Guest Post by Jon Nugent, vice president of innovation and technology for the Birmingham Business Alliance
Birmingham is home to unsurpassed intellectual capital, from UAB to Southern Research, and literally dozens of other companies across the metro area. Leveraging that new knowledge, local entrepreneurs, partnered with our vibrant business community and some of the best investors in the world, are creating the next generation of businesses, transforming Birmingham into a hub of innovation.
Innovation Week Birmingham is a celebration of the innovators, inventors, investors, and entrepreneurs that make Birmingham such a vital community. Now in its third year, Innovation Week provides an opportunity to learn about new products, services, technologies, and trends across multiple areas of innovation. This year’s event will highlight the strength of Birmingham’s innovation ecosystem, focusing on our local resources, incubators, accelerators and maker spaces. There will be roundtable discussions, panels and seminars covering topics central to innovation, including seeking and securing funding, the growth of cyber security, startup pitching, women in IT, coding, infectious disease research and much more.
Participants in Innovation Week Birmingham 2016 will have the opportunity to learn more about the research happening in Birmingham and the startups transforming our economy. Attendees will hear from and meet the people behind some of that work, and learn about their successes in developing new resources, building partnerships and growing their respective companies with local talent.
The week will kick off on Friday, August 19 with a block party at Good People Brewing Co. celebrating the ideas, people and companies that are helping to define Birmingham as a great place to do business. On Monday, August 22, the Bill L. Harbert Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UAB will recognize local innovators who were issued patents or whose technologies were licensed or used to launch startups in 2016. Later that day, regional business leaders and elected officials will gather at the Innovation Depot for a ribbon cutting that will officially open Innovation Week. Monday concludes with an open house at the Red Mountain Makerspace, Birmingham’s premier location for programmers, engineers and artists to build their dreams.
Tuesday, August 23 opens with “Funding Your Business to the Next Level,” a panel hosted by Emily Hart, Marketing Director of MotionMobs, followed by TechBirmingham’s popular “TechTuesday” speaker series with Joshua Jones, Managing Partner of StrategyWise. That afternoon, several leading local CEOs will participate in “Behind the Scenes of Innovative Businesses,” a panel designed to inspire entrepreneurs by providing first-person insight into how companies transform their ideas into operating businesses. Also that afternoon, Dr. Tom McDougal, CEO and Founder of Gylen Castle LLC and Alternavisit will share his insights, experiences and strategies for effective marketing and sales to health care organizations, “Selling Your Innovative Solution to the Health Care Industry.” Tuesday’s events close with, “Startup Drinks Pitch Night” at the Velocity Accelerator at Innovation Depot.
Wednesday begins with presentations in the 1 Million Cups program. Designed as a simple way to engage entrepreneurs in communities around the world, 1 Million Cups offers two local entrepreneurs an opportunity to present their respective startups to a diverse audience of mentors, advisors, and entrepreneurs. Later that morning, Dr. Fouad H. Fouad, Chair and Professor at the UAB School of Engineering, and Directors of the UAB Sustainable Smart Cities Research Center and; Dr. Jason T. Kirby, Professor and Director of the UAB Master’s in Sustainable Smart Cities program, will present an overview of UAB’s unique online Master’s degree program, Sustainable Smart Cities. The Birmingham Business Alliance’s Regional Enterprise Council and Women’s Business Council will then host Tanveer Patel, Co-Founder and CEO of ConcertCare, an international health care services firm that provides business solutions for healthcare organizations. Viperline and Cyphort will host a discussion lead by former Facebook Malware Expert, Nick Bilogroskiy, at Innovation Depot, followed by a celebration of the founding of Depot/U with a one year anniversary soiree at Avondale Brewing.
Thursday will include the Magic City Coders Showcase, sponsored by BBVA Compass, sngular and the UAB iLab; and Depot Connect a unique networking event attended by many of the Innovation Depot member companies. One of the week’s highlights will be a special presentation and panel discussion hosted by Southern Research and including leading infectious disease specialists discussing hot topics like the Zika virus. Immediately following the panel, Southern Research will graciously open the courtyard of Quinlan Castle for a very special Business@Sunset event where attendees will be able to connect with business leaders from diverse industries.
Innovation Week Birmingham 2016 has been designed to showcase the breakthrough innovation and technology we have in Birmingham. Birmingham is a center of innovation, where technologies grow and businesses flourish.
Innovation Week Birmingham is a partnership between Birmingham Business Alliance, Birmingham Venture Club, City of Birmingham, Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, Innovation Depot, REV Birmingham, Southern Research, TechBirmingham and the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
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