Jeffrey Bayer and David Silverstein to start new innovation hub on Highland Ave. in Birmingham

2130 Highland Ave. Birmingham. Site of a new creative space for startups, coming soon. Photo by Jon Eastwood for Bham Now

You’ve probably heard about several start-up platforms in Birmingham.  Innovation Depot, UAB, REV Bham and EDPA’s Launchpad are a few.  But there will be a ‘new kid on the block’ coming soon to Highland Ave. Find out more.

New creative space for startups coming soon

Two of Birmingham’s leading commercial real estate specialists have announced exciting plans to launch a “hub for cultivating innovation and collaboration among Birmingham’s next generation of business leaders”, according to the Birmingham Business Journal.

Jeffrey Bayer and David Silverstein have recently stepped down from their longstanding roles at Bayer Properties to take on this concept. They will be retaining ownership positions, in Bayer Properties, with Jon Rotenstreich continuing to serve as the company’s managing member and longtime company employees Jami Wadkins and Libby Lassiter being named as co-presidents.

2130 Highland Ave. Birmingham. Site of Jeffrey Bayer and David Silverstein’s innovation hub, coming soon. Photo by Jon Eastwood for Bham Now

The name of Bayer and Silverstein’s innovation hub has not yet been revealed. Building renovations are already underway at a four-storey building at 2130 Highland Ave., which is within walking distance of historic 5 Points South and closeby links to highways 31/280.

Bayer is Birmingham change agent

Jeffrey Bayer has been a long term change agent for Birmingham.  Spotting trends for business growth are nothing new for him. Just look at The Summit shopping center and The Pizitz building renovation as two examples.

On his new venture, Bayer tells the Birmingham Business Journal,

“For Birmingham to continue to thrive, we must find ways to foster the mutual understanding and respect needed for inclusive growth. And I believe Birmingham’s younger generation shares this vision”,

“To support this effort, we offer our building as a place where business leaders of all ages can gather and exchange ideas that contribute to our region’s future prosperity.”

Innovative Birmingham

UAB and  Innovation Depot  have already played an important part in providing platforms for businesses and emerging ideas to flourish in Birmingham.

Innovation Depot now has over 100 startups, located within a former Sears department store at 1500 1st Ave North, fans of the Art Deco architectural style should really check this building out, including inside the building where you can enjoy a coffee and treat in the company of some of the most creative people in town, at the newly opened Crestline Bagel Company, .

Picture via Innovation Depot

Did somebody say coffee? Well, an Innovation Depot graduate, Icebox Cold Brew Coffee have gone from strength to strength following their start in Birmingham. And, we’ve all seen the Shipt T-Shirts around town, with the same-day delivery service going nationwide, having been bought by Target for $550m.

Forbes even dubbed the possibility of Birmingham becoming the next silicon valley. But who wants to live in California, anyway, when we can live in Birmingham.

Co-working Spaces

A related budding concept in Birmingham and elsewhere are co-working spaces.  The idea is to provide flexible rent packages, camaraderie and perhaps some support services for solopreneurs and startups.

Bham Now, for example, resides in Forge, a co-working space in The Pizitz building. We’ve recently covered the opening of other co-working space concepts in Vestavia (Worx BHM) and in Avondale. Practice Works is unique in its focus on wellness related startups.

Collaboration abounds at Forge coworking space. Members often work together on projects or bounce ideas off of one another. Photo via Forge

The next big idea

While we’d love for you to share your idea for the next big thing with us, you might not want to reveal your secret formula to the world just yet.

One thing’s for sure, when it comes to innovation and entrepreneurship, small ideas can mean big wins, and we’re looking forward to the next great idea that is grown right here in Birmingham!

Stay tuned to Bham Now for more on innovation in Birmingham.

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Jon Eastwood
Originally from Wales (UK) and a fluent Welsh speaker. Longtime sustainability and recycling champion. Former county recycling manager in the UK. Career highlights include introducing innovative recycling systems and achieving a point where households throw out trash just once a month. Competed in international coastal rowing championships and followed Wales throughout Europe in their Rugby and Soccer endeavours.
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