Entrepreneuring Day at the EDGE

As part of our celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week, we’ve got a full slate of activities for Entrepreneuring Day at the EDGE on Wednesday, November 20th.

 

Corporate Power Lunch (12pm-1:30pm)

Learn how established companies are embracing entrepreneurship and helping startups grow. In this session, you will hear from two companies that are key players in the Alabama entrepreneurial ecosystem. Speakers include John Smola, Director of New Business Growth & Development, Innovation and New Ventures at Alabama Power and Will Wright, Vice President of Digital and Innovation at Protective Life Corporation of Protective Life Corporation.

Lunch will be provided to attendees, please RSVP using the button below to reserve your space.

RSVP


Will Wright is the Vice President of Digital and Innovation at Protective Life Corporation where he leads the company’s Digital Center of Excellence on a day to day basis. In this role, he is responsible for Protective’s portfolio of innovation projects and digital maturity strategy. Will previously co-founded, ran and exited a digital health startup called Pack Health focused on chronic disease management and was a consultant with McKinsey & Company. A native of Los Angeles, will currently calls Birmingham, AL home and is on the local boards of Venture for America and the American Cancer Society. Will has an MBA and MPH with honors from UC Berkeley and a BA magna cum laude in Biology from Harvard.

John Smola is the Director of New Business Growth Development, Innovation, and New Ventures at Alabama Power. In this role, he is responsible for directing and leading a team focused on expanding innovation efforts, infrastructure, market position, and human capital to support and enhance core electric needs, improve economic development potential, increasing the profitability of existing revenue streams and generating new revenue streams. The team is focused on implementing and growing most of Alabama Power’s existing and new non-traditional growth areas that leverage the current and expanding infrastructure. Prioritization is on finding, implementing, and growing activities that leverage APC’s infrastructure in new and creative ways. John seeks to execute on growth strategies that match the pace of technological change and innovation by envisioning the future of infrastructure and addressing roadblocks to deploying drivers of economic growth. He also explores several other strategies to support new marketing efforts in economic development, traditional businesses, and industrial and commercial development growth. One example of these efforts is the forthcoming EnergyTech accelerator in Birmingham launching as a partnership between Alabama Power and Techstars.

Thanks to our event sponsor!


EDGE Company Startups Exhibit (4pm-5:30pm & 6:30pm-7:30pm)

Startups from the summer pre-accelerator and accelerator programs along with tenants and co-working members from The EDGE will have booths around the building; stop by and learn about their businesses. A few of the exhibiting companies are highlighted below. Appetizers and drinks will be provided, so be sure to RSVP.


Angel & Venture Investing Overview (5:30pm-6:30pm)

Angel investing is a key part of any developing entrepreneurial ecosystem; angel investors provide the capital to help grow businesses and propel them forward. How do you become an investor, and how do investors work with startups? In this session, you will learn about the structured process from senior executives at Alabama’s largest and most active early-stage investment groups. Speakers from AIM Group include Anderson Hicklen, a Managing Partner at AIM Group who is responsible for managing the AIM Group investment network, investor relations, and fundraising and Jim Corman, serial entrepreneur, co-founder and managing partner of AIM, the largest early-stage investor group in the Southeast. Anderson and Jim will cover how to get involved in the group of 300+ Alabama investors and how our investment approach fits within an overall portfolio.

Evening appetizers and drinks will be provided, please RSVP using the button below to reserve your space.

RSVP

Jim Corman has been a serial entrepreneur for 40 years. During that time, four of his companies grew to the point that they were sold to larger, publicly traded companies. Those companies were all involved in various aspects of the telecommunications industry with the largest company growing to almost 2000 employees and 2.1 million customers before it was sold.

Currently, Mr. Corman serves as a co-founder and managing partner of the Angel Investor Management Group (AIM Group) headquartered in Auburn, AL. AIM Group is the largest angel investor network in the Southeast within nine chapters and is the manager of the AIM South Fund. Those chapters are located in Birmingham, Huntsville, Auburn, Montgomery, Mobile, Dothan, Pensacola, Nashville, and Atlanta. In addition to responsibilities within AIM Group, Mr. Corman has taught Entrepreneurship in the Auburn University College of Business for almost thirteen years.

For the first 53 years of his life, Atmore, Alabama was home. For the last 11 years, he and Jane (his wife of 43 years) have lived in Auburn, Alabama. They have three married adult children and seven grandchildren.

Mr. Corman has served as a Ruling Elder in the Presbyterian Church for 29 years and along with his wife Jane, created the Corman Foundation. From 1993 until 2015, the Corman Foundation issued grants to various Christian ministries and charities.
Mr. Corman earned an undergraduate degree in Finance from Auburn University and an MBA from the University of Texas.

Anderson is a Managing Partner at AIM Group and is responsible for managing the AIM Group investment network, investor relations, and fundraising. Anderson graduated from Samford University with a degree in Business Management and Marketing. Anderson was born and raised in Huntsville, AL and raised around a family business culture in the automotive, hospitality, real estate, and government contracting industries. Anderson served in business development and project management roles with several technology companies prior to joining the AIM Group.

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