It used to be that we only needed to “follow the money.” Today, we need to follow the tech entrepreneurs, as they will lead us to the money.
Birmingham, Alabama is hot spot for millennial entrepreneurs. No longer a secret, the whole triangle of Birmingham, Chattanooga and Atlanta is hot and getting hotter every day.
The magazine “Fast Company” named Birmingham the top city for millennial entrepreneurs in the country in part for its livability and its affordability. Its housing market shows a 7% y/y rise in median sales prices and that current median sales price is $195,000. Median rent is $575/month and flat.
Birmingham’s 36-year-old mayor, Randall Woodfin, calls it “a city of high risk and high reward…essentially, people come here to chart their own identity.”
Devon Laney, president of Innovation Depot, a business incubator that feeds Birmingham’s start-up culture without the luxury accouterments of Silicon Valley, says, “…it doesn’t matter much today where you’re running your business from as long as you have high connectivity.”
MAKEbhm is another start-up epicenter in Birmingham. This outfit caters to craftspeople who are building in wood, ceramics, and printing “…to make new businesses from old traditions.” Here, studios, co-working spaces, creative classes and retail outlets co-exist.
Cliff Spencer’s business, Alabama Sawyer, is one of more than 100 start-ups located Birmingham. Spencer, a furniture maker, immigrated to Birmingham a dozen years ago from Los Angeles. He started milling lumber from state forests from which he makes furniture and home accents. Alabama Sawyer now takes orders and ships products all over the world.
“We caught on that there’s this sort of renewal happening (here) and there’s a lot of excitement around it and pride in the city and possibility.”
Birmingham’s entrepreneurs are raking in funding from Series A funding, private investors and angel investors from all over the country. With that funding comes growing businesses and growing homeownership.
Pay attention real estate agents in the Birmingham, Atlanta, Chattanooga triangle.