An industrial and railroad hub due to its central location in the Deep South, Birmingham has recently emerged as a regional startup hub. Millennials have been flocking to the city, attracted by its downtown renaissance, foodie reputation, and the openness of the local startup community. The epicenter of this community is Innovation Depot, an incubator, accelerator, and co-working space, home to over 100 companies providing over 800 jobs for entrepreneurs. Organizations such as the Birmingham Business Alliance, TechBirmingham, and REV Birmingham have been integral in promoting tech companies in the region and in the redevelopment of the downtown area. Historically, the region has been a life sciences magnet, home to 119 biotech companies with more than $2 billion in research grants and venture capital investments in health IT. In addition to a robust healthcare IT sector, the region is primed for successful fintech and cybersecurity startups due to strengths in those areas as well. Despite all these strengths, Birmingham faces a similar set of challenges that other growing communities face, namely access to early stage capital; although the Velocity Seed Fund and other early stage capital sources have been making significant impact in this area.
These businesses offer industry expertise and are a source of startup talent and potential customers. They help fuel the local startup community.
Up and coming startup
Up and coming startup
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Up and coming startup
Devon is the President & Chief Executive Officer of Innovation Depot, a high-tech/biotech business accelerator and the epicenter of the Birmingham startup community. Prior to joining Innovation Depot, he worked on a broad range of marketing, IT, and strategic organizational projects with various Fortune 500 companies and as an analyst with Accenture in Atlanta.
At Harbert Growth Partners, Bob is responsible for investments in healthcare services and medical devices. He is also a Venture Fellow at the University of Alabama and a Visiting Executive at Auburn University.
Nate Schmidt serves as the CEO of Instagift, and is the program director for the Velocity Accelerator at the Innovation Depot.
Jennifer serves as the President of TechBirmingham, a nonprofit dedicated to strengthening the technology ecosystem by promoting tech companies in the region. She also serves as an Executive Director of Angel Investor Management Group, an angel group with branches across Alabama.
Shegun is the founder and CEO of TheraNest, a rapidly scaling startup that creates software that helps mental health professionals manage their practices.
Prior to joining as Managing Director at Founders, Zane had successfully exited two companies that he had founded himself. He is an expert on the growth and monetization of digital media, internet technology and software companies.
Gary is a serial entrepreneur with three successful technology companies under his belt. His innovative solutions have enhanced routine outpatient healthcare, increased physician productivity and improved hospital profitability.
James Outland is a founding partner at New Capital Partners where his primary focus is medical and healthcare companies. Prior to co-founding New Capital Partners, James served in various key roles in the healthcare industry and as an officer of UnitedHealth Group after its acquisition of Complete Health Services.
As CIO at BlueCross BlueShield of Alabama, Scott was responsible for the implementation of the "Keep IT Local" initiative, which created an easily accessible platform to incentivize local companies to source IT products and services from the Birmingham area.
Athena Collective, founded by Nicole Carpenter and Whitney Wright, is an angel group that is dedicated to cultivating and educating women investors by connecting them with women and minority-led startups.
A public private partnership, Alabama Launchpad is now the go-to resource for startups as they move from the lab to the market, creating jobs for the state.2006
Cardinal Health acquisition of Medmined is an early success story for the ecosystem, and validation that the Birmingham area is a leader in big data related technologies.July, 2006
Created to strengthen and promote the technology ecosystem by promoting tech companies in the Birmingham region, TechBirmingham helps recruit and retain tech talent and entrepreneurs by providing opportunities for technical training and education. It is based in Innovation Depot.2010
Shipt is an on-demand grocery delivery service that gives customers direct access to thousands of grocery items through a mobile app. It has grown exponentially since its founding, receiving $20 million in venture funding.2014
The UAB Innovation Lab (UAB iLab) is a partnership between the UAB Collat School of Business and Innovation Depot that serves as a conduit between students and the entrepreneurial community.2014
A nonprofit initiative to strengthen the community and government of Birmingham by volunteering to organize, develop, and deploy civic technology by laying down a foundation for open data.2014
Venture for America (VFA) provides young adults with transformative career experiences while leveraging entrepreneurship to drive impact in emerging communities. VFA announces its inaugural class of eight fellows to it's first program in Birmingham.2015
Local startup Atlas RFID recieves $10m in funding from Kayne Partners.January, 2015
Ten companies from across the United States and around the world each received $50,000 in funding from the Innovation Depot's Velocity Accelerator.January, 2016
Athena Collective, an angel group dedicated to dedicated to cultivating and training women investors, and Startup Angels are hosting Birmingham’s first-ever women-focused angel investing workshop, the Athena Collective Investment Forum. The workshop will educate aspiring angel investors through an action-based curriculum featuring panels of proven entrepreneurs and investors.March, 2017