At the heart of The Magic City, you’ll find all kinds of people who make it a unique place to live. We recently had the opportunity to meet some key players in the area’s growing tech scene—here’s what you need to know and how to get involved.
1. SLOSS.Tech is the South’s premiere tech conference.
SLOSS.Tech brings together the best and the brightest of today’s tech entrepreneurs, both nationally and locally. The event’s mission is to become a hub for Birmingham’s tech community, where founders, startups and companies can share ideas, build relationships with one another and push the boundaries of innovation.
The most recent SLOSS.Tech took place on Friday, August 4 at The Lyric and Sidewalk Film Center + Cinema in downtown Birmingham. We spoke with Chun Schiros, PhD, Senior VP, Head of Enterprise Data Science Group at Regions Bank, about the role of AI.
“When choosing this career, I look back at how I was always drawn to data and physics. I see a whole world of possibilities when it comes to the insights, predictions and patterns that data offers.
I truly believe that the truth lies within the data, and I was called to pursue the truth.”Chun Schiros, Senior VP, Head of Enterprise Data Science Group, Regions Bank
Coming from a job in medicine to the banking industry, Schiros can connect the two by one thing: the data.
“When coming to Regions, it was the same as how I worked through data in medicine.
We look for patterns and recommend solutions to help our customers, and in turn help our bankers better serve our customers through AI-driven assistance and knowledge-based tools.”Chun Schiros, Senior VP, Head of Enterprise Data Science Group, Regions Bank
Schiros was named to American Banker’s 2023 Most Powerful Women in Banking: Next list
2. Innovative + positive leaders are driving growth.
Andy Hernandez, Chief Digital Officer at Regions Bank and Board Member at Innovation Depot, talked with us about how important tech is to the success of large businesses in our area.
“As one of this city’s largest employers, we need the tech industry to thrive. SLOSS.Tech, Innovation Depot and TechBirmingham help make that happen. I’ve got all the incentive in the world to support that and see it succeed.”Andy Hernandez, Chief Digital Officer, Regions Bank
These organizations promote startups in the region, and support the growing ecosystem by recruiting and retaining entrepreneurs and tech talent.
3. Innovation Depot is the heartbeat of Birmingham’s entrepreneurial community.
Innovation Depot, affectionately known as the heartbeat of the local entrepreneurial community, provides founders with the resources they need to get their tech-based businesses off the ground.
“I think Innovation Depot is the heartbeat of this tech ecosystem in Birmingham. I think we have an obligation to support it, but forget the obligation—I love what they’re doing and get excited about it.”Andy Hernandez, Chief Digital Officer, Regions Bank + Board Member, Innovation Depot
4. TechBirmingham strengthens and advocates for the local tech ecosystem.
TechBirmingham is full of creative minds who are hard at work growing the local ecosystem. Through programs such as Tech Tuesday and Tech Equals, this forward-thinking nonprofit promotes tech companies in the region, helps recruit and retain tech talent and entrepreneurs, and provides the current and future workforce with technical education and professional development opportunities.
“When you think technology, you think Silicon Valley, Atlanta or some of these bigger cities. TechBirmingham is bringing that mentality to our city—I give them credit for attracting and retaining tech talent.”Andy Hernandez, Chief Digital Officer, Regions Bank
5. Andy Hernandez leads digital strategy at Regions, which supports the local tech ecosystem
Raised in a family full of doctors, lawyers and engineers, Andy Hernandez went against the grain and studied computer science. Fascinated by technology since the early 1980s and wanting to work around people, Hernandez found a career that got him away from being behind a computer.
Now, nearly a decade into his role as the Chief Digital Officer for Regions Bank, Andy reflected on the career that gives him a front row seat to our city’s technology scene:
“I found a career that allows me to be around technology and solving problems.”Andy Hernandez, Chief Digital Officer, Regions Bank
Building a bright future
With the high demand for digital access, it’s all hands on deck in our city’s technology world. Regions Bank, TechBirmingham, Innovation Depot and many others know this and are eager to see the growth and success of tech in Birmingham.
“We want and need this tech ecosystem to thrive in the city of Birmingham; it’s our home office. As one of the people leading the charge, I have a vested interest in that.”Andy Hernandez, Chief Digital Officer, Regions Bank