A Guide to the Magic City’s Startup & Revitalization Organizations – (Part 2 of 5)

We can attribute Birmingham’s growth to many different factors in today’s economy, but the two leading forces are the immense amount of startups and revitalization of our communities/districts within city limits.


Part 2 – Innovation Depot

BhamNow talked with Devon Laney, CEO of the Depot

The Mission:

“Innovation Depot is the epicenter for technology, startups, and entrepreneurs in the Birmingham region. Operating as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit economic development organization in partnership with UAB, Innovation Depot works to grow economic impact and job creation in the region by providing business incubation services to emerging technology, business service, biotechnology, and life science businesses.”

The Services Provided – Companies you Cater to:

“We provide entrepreneurs with a competitive advantage in attracting customers, talent,  mentors, press, and funding to grow their business.

Innovation Depot reviews and considers all applications, but has a strong focus on high-growth, technology-focused startups. Innovation Depot places emphasis on companies that are synergistic with the industry clusters within which Birmingham has substantial competitive advantage, including healthcare, financial, and B2B services.

Photo By: Alabama NewsCenter
Photo By: Alabama NewsCenter

Businesses can apply to any of Innovation Depot’s programs via our website: www.innovationdepot.org.”

Most Recent Successes:

“Over just the last five years, Innovation Depot has produced a positive economic impact on the Birmingham region of $1.38 billion.

In 2015, Innovation Depot housed 104 startup companies responsible for 809 jobs; 26 patents were filed by member companies, five Alabama Launchpad winners were housed at Innovation Depot; the UAB iLab was launched, 23 new member companies were added, and 12 graduate companies were produced. Member companies also achieved $161M in gross sales in 2015.  

UAB iLab - 1MillionCupsBHM Presentation of WEDE Sports
UAB iLab – 1MillionCupsBHM Presentation of WEDE Sports

Currently, Innovation Depot serves 100+ companies. In 2015, Innovation Depot launched Alabama’s first developer boot-camp: Depot/U, as well as the Ignite co-working space. Also in 2015, Innovation Depot received the support of the U.S. SBA through the Growth Accelerator Grant award of $50,000.00 in support of the Velocity Accelerator.

Photo By: AL.com

The Velocity Accelerator will welcome its first class in January 2017, is Alabama’s first and only seed accelerator, and is a Global Accelerator Network member and Techstars-affiliated program. Learn more here: http://innovationdepot.org/velocity.

Key Events this Year:

“Innovation Depot and its resource organizations –

AIM Group, TechBirmingham, UAB iLab, Alabama International Trade Center, Alabama SBDC Network, Birmingham International Center, Birmingham Business Resource Center, and Birmingham Venture Club

host a constant stream of events throughout the year. The Birmingham community can stay up to date with Innovation Depot events via our website’s events page: http://innovationdepot.org/?scrollto=events.

Photo By: IdeaMensch

Each Spring, Innovation Depot supports a new cohort of Velocity Accelerator startup companies.  The Velocity Accelerator is a twelve-week, full time, fully immersive, Tech stars-affiliate program. Updates about the Velocity Accelerator can be found via our website: http://innovationdepot.org/velocity.

Throughout the year, Innovation Depot’s Depot/U program offers full-time (10 week) full-stack and front-end software engineering certificate options.”

Where the Funding comes from:

“Support for Innovation Depot’s programs comes from public and private supporters in the Birmingham community. Because Innovation Depot is a 501(c)3 organization, contributions may be tax deductible.”


If using technology in your business is an everyday thing, check out the Innovation Depot – the connections and learning experiences it would bring your startup are unmatched!

  • Marketing Producer at Bham Now, Tech Junkie, Foodie, Bham Lover, Movie Snob, Wannabe Quantum Physicist. You can likely find me either at Trim Tab Brewing or O'henry's Coffee in Homewood.