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Birmingham Promotes Its Local Tech Cred

Birmingham City Council President Jonathan Austin speaks at Monday's kickoff event at the Birmingham Innovation Depot.

Birmingham City Council President Jonathan Austin speaks at Monday's kickoff event at the Birmingham Innovation Depot. Birmingham City Council / YouTube

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Connecting state and local government leaders

Watch civic and business leaders in Alabama’s largest city tout innovation and the local tech sector.

This week in Birmingham, Alabama, members of the local tech sector and local officials have been gathering for the first-ever Innovation Week Birmingham, which aims to connect entrepreneurs with civic and business leaders throughout the local tech and innovation ecosystem.

The event, sponsored by groups like Birmingham Business Alliance, Tech Birmingham, Birmingham Venture Club and Alabama Launchpad, kicked off on Monday with a ribbon cutting at the Innovation Depot, a tech incubator located in the heart of Alabama’s largest city.  

“Not every community has a world-class research institution like [the University of Alabama at Birmingham] or [the Southern Research Institute]. Not every community has a world-class business incubator like the Innovation Depot,” Devon Laney, president and CEO of the Innovation Depot, says in a promotional video produced by the Birmingham City Council.

“So we have unique resources that we need to leverage to make sure we’re maximizing our potential as a community for innovation and entrepreneurship and technology commercialization,” Laney says. “And I think we’re well positioned to do that, really, up against any of our peer cities that we compete with.”

The Innovation Depot, according to the video, is working with 96 local tech companies that employ 600 people. Overall, there are nearly 800 technology startups in the Birmingham area, according to the Birmingham Business Alliance.

“I really want to change the conversation about what Birmingham real strengths are and one of those is innovation and technology and that’s what this week does,” Rick Davis, senior vice president for economic development at the Birmingham Business Alliance, says in the video.

“We have to continue to do things like this to really promote technology in our city, promote innovation in our city and promote access to technology in our city,” Birmingham City Council President Jonathan Austin says in the video.

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