2018 was a solid year for innovation and technology in the Birmingham region, and the national media took notice. Forbes took a look “inside Birmingham’s bid to become the Southern Silicon Valley” and Barron’s told readers to “add Birmingham to tech’s growing list of hubs.” Ozy.com said Birmingham is becoming a “mecca for startups” and livability.com agreed, calling the city one of its “up-and-coming tech hotspots.”
“It is gratifying to see the Birmingham tech community receive such significant recognition for the strides that were made throughout 2018,” said Jon Nugent, vice president of innovation and technology at the Birmingham Business Alliance. “Building on those successes, 2019 is poised to be an even more exciting year for companies in the Birmingham region.”
Take a look at some of 2018’s highlights in innovation and technology, and, looking ahead to 2019, check out The Tech Tribune’s predictions for what Birmingham tech startups will be hot this year.
Birmingham’s Shipt announced it would stay headquartered in the Magic City following its $550 million acquisition by Target and add 881 jobs here. In early 2019, the company announced it has signed a lease to occupy 60,000 square feet and become the anchor tenant in what is known as the Wells Fargo Tower in downtown Birmingham. The building will become Shipt Tower when its logo is added in 2020.
McLeod Software’s announced in December it would move its headquarters to Hoover in Shelby County, adding 600 new jobs. McLeod said it would invest $16 million to renovate a 140,000-square-foot building in Meadow Brook Corporate Park for its new headquarters, allowing for the company to double its current workforce of 300.
Pack Health announced plans to move its headquarters from Avondale to downtown Birmingham and, with the move, add 175 jobs. Capital investment for the project is $2.9 million. Pack Health is a Birmingham-based startup and is a leading digital platform for chronic care management.
America Online founder Steve Case, writer J.D. Vance and their investment firm Revolution visited Birmingham as a part of the five-city Rise of the Rest pitch competition. Case said Birmingham “exceeded our expectations.”
Birmingham-based tech startup XpertDox raised $1 million in a seed round to advance its technology platform and add talent to its team. The company leverages big data to improve patient access to health care and accelerate patient recruitment into clinical trials.
Mixtroz won the Rise of the Rest pitch competition, and with the win, a $100,000 investment. The team’s software drives live event attendees from the digital space on their mobile phones to a physical space at the event in real time while collecting valuable data. It would be just the beginning of a remarkable year for the company, which went on to secure $1 million in funding later in 2018.
Birmingham-based technology company Fledging launched its second product offering on Kickstarter, the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects. The product reached three times its funding goal in the first day and surpassed its original funding goal within hours.