TechBirmingham Blog

Meet our member company – Forge with Kim Lee

June 23, 2017

Tech Birmingham is happy to announce our new member company, Forge. Today we are featuring Kim Lee, Forge’s CEO and founder. We, at Tech Birmingham, feel that Forge has a lot to offer this community as it grows. Learn more from Kim about Forge and their plans to expand Birmingham’s tech community down below.

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Meet our member company – Vulcan Solar Power with Rob Ozols

June 16, 2017

We are happy to announce our new company member, Vulcan Solar Power. Today we would like to introduce and welcome to the Tech Birmingham family, Rob Ozols, the CEO of Vulcan Solar Power. Having lived in Birmingham for half a decade, Rob believes his company will be able to have a strong impact on tech companies in the growing Birmingham tech ecosystem.

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Camp Innovation

June 12, 2017

The U.S. Labor Department has estimated that there will be 1.4 million job openings for computer-related occupations in this decade. Of the STEM fields, computer science and computer engineering have the highest median earnings for recent college graduates and the sector is rapidly growing. However at the current time, only 12% of these jobs are held by women. 74% of young girls show interest in STEM fields, yet only 3% of them go on to pursue a degree in STEM. These statistics are just as depressing for minorities.  The first step to addressing the problem is to provide exposure to as many of the components of STEM as possible. Many kids do not know what a computer scientist is or does, and certainly do not understand the economic opportunity that STEM occupations provide.

Tech Birmingham’s mission is to grow and promote the tech ecosystem in the region. As part of our mission, we started developing coding programs for kids ages 8 and up in an effort to cultivate interest in coding among girls and minorities and to develop our regional workforce.

In the last year over 1200 kids have attended our monthly coding club or one of our workshops focused on connecting industry professionals with children interested in STEM careers.

Last December TechBirmingham held our first Kids Code-a-Thon. For this event 63 kids between the ages of 11 – 17 years old were brought together to form a team, develop an idea based on “making Birmingham a better place,” develop a MVP (minimum viable product) and present it to a team of judges. Daxko, local tech company generously provided the space for the event and over 20 volunteers from local companies provided instruction and coaching to help the kids develop their ideas.

The event was such a great success we decided to extend it to one week, bring in industry professionals and local companies to teach campers how to create a working app over the course of the week.

Camp Innovation is open to kids entering the 6th-8th grade in the fall who are interested in learning to program, design a product, and learn leadership/team collaboration skills.

These kids are the future of our community, by giving them the knowledge to excel in the tech industry we are laying the foundation for the next generation of innovators. Investing our time and resources into these young minds is essential to the growth of the tech industry in Birmingham.

We are looking for companies interested in providing volunteers for the week, financial assistance for scholarships, and to share tech industry experience with the campers.  One local church has provided scholarships for seven children from their congregation.

The Head Counselor for Camp Innovation is  Vinny Chiaramonte, the Hoover City Schools teacher of the year from 2016-2017, and Bumpus Computer Science teacher.  We still are seeking volunteers who have coding experience, design experience, and even project management skills to assist the kids with their projects during the week. We also need sponsors to fund food and beverages, t-shirts and supplies.

To contact us, email info@techbirmingham.com or call us at (205) 918-7515 for any questions you may have, to volunteer as a sponsor, or to provide scholarships.

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Meet our member company- KnowCyber with Nick Schacht

June 6, 2017

Tech Birmingham is proud to announce the new community member, KnowCyber, LLC. Today we are featuring the company’s CEO, Nick Schacht. KnowCyber strives to create more knowledge about cybersecurity in communities around the country to empower companies with the tools they need to maintain their cyber safety.

     

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Meet Our Member Company – Stewart of Alabama With Carol Stewart

May 26, 2017

We want to welcome to the TechBirmingham community Stewart of Alabama. We are featuring Carol Stewart, who is the Senior Account Manager. She is from Decatur, Alabama and has lived in Birmingham for 29 years.

