Innovation Depot, a thriving downtown Birmingham business incubator, saw 17 companies graduate last year, a record number. Their wings didn’t take them far away – most of them located nearly, contributing momentum to the city’s growing innovation ecosystem.
Innovation Depot CEO Devon Laney told the Alabama NewsCenter that building this “critical mass” is a very promising development as the city targets a more technology-focused economy.
“You’re really seeing the development now of a true technology district around Innovation Depot, which is part of the broader Innovate Birmingham initiative that we’ve been working on over the last number of months,” Laney told the NewsCenter.
Innovation Depot today is home to more than 100 companies, which registered $126 million in gross sales in 2016. Together, the fledgling firms at the incubator are responsible for 870 jobs. The facility’s five-year economic impact has been calculated at more than $1.4 billion.
“That’s a Fortune 500-level organization,” Laney said. “To have that kind of impact all driven by early-stage, start-up companies, entrepreneurs in the technology space, I think is a real positive for our community.”
Innovation Depot is also extending its role in worker training and development, and it launched a program called Velocity Accelerator to stimulate growth among start-ups.