Ignite Alabama - Sparking Innovation & Entrepreneurship in Alabama

Ignite Alabama spotlights Alabama start-ups and entrepreneurs who are building a 21st century economy in Alabama. The show also covers the latest research and technology that paves the way for innovation in business. The mission of Ignite Alabama is to spark innovation, creativity, and new ideas that empower and equip Alabama residents to start businesses and grow Alabama's economy. Ignite Alabama is a Shinecast® show by Sheree Martin.
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Ignite Alabama - Sparking Innovation & Entrepreneurship in Alabama




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Sep 8, 2015

Welcome to episode 14 of the Ignite Alabama podcast. I’m your host and producer Sheree Martin and this show is about sparking innovation and entrepreneurship throughout Alabama.


This week’s guest is Antonio Montoya, an entrepreneur and one of the forces behind RocketHatch, a creative community and startup space in Huntsville, Alabama.


The RocketHatch statement of values are a perfect reflection of what every true 21st century enterprise should cherish:

  • Collaboration over competition
  • Trust over agendas
  • Encouragement over criticism


Those values reflect what I’m trying to offer through this podcast and my larger Shinecast mission. This show is about Conversations with entrepreneurs and innovators without an agenda other than sparking innovation and entrepreneurship--in whatever form or shape it emerges.


I’m a native of the Shoals area of northwest Alabama and Huntsville was always our “big city” neighbor. Huntsville is where we went for big city shopping during the holidays. Huntsville is where we went for symphony music and touring Broadway musicals. Huntsville is where my brother always did the Cotton Row Run 10K when we were growing up. 4 of my honeybee colonies came from Huntsville!


We all know Huntsville for its role in the NASA space program and for the many companies, large and small, that play a role in the national defense of our great country.


But Huntsville is also an arts community and it’s much more than a city for defense department contractors. A few years ago when I first began to actively get involved in the local foods movement in Alabama I discovered that Huntsville had the most active grassroots oriented local foods community in Alabama. Although it was led by the not-for-profit Food Bank of North Alabama, the wonderful thing about the Food Policy Council of North Alabama is that it is open to everyone and anyone who cares about building a sustainable local foods system in Alabama.


Before meeting with Antonio last week when he was in Birmingham for the Alabama Launchpad Innovation awards event, I spent some time reviewing the first annual report of the RocketHatch and I found it so refreshing.


I’ll just let the conversation with Antonio unfold and tell you the rest of the story.


I look forward to visiting with lots of RocketHatch community members on September 10, 2015 at the Investor Day event at the Space and Rocket Center.

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