 in Orange Beach, is one of the first low-density developments to be built in the area in over a decade. Plans are in place for the complex to break ground this summer.
The offering will have 14 corner units with gulf views. Several floor plans have already been sold, including both penthouses. All residences have five bedrooms and five-and-a-half baths with approximately 3,429 square feet of living space. Each unit is designed with an indoor fireplace, balcony fire pit and glass balcony railings. The property will also have 150 feet of beach frontage.
Resort style amenities include indoor and outdoor pools, a Gulf-front fitness facility and privately coded elevator entry into the unit. The general contractor for the project is Harvill Construction Inc. The architect is Henry Norris and Associates. Interiors were designed by Melanie Martin Interiors. Purchase prices on the condos will start around $1.7 million.
The project will be marketed by Bob Shallow with RE/MAX Paradise in Orange Beach.
Westminster Village retirement community, located at 500 Spanish Fort Blvd. in Spanish Fort, has completed the first phase of a $3 million renovation to 88 cottages within the property. This is the first major renovation of the not-for-profit continuing care retirement community (CCRC) since its opening in 1983.
Westminster Village combines residential carriage and apartment homes with a comprehensive range of long-term care services, including assisted living and skilled care residences, located within the onsite health center. A grand opening will be held on Wednesday, April 17 at 10 a.m. at the center.
According to Sharon Wright with White-Spunner Realty, a pair of convenience stores were recently acquired in Baldwin County by local investors for $3.1 million. One property is located at 34531 U.S. Hwy 98 in Lillian; the other store is situated at 859 Fairhope Ave. Both sites will be renovated according to Wright, who worked for the buyers in the transaction.
Allied Lakeside LLC has purchased a 4,000-square-foot industrial/warehouse building located at 713 Lakeside Dr. West in Mobile for $250,000. Justin Toomey, broker associate with Stirling Properties, represented the seller in the transaction. Allen Garstecki with JLL worked for the buyer.
John Delchamps with the Merrill P. Thomas Co. Inc. represented the owner and tenant, Atlas Oil, on a five-year lease of a 4,000-square-foot building sitting on one acre at 5589 Todd Acres Rd. Atlas Oil is a fuel supplier and new to the Mobile area.
Sam Winter & Co. expands staff
Mobile-based real estate sales and marketing firm Sam Winter & Co. recently announced the addition of agent Brantley Anne Smith to its staff.
A native of Monroeville, Smith graduated from Auburn University with a bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies. Prior to her hire at the real estate firm, Smith was the store manager for Something New Bridal Boutique.
“Brantley Anne is just the caliber agent I want to be attracted to Sam Winter & Co., so it is great to have her start her real estate career with us,” said Sam Winter, owner/broker. “Along with her past business experience, Brantley Anne brings professionalism and a high standard for integrity along with her.”
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