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Meet Our Member Company – Darius Foster from Imagine Learning

May 23, 2017

We at TechBirmingham are happy to welcome our new member, Imagine Learning. Imagine Learning engages students with an award-winning educational software program that features interactive content, including activities, videos, songs and games. It’s research-based, includes a differentiated instructional system and is incredibly fun to use.

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Creating Office Space That Inspires Collaboration

April 24, 2017

Our April TechTuesday speaker, Anita Turner Senior Director from Colliers International, shared her recent tour of the offices of tech titans and ways that we can create collaborate, productive, and fun spaces for employees without spending a lot of money. If you missed it, you can see her presentation here: Hacking Your Office

Check out Anita’s newest blog post to learn even more:

“Collaboration” as a buzzword is getting as old as “value engineering”; however, the inherent concept is increasing in importance.  All of our clients, from start-up tech companies to decades-old law firms, are realizing the value of collaboration among their employees as well as with their clients.  LinkedIn is a trailblazer in this respect and I had the privilege of touring their new San Francisco headquarters last year.

To read more click here

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TechBirmingham Announces Cyber Conference Speakers

February 19, 2017

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TechBirmingham, the Central Alabama Chapter of the Information Systems Security Association (CAISSA) and the Birmingham InfraGard Chapter are excited to announce Alabama Cyber Now Conference keynote speakers Dave Shackleford and Bruce Schneier and a schedule packed with cyber security experts.

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Meet Our Member Company – Matt Hottle from Redhawk

February 15, 2017

Zeekee Business Photos

TechBirmingham thrives through its talented and diverse group of member companies. Meet our Member Companies is an ongoing Q&A series highlighting this group of founders, movers, and makers in B’ham’s tech industry.

Welcome to the TechBirmingham community Redhawk Consulting! Read on to learn more about Redhawk and the great things they are doing in Birmingham and beyond.

Matt Hottle, founder, and CEO is originally from Baltimore and has been in Birmingham for the last five years. He started Redhawk three years ago. His company specializes in helping entrepreneurs overcome the hurdles of business development, marketing, and legal issues that come with creating a new endeavor. 

We are so glad you joined the TechBirmingham Community Matt! Tell us about your company Redhawk.

We help startups and entrepreneurs with challenges they face in operations, sales, and marketing. I spend most days with clients working through those challenges.

Tell us what you think about the Tech Scene here in Birmingham:

The increase in support for startup businesses is encouraging. The biggest challenge is ensuring those support systems are honestly seeking the best and brightest to create a sustainable tech ecosystem and not an incestuous bubble.

What is one of the challenges you face in your industry?

Finding & educating companies who don’t know how we can help them grow their business, as well as re-educating those who’ve had a bad experience with underperforming consultants.

How do you see the Birmingham Tech Scene evolving?

We’re seeing growth in garage-tech like robotics and makers. We hope to see the Birmingham Tech Scene become more inclusive and diverse, and we hope to attract more tech talent to town.

What are some of the most common obstacles that new business face that they don’t anticipate? How does Redhawk walk them through those hurdles?

Most new businesses don’t have a plan that is much longer than the next 30 days. This leads to a myriad of issues including poor hiring decisions, generating too little revenue, burning cash more quickly than anticipated and rushing products or services to market. Redhawk can walk companies through a straightforward strategic planning process that will improve their efficiency, mitigate wasted cash and improve their speed to revenue. Where needed, we directly implement the processes discovered during that planning on behalf of our clients. We design solutions for sales, operations, branding and marketing. Sometimes they need another set of skills, expertise or perspectives and we can provide that for them.

Thank you, Matt, for taking the time for us to get to you know you!

If you want to see more of Redhawk you can find them at:

redhawkresults.com, facebook.com/redhawkresults

To get in touch with Matt you can find him on LinkedIn at:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/matthottle

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Tech Birmingham Volunteer Gives Back Through “Screens for Schools” Initiative

February 13, 2017

Amrita Lakhanpal has been taking steps to grow interest in the technology sector for Birmingham’s youth. Through her initiative “Screens for Schools” she is raising money to allow her students to have the resources necessary to learn skills in the tech field.

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