Letter from the Executive Director - Bob Crutchfield

Welcome to Innovate Birmingham!

Innovate Birmingham is charged with fostering an environment in Birmingham, Alabama, that is primed for technology-based economic development.  For us, this means:

  • helping our existing technology and innovation companies grow more rapidly;
  • making capital sources like angel investment, venture capital and private equity firms aware of Birmingham startup activity, pace and volume; and
  • introducing high-growth technology and innovation companies to the Magic City.
Executive Director, Bob Crutchfield

Unlike a traditional economic development strategy, we are taking an approach to advancing technology-based economic development that combines venture capital, business discipline and community leverage.  This approach will create high-growth, startup company output that is measured by new job growth, top line revenue growth and investment capital.  We want to see an acceleration and scaling of entrepreneurial startups launch in Birmingham, and our job is to help create the environment, support services, data services, mentoring, coaching and access to capital needed to make it happen.

Given my background as an institutional venture capitalist, I have been focused on the efficient use of capital – intellectual, as well as fiscal – to maximize commercial progress in the shortest amount of time possible.  Add to that the goal of creating accelerated growth in the wake of operational efficiency, and that is where market differentiated valuations occur.  Today, my work focus at Innovate Birmingham is similar.  We are building out an operating business model that will deliver predictable, repeatable, and sustainable results, all driving towards the ultimate outcome of increased economic prosperity for all in Birmingham.

We believe innovation is more than technology and computers.  From healthcare IT and biotech, to advanced manufacturing and food, from creatives to engineers, Innovate Birmingham was launched to accelerate growth driven by innovation.

Innovation is also about social progress. One of Innovate Birmingham and its partners’ primary tenets centers around driving inclusive innovation and sharing economic benefits.  It is important for job growth and investment to deliver increased economic prosperity across the whole of the City of Birmingham.  We work to do that both through our workforce development efforts that are delivering training for high-demand, technology-related jobs AND our company support and recruitment efforts that will ensure those kinds of jobs remain and grow here in Birmingham, Alabama.  Lives are being changed, businesses are being formed and companies already here are being impacted.

Welcome to Innovate Birmingham, where we are “innovating with purpose.”

Warm Regards,


Bob Crutchfield