On Monday, April 23rd, seven promising startups will take the stage at Iron City to make their pitch to investors and the community. The startups will present their progress from the program and their vision for the future. Velocity Accelerator Demo Day, presented by Regions Bank, is FREE and open to everyone – although you must register, so act fast because seats are limited!
Innovation Depot launched the Velocity Accelerator Program in 2017 as a way to create a consistent pipeline of high-growth, investable, technology startup companies in the Birmingham region. Velocity currently runs once a year, and the 2018 group is the second cohort to go through the program.
The Velocity Accelerator aims to give companies every advantage possible in its 13 week course. Designed to scale early-stage tech startups with potential for high growth, Innovation Depot provides Velocity teams with $50k in seed capital, a collaborative workspace, instruction from a managing entrepreneur-in-residence, mentorship, wisdom from industry experts, and over $800k in perks.
Teams have had the opportunity to learn from a variety of experts including attorneys, branding and PR pros, accountants, and CEOs like Bill Smith of Shipt and Bebe Goodrich of Icebox Coffee.
Sarah McFarland, Director of Programs and Culture at Innovation Depot, explains, “The Velocity Accelerator is Alabama’s premier startup accelerator program. We target early-stage, high growth-potential technology startups and choose a very select group of companies each year. We give each one $50,000 in capital and a place to work at the Innovation Depot.
Our program is unique in that we are not just a stand-alone accelerator. As part of the Innovation Depot, the companies going through our accelerator are joining a long-standing community of entrepreneurship and innovation in Birmingham, and when the program is over, these companies have a place to land right inside our incubator.”
“The Velocity Accelerator is Alabama’s premier startup accelerator program. We target early-stage, high growth-potential technology startups and choose a very select group of companies each year.
We give each $50,000 in capital and a place to work at the Innovation Depot,” Sarah McFarland, Director of Programs and Culture at Innovation Depot, explains
“Our program is unique in that we are not just a stand-alone accelerator. As part of the Innovation Depot, the companies going through our accelerator are joining a long-standing community of entrepreneurship and innovation in Birmingham, and when the program is over, these companies have a place to land right inside our incubator.”
The man behind the mission at Innovation Depot, CEO Devon Laney, sees the organization as a driving force for improving Birmingham through technology based economic development. In the same light, the Depot’s Velocity Accelerator Program is a way to make sure the best tech startups have the support and resources needed to grow and scale in Birmingham.
Without community and corporate support, programs like the Velocity Accelerator wouldn’t be possible. “Programs like Velocity showcase the strong commitment from our community to support the startup ecosystem in a very tangible way,” said Laney. “Leveraging the existing resources of Innovation Depot to create a program like Velocity multiplies the community’s investment.”
Regions Bank is the presenting sponsor for this year’s Demo Day. Other groups supporting the event include UAB’s Harbert Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, PNC, Shipt, Alabama Power, BBVA Compass, Baker Donelson, Jefferson County, and Maynard Cooper & Gale.
An Intense 13 Weeks
“A lot of things happen in those 90 days, and then once the program’s over, it’s over,” explains Managing Entrepreneur-in-Residence Beth McKeon. “That spurs an intensity in the program that’s hard to replicate.”
Meet the 2018 Velocity Cohort!
- Wyndy – a mobile app that makes it easy to find, book, and pay pre-vetted, background-checked college babysitters.
- StreetMetrics – a technology which tracks vehicle advertisements movement and calculates its viewership in real time through an online dashboard.
- SimpleShowing – a mobile app that lets consumers book property showings on demand, without an agent.
- Anchorspace – a business which turns vacant and underutilized office and retail spaces into revenue by offering multiple lease options for tenants and a secure transaction platform for landlords.
- Mixtroz – A software that drives live event attendees from the digital space (mobile phone) to physical space (event) in real time while collecting valuable data. Think “LinkedIn” but Live!
- Dirtbook – a B2B mobile app for the construction industry that helps move dirt and other raw materials more efficiently.
- Smart Alto – this business has created a text messaging robot that helps real estate agents respond to leads, 24/7. Their text messaging robot automatically qualifies, nurtures, and books appointments with real estate professionals.
Demo Day Response
The support from entrepreneurs, small businesses, investors and the tech ecosystem for Demo Day 2017 was strong. “We were hoping to have significant community support for the teams and [Birmingham] exceeded our expectations. The response has been overwhelming,” said Laney.
Let’s make 2018 even better.
You might not be an entrepreneur, or involved in the Innovation Depot, but if you’re interested in Birmingham’s startup momentum, come see what’s happening with these new companies. It’s free to attend but you must RSVP. LIMITED SEATS! Velocity Accelerator Demo Day 2018 presented by Regions, April 23rd @ 5 pm, at Iron City Birmingham!