Birmingham’s innovation district expands, rebrands

Birmingham’s innovation district expands, rebrands
David Fleming, CEO of REV Birmingham, reveals the creation of The Switch at Innovation Depot's Velocity Accelerator. (Dennis Washington / Alabama NewsCenter)

Birmingham’s innovation district has a new name and a bigger footprint.

Tuesday night during the Velocity Accelerator 2020 announcement at Innovation Depot, The Switch was unveiled as the city’s new epicenter of innovation. David Fleming, CEO of REV Birmingham, said The Switch brings partners across 14 Birmingham organizations together in harmony with Birmingham’s new City Center Master Plan.

“The Switch is a collaborative effort between economic development agencies and stakeholders to really cement the innovation economy and ecosystem in Birmingham,” Fleming said. “Innovation happens everywhere around our region, but it is very clear we need to have a place that is focused and branded as the place where innovation happens and where we have the collaborations and the community that leads to greater growth of our tech, innovation and startup ecosystem.”

New innovation hub launched for Birmingham from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

The Switch expands Birmingham’s innovation footprint beyond the walls of its growing Innovation Depot to include several city blocks around the startup incubator, connecting the innovation district with Birmingham’s Civil Rights District and Fourth Avenue Business District. University of Alabama at Birmingham President Ray L. Watts, who chairs Innovation Depot’s board of directors, said The Switch is the next step in helping entrepreneurs and startups succeed.

“Entrepreneurs and startups are building a new economy in Birmingham,” Watts said. “This city’s educational institutions, corporations, governmental organizations and others in the ecosystem are committed to helping them succeed. The Switch will provide a place for people, ideas and resources to come together and create a destination for innovation in our community.”

Fred McCallum, interim president and CEO of the Birmingham Business Alliance, said The Switch will help Birmingham attract and retain more businesses.

“With its connection to BhamBizHub, we continue to bridge the gap and make it easier to start and grow a business in Birmingham as we compete in an innovation economy,” McCallum said.

To learn more about The Switch, including the resources available, visit theswitchbham.com.

We’re making The Switch from REV Birmingham on Vimeo.

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