Application Cycle Open

Our Approach to Seed Funding

Portal Fund is a nonprofit fund which will make pre-seed investments into founders based in Mobile that are in the early stage of developing companies with high-growth business models (high-growth startups).

The Portal Fund is designed to accelerate the entrepreneurial ecosystem of south Alabama and the central Gulf Coast region. The Fund will attract, retain, and support high-growth ventures in Mobile, AL by providing startup founders with seed capital and access to Innovation Portal programming, milestone-based mentoring, and workspace, all designed to encourage venture development, growth, and job creation.

Current investment round is accepting applications until Sept 10, 2020.


  • Fund Overview
    • 501(c)(3)

    • Early stage investment fund

    • $25,000 - $150,000 investments

    • Investments awarded as convertible notes

      Convertible notes are investments in the form of a loan that has the option of converting into equity at a future milestone, which is agreed upon by the investor and the founder(s).

    • Inaugural fund raised in 2019

    • Inaugural investment round initiated in 2020

    • Located in Mobile, AL

    • Purpose:

      - Support local founders
      - Encourage venture development
      - Attract and retain founders in Mobile
      - Encourage ventures to create jobs; attract and retain talent in Mobile
      - Prepare founders for follow-on equity-based funding
      - Create deal flow for funders

  • Eligibility
    • High-potential Founders

      We back founders who are obsessed with developing a business around solving real problems in innovative ways. Founders that are coachable, responsive, motivated, and that have a unique ability to lead and inspire others to join their journey.

    • Venture based in Mobile, AL

      HQ and at least 51% of founding team located in Mobile once investment made

    • Ventures with high potential for rapid growth

      We look for startups that can grow into sizable businesses in Mobile, creating high-wage jobs and revenues.

    • Ventures in any sector

      However, particular consideration will be given to startups that are utilizing emerging technologies aligned with regional industry activity (aerospace, med-tech, shipping & logistics, ship building, chemical, etc).

    • Ventures in early stage of development

      Ideation, concepting, launch, revenue-generating, etc.

    • For profit ventures only

      The Portal Fund will not consider applications submitted by nonprofits, although social enterprises and social impact businesses with for-profit business models are encouraged to apply.

    • Submissions must be the original idea of the applicant

  • Application Process
    • Complete online application

    • Interview with Investment Committee

    • Pitch before the Investment Committee

    • Complete due diligence review

    • Remain honest and responsive to IP staff and Investment Council throughout the process

  • Investment Criteria
    • Committed Founders

    • Validation

    • Scalability

    • Innovative nature of the product, technology, or service

    • Business development and success metrics to date

    • Market landscape

    • The qualities of the founder and executive team

    • Strength of investment opportunity

    • Potential impact on the region

    • Diversity

  • Investee Requirements
    • Identify milestones and goals for the following year

    • Develop timeline and action plan to achieve milestones

    • Meet regularly with dedicated mentor and IP staff

    • Report regularly on venture status and progress

    • Prepare for follow-on funding

    • Provide regular reports for the life of the venture

Investment Council

The Ones Who Make It Happen

Our Partners