Birmingham dubbed the next Silicon Valley by Forbes?

Birmingham, Innovation Depot, Silicon Valley
Photo via Innovation Depot’s Facebook page.
Birmingham as the next Silicon Valley? According to Forbes, it’s definitely a possibility.

A Silicon Valley In The Southeast

Silicon Valley may have its roots in the Bay Area, but did you know that there are a number of entrepreneurs that are looking for a change in location? Yep. While the Bay Area may be great for many reasons, its high cost of living is actually turning many away.

Which direction are they turning toward? The Southeast. Oh hey, that’s where our awesome city is!

Birmingham, Silicon Valley
Photo via @jtkola.
The Appeal Of Birmingham

Lush greenery. Friendly people. And a desire to grow. These are all reasons why Birmingham is full of allure to many. Another reason is because it is much less expensive to live in Birmingham than it is in the Bay Area and other prominent areas tech areas.

This low cost of living makes Birmingham an ideal place for startups. Why? Because they have more time to develop and take off than in the Bay Area.

Birmingham As The Next Silicon Valley

If you’ve been paying attention to the exciting world of startup companies in recent years, many new tech hubs have materialized in areas like Austin, TX and Seattle, WA. But wait a minute… hasn’t Birmingham had a lot of startups take shape recently? It sure has!

Birmingham, Alabama, Shipt
Shipt is a big part of Birmingham’s startup scene. Photo via Shipt.

One of these companies is Shipt, the same-day delivery service that Target bought just last year for $550 million.

You’ve probably seen Shipt crew members rocking those well-known lime green shirts as they stroll the aisles in Target. Those shirts are oddly intriguing aren’t they?

Innovation Depot is another hub for local tech development in Birmingham. Currently, it houses over 100 startups, a startup incubator, a wet lab for biology projects and much more. Its stats over the past year are pretty incredible, too.

Birmingham, Innovation Depot, coding classes in Birmingham, Birmingham Can Code, Birmingham codes
Photo via Innovation Depot.

In 2017, companies at Innovation Depot created 1,064 local jobs and reached $155 million in gross sales with $1.66 billion in regional impact over five years. Wowza!

Also, just last month in July, Birmingham hosted a city-wide Innovation Week. Remember Sloss Tech? Well, it was a big deal and a way to draw even more attention toward Birmingham and why it should be a hotbed for tech innovation.

Bham Now Sloss Tech
These future business leaders are part of the Stream Innovations programs. Photo by Bham Now
Can Birmingham Make It Happen?

So far, our amazing city has seen a great deal of growth in the past few years—especially in technology and startup companies. Those involved in trying to make Birmingham “the next Silicon Valley” are positive in the strides the city has taken so far, but know it will be a challenge.

Bham Now Sloss Tech
Mayor Woodfin and Daniel Deriso. Photo by Daniel Deriso
In an interview with Forbes, Birmingham’s youngest and coolest (come on, you know it’s true!) Mayor Randall Woodfin said:
“Coding and digital literacy is going to be super important in the years to come, and we want to make sure that we’re saturating our kids with opportunities to connect and to engage with this.
“People have an antiquated view of Birmingham and we have to change that. We’re familiar with all the awesome stuff that’s going on, but the average person on the street probably has no idea. We want to give people who are outside of Birmingham, and outside of Alabama, a compelling reason to come down. To set ourselves apart…”
Your Thoughts

What do you think of Birmingham becoming the next Silicon Valley? Do we have what it takes to make it happen? We’re excited to know your thoughts about this interesting concept!

Patience Itson
Patience Itson
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