A recent real estate purchase in the Forest Park neighborhood in Birmingham will soon be “home base” for the newest crop of startup founders building in the city.
Some of the recent graduates of Techstars Alabama EnergyTech accelerator program have pulled together to purchase what they are calling B.HOME, or Birmingham’s first “Hacker House.”
Hacker Houses originally popped up in tech hubs like San Francisco as co-working and co-living spaces for budding entrepreneurs.
In Birmingham, the B.HOME will start out as a launching pad for Techstars graduates who have recently moved to the city or who are planning on building out their company’s presence in the city over the coming months. “This is an effort by startup founders, for startup founders,” Nate Schmidt, Techstars Alabama’s managing director, said. “B.Home is a strong signal that we have a startup-led ecosystem.”
Of the nine founders in the recent Techstars cohort, seven are planning to relocate or build up a presence in Birmingham. Founders, including Erika Boeing, CEO and founder of Accerlate Wind and Keith Miao, CEO of Birdstop, were two of the driving force behind the purchase.
“Each founder has a different need, some are staying for months at a time, some are staying every other week, and some are only staying one week a year. We are trying to accommodate all schedule types. None of the startups are from Birmingham, so we are all new here,” she told Hypepotamus.
“As the program manager, my number one goal is to create community for our founders,” Techstars’ Brooke Gillis told Hypepotamus. “This new house is going to continue building relationships within the startup community past the 13 weeks of our accelerator and not in their own communities but right here in Birmingham.”
Schaffer added that it took two and half months from start to closing. The tenants have launched an IndieGoGo campaign to help furnish the house and get it ready for incoming entrepreneurs.
The house will also be open to future participants in the city’s accelerators like Techstars, Prosper, Gener8tor, and Velocity, according to the IndieGoGo campaign.
For Schmidt, the new house is adding to a unique Birmingham tech ecosystem. “This year Alabama Power and our corporate partners did an amazing job working with our companies on pilots and proof of concepts. This was one of many reasons for our founders to move, either in part or in full, to our state,” he added. “We see it again and again… startup founders like it here! They love the community, the food, the hospitality, and all the amazing resources our state has to offer. Techstars companies aren’t required to stay in Alabama after the program, but we love it when they do!”
Photo provided by Techstars Alabama