After Shipt’s Success, Birmingham Innovators Look For Next Big Thing

By Dennis Pillion
Alabama Media Group, Birmingham

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Many entrepreneurs and innovators are happily starting to call Birmingham home. A recent panel at a conference was called “1 billion reasons to believe in Alabama,” featuring the heads of three successful Alabama-based companies that within the past six months sold for a combined total of more than $1 billion.

Alabama Media Group, Birmingham

Just hours after Birmingham startup Shipt announced it would keep its headquarters in town and hire 881 new employees, dozens of Birmingham’s most impactful technological innovators and entrepreneurs gathered for the imerge innovation conference to talk about the next wave of startup companies to emerge from the Magic City.

The event was held at the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama at its campus adjoining Railroad Park and featured presentations by tech luminaries from Birmingham to Brazil.

The event was part of Birmingham’s Innovation Week, which continues today with the sold-out Sloss Tech event at the Lyric Theatre.

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin delivered the opening remarks at imerge Thursday, saying as an under-40 mayor of a major city he felt that he was a “kindred spirit,” with the innovators and tech culture and that small startups will continue to play a big role in Birmingham’s economy.

“I have a fundamental belief that the growth of a city is not based on what a government does, particularly a municipal government does alone, but more so on what small business owners decide to be, in collaboration with entrepreneurs and those in the innovation and tech space,” Woodfin said. “That will be the real definition of growth in our city, how we support them, how we invest in them and how we make sure they are successful.”

$1 billion in Alabama
The highlight for many was a panel called “1 billion reasons to believe in Alabama,” featuring the heads of three successful Alabama-based companies that within the past six months sold for a combined total of more than $1 billion.

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