Innovate Birmingham is transforming the local tech scene. Here’s how to get involved.

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Innovate Birmingham
Karma Tolliver, a current Data Analytics Participant at Innovate Birmingham. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

Each year, Innovate Birmingham helps meet the demand of a growing regional IT workforce by offering tech bootcamps, professional development training, and supportive services to local talent. The program changes the lives of students, alumni and employers alike—but don’t take our word for it. We spoke with several members of Innovate Birmingham to learn more.

What is Innovate Birmingham?

Founded in 2016, Innovate Birmingham is a local nonprofit organization comprised of over 15 community partners and more than 30 employers that aims to train the next generation of aspiring tech professionals in the Central Alabama region. Innovate Birmingham was designed to solve two problems:

  1. Meet the fast-growing demand for tech talent in the region.
  2. Harness the potential of under- and unemployed residents in Central Alabama.

So how does Innovate Birmingham prepare the next generation of tech talent in The Magic City? The program offers two “boot-camp” style programs: Full-Stack Web Development and Data Analytics. Each program has three goals:

  • Equipping students with technical skills.
  • Fostering personal and professional development.
  • Connecting students with potential employers.

Since we wanted to learn more about what makes Innovate Birmingham such an asset to the local tech community, we reached out to several members of the program to hear their thoughts.

What Innovate Birmingham is All About

Over the past few weeks, we heard from several people involved with Innovate Birmingham, including a current participant in the Data Analytics bootcamp and a recent web development graduate of the program. From our conversations, one thing was clear—Innovate Birmingham is making a tangible difference in people’s lives.

Take Karma Tolliver, for instance. As a member of Cohort 13 of the Data Analytics Bootcamp, Karma had worked in the sales field for several years before deciding to change career paths with the help of Innovate Birmingham. Now, she’s unlocking her personal potential by combining her skills, talents and experiences with information that she learns each day in the Data Analytics Bootcamp. And the best part? She’s able to take these classes for free.

“When I say that I’m thankful, I am super grateful for this program because I don’t think that I could get this level of training in this bootcamp somewhere else. To be part of this program I am really, really thankful.”

Karma Tolliver, Data Analytics Bootcamp, Cohort 13

How to Support Innovate Birmingham

Birmingham, Innovate Birmingham
Learning at Innovate Birmingham. Photo courtesy of Innovate Birmingham

Since Innovate Birmingham offers their programs for free, they rely on support from the Central Alabama community in order to continue supporting aspiring tech professionals in the region. Innovate Birmingham makes it incredibly easy to support their work, either as an individual or on behalf of a company/organization.

Click here to learn more about donating to Innovate Birmingham.

Want to hear more about what it’s like to participate in Innovate Birmingham? Check out some of our previous articles:

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  • Tennessee native who fell in love with Birmingham during college. Graduated from Birmingham-Southern College in 2019. Passionate about Birmingham and its continued growth.