A Guide to the Magic City’s Startup & Revitalization Organizations – (Part 3 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 3 – Velocity Accelerator

BhamNow talked with Estes Gould, Organizer…

The Mission:

“We are Alabama’s first startup accelerator, which basically means we’re a boot-camp for startups. We hope to help Birmingham’s next big companies grow, nurture the city’s startup culture, and invigorate our economic development through innovation and technology.”

The Services Provided:

“Once a year, we will bring 10 tech companies through a rigorous program designed to help them make a year’s worth of progress in 12 weeks. We’ll offer them wonderful mentors, investor contacts, like-minded colleagues, funding, and industry experience to help them avoid typical startup pitfalls.”

Photo By: Nate Schmidt
Photo By: Nate Schmidt

 

The Kind of Companies they Cater to and the Criteria for Entry:

“We accept high-growth tech companies comprised of a small team or solo founder with a visionary idea and the technical ability to execute it.”

How to apply:

“Companies can apply through an online platform called F6S. Our applications are now closed, but next year’s will be opening in August or so, and we’ll be looking for even more applicants than we got this first year!”

Most Recent Successes:

This will be our first year, with the cohort starting in January. However, it was certainly a success to receive more than 100 applications for a 10-company cohort.”

Photo By: Alabama News Center
Photo By: Alabama News Center
Key Events this Year:

“We’ll have public events throughout the year, but the cornerstone of the program is Demo Day, which will be held April 12th at Iron City. We’ll have community members, investors, mentors, and more gather to hear our companies pitch, and, hopefully, raise some funding afterward.”

Where the Funding comes from:

“We are fortunate enough to have fantastic community support from organizations such as Regions, BBVA, Alabama Power, PNC, Harbert Venture Partners, UAB, and more.”

Image result for bring me the money gif

The revenue impact on Birmingham/Alabama:

“That’s undetermined, and difficult to quantify. We will hopefully generate positive returns for our investors, but the larger impact will be on the startup culture and economic development that we’ll foster.”

Unique aspects compared to other organizations supporting startups/revitalization:

“We are the first accelerator program, so no other organization has focused specifically on tech companies, within a concentrated time period, with funding and resources like we have.”


Author: Wade Cline

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.