Find out why these local employers are supporting Innovate Birmingham on Donation Day, July 26


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Innovating Birmingham
Innovate Birmingham has touched the lives of hundreds of residents of central Alabama, just like these alumni. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

At the turn of the 20th century, Birmingham quickly transformed from a small collection of farmland into the economic engine of Alabama, bearing the name ‘The Magic City’. Although Birmingham’s iron and steel era is behind it, a local nonprofit is leading the city’s economic renaissance by educating tech talent and encouraging new businesses to locate in Birmingham.

Monday July 26 is your opportunity to invest in the future of The Magic City by making a donation during the Innovate Birmingham Give Day. Read on to find out how you can make a difference.

Innovating Birmingham — Changing Lives Since 2016

Earlier this year, Landing moved its headquarters from San Francisco to Birmingham, bringing more than 800 jobs to The Magic City. And that’s not all. Over the past two years, dozens of startups have moved to Birmingham, drawn by the burgeoning tech scene. But it wasn’t always like that.

Just over five years ago, a group of local employers and community partners noticed two issues:

  • There was a growing demand for tech talent in Greater Birmingham, but no talent pool to meet the demand.
  • There were a number of underemployed and unemployed residents looking for new opportunities.
Innovating Birmingham
Martha Underwood, Head of Retail Software Engineering at BBVA, is now part of PNC and is proud to support Innovate Birmingham. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

Innovate Birmingham was founded to address these issues head-on. As a locally focused non-profit organization, Innovate Birmingham is integral to the city’s continued growth, attracting new businesses and responding to the need for technological talent in the region.

So how does it work? Innovate Birmingham offers two boot-camp style programs:Full-Stack Web Development and Data analysis—To underserved residents who seek to stimulate their professional development in the technological arena. And the best part? Innovate Birmingham offers these programs at little or no cost to the student.

“Innovate Birmingham is essential not only for the city of Birmingham but also for the State of Alabama, as it offers people another way to enter the tech industry without going down the typical two-to-two college route. four years. “

Martha Underwood, Head of Retail Software Engineering, BBVA is now part of PNC

Innovate Birmingham supports local tech talent

Derrick Strong – Enterprise Software Developer at the University of Alabama at Birmingham

Cohort 11

Innovating Birmingham
Derrick Strong crushes his new job as a software developer, thanks to Innovate Birmingham. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

Meet Derrick Strong. As a software developer for UAB, Derrick specializes in JavaScript, React, React-Native, and other coding languages ​​he needs to ensure that UAB websites, software applications, and user portals remain operational.

What were you doing before you graduated from Innovate Birmingham?

“Innovate Birmingham actually helped me change my career! I started out in marketing, as the CEO of Clear Marketing and Design here in town. I knew I wanted to make the jump from marketing to a career I would love, so Innovate Birmingham was a game-changer for me. It really had a huge impact on my life. “

How has Innovate Birmingham helped your professional development?

“In my opinion, Innovate Birmingham is very important for the future of technology in Birmingham. For me, my time at Innovate Birmingham really helped me develop the skills and confidence I needed to take my career further.

Josh Hurn – Web Development Instructor at Innovate Birmingham

Cohort 6

Innovating Birmingham
Formerly a student, now a teacher. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

How do you know when the students really Do you like their classes? When they come back to teach, of course! Take Josh Hurn. After Innovate Birmingham helped Josh launch a whole new career, he chose to come back and follow his passion for teaching as part of the program.

How has Innovate Birmingham impacted your career?

“I’m both an alumnus of the program AND a web development instructor at Innovate Birmingham – in fact, I was Derrick’s teacher! I was working in the restaurant industry when I started at Innovate Birmingham, and now I know software development well enough to teach it.

What impact have you seen on Innovate Birmingham on its students?

“As an instructor, I have seen dozens of students, just like Derrick, go out and find jobs developing with the skills they learned at Innovate Birmingham. Our students find jobs at companies like Shipt and Landing, so I can say we have a big impact on the city.

Briana Palmer – Data Integrity Specialist, Landing

Cohort 11

Innovating Birmingham
Briana Palmer is part of the force behind Landing, right here in Birmingham. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

Like Derrick Strong, Briana Palmer was a member of the 11th Innovate Birmingham Cohort. After graduation, Briana landed a job at Landing, Bill Smith’s new business. Today, she is helping the company grow as a data integrity specialist.

How has Innovate Birmingham impacted your life?

“Before Innovate Birmingham, I had no computer training. My degrees are in Integrative Biology and Business, of all things! Innovate Birmingham gave me the support I needed to connect with the local tech workforce. Personally, Innovate Birmingham has had a huge impact on my life and income potential! “

How has Innovate Birmingham helped tech startups like Landing?

“Overall, Innovate Birmingham has definitely provided opportunities for people who otherwise would have no way of gaining a foothold in the local tech community. We actually have at least eight graduates from Innovate Birmingham who work for Landing, from data analytics and hosting operations to backend software developers! “

What kind of impact does Innovate Birmingham have on the city?

“As for Birmingham? The city’s tech ecosystem is small but powerful! Innovate Birmingham’s programs are giving more people the tools they need to build the talent pool these companies really need. And all of this contributes to the growth of The Magic City.

Your gift to innovate Birmingham is an investment in the Magic City itself.

Since its inception in 2016, Innovate Birmingham has had a tangible impact on the local tech scene and the lives of countless residents of central Alabama. But they can’t do it alone.

Thanks to the support of employer partners and people like you in central Alabama, Innovate Birmingham is able to offer its programs for free. And this year, Innovate Birmingham is making giving easier than ever.

Mark your calendars for Monday July 26 to participate in the very first Innovating Birmingham Give Day! On Donation Day, you’ll hear from faculty, alumni, employer partners and more, and see how Innovate Birmingham is making such an impact in The Magic City.

You can donate to Innovate Birmingham on Venmo @innovatebirmingham, Pay Pal and to

Make sure to follow Innovate Birmingham on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn so don’t miss Innovate Birmingham Give Day on July 26th!

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