So far, May has been an extra-special month for tech in Alabama! We’ve rounded up several exciting success stories involving Alabama startups, plus some opportunities to help you kick-start your career in the tech field. Let’s get started!
1. Birmingham-based Mixtroz announces $1M seed round funding
Mixtroz, a Birmingham-based startup led by mother/daughter duo Ashlee Ammons and Kerry Schrader, recently announced that the team has raised $1M+ in funding!
- Black Star Fund
- Backstage Capital’s Arlan Was Here Fund
- Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund
- Timberline Holdings
- Harmony Venture Labs
Founded in 2015, Mixtroz helps attendees make authentic & lasting connections at in-person, virtual & hybrid events. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mixtroz successfully pivoted their business model to fill the need for connectivity & data collection in virtual events.
2. Two Alabama Startups Take Home a Combined $75K in Funding at Alabama Launchpad
At the first Alabama Launchpad Finale event of 2021, two Alabama startups were awarded a combined $75K in early-stage seed funding. Alabama Launchpad is the state’s most active early-stage seed fund investor, investing more than $5.6M in 100+ startups from across the state since 2006.
- Vulcan Line Tools (Concept Stage, $25K) — Founder & CEO Zac Young has developed a device—the Wave Timer—that helps line crews quickly & safely analyze the three crucial components of a power line: sag, tension and temperature.
- Vendrix (Seed Stage, $50K) — Co-founders Joe Turner and David Stewart have developed Vendrix, specialized software that helps companies track payments, review unexpected charges and—most importantly—create effective budgets.
3. Innovate Birmingham teams up with Microsoft, Google and more to offer tech programs
Innovate Birmingham—nonprofit organization that aims to promote economic mobility and fill the tech talent gap in Central Alabama—has teamed up with several of the biggest names in tech to offer several invaluable skill-building camps this year:
- Innovate Birmingham‘s fast-track boot camps (Coding and Data Analytics), which equip students with the technical skills they need to succeed, foster professional & personal development and connect students with potential employers.
- gener8tor Upskilling Alabama, which will help participants learn skills for in-demand careers in a self-paced, virtual curriculum developed by Microsoft & LinkedIn.
- Alabama Cloud Camp, an eight-week, virtual training program that will help aspiring technologists master one of the most in-demand tech skills in the market—Google Cloud experience—culminating in the completion of an Associate Cloud Engineer Certification.
4. Gov. Kay Ivey Establishes Alabama Innovation Corporation & Grant Program
Earlier this month, the Alabama State Legislature passed major legislation aimed at benefiting innovators and entrepreneurs throughout the state. Here are the details:
- HB540 establishes the Alabama Innovation Corporation—a public-private partnership that promotes initiatives in support of statewide entrepreneurship, rural businesses, research and development at existing companies and access to advanced tech skills that will drive a modern workforce.
- HB 609 will create the Innovate Alabama Matching Grant Program to promote research and development. The program would match federal awards to Alabama-based Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) recipients.
5. Bronze Valley Accelerator Announces Summer 2021 Companies
Bronze Valley—a nonprofit, early stage venture investment platform that aims to support diverse & underrepresented companies—has announced the five companies selected for its Spring 2021 Bronze Valley Accelerator program:
- Avenue, which allows users to build relationships and create social communities in real-time and in physical spaces.
- frakktal, which empowers the manufacturing industry to reduce waste and procure thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) materials through its subscription program, in which excess polymers can be bartered for new polymers to promote a closed loop polymer supply chain.
- MyTAASK, which decentralizes planning and connects users’ projects and to-do-lists to their community of support to automate repetitive tasks.
- PaperAI, generates customizable and affordable fan fiction for fan communities using Artificial Intelligence, which can generate over 140,000 different story combinations and allow anyone to be represented in their favorite stories.
- Ziscuit, which saves shoppers time and money by having grocery stores bid to fulfill their shopping lists.
“We are extremely pleased to launch the third cohort of the Bronze Valley Accelerator. In keeping with our commitment to help pave the way to success for people of color and women entrepreneurs, we look forward to working with this group of talented founders to assist in preparing them to attract seed funding and begin to grow and scale their businesses.”Neill Wright, President and CEO, Bronze Valley