Birmingham to provide incentives for Builders + Backers accelerator

The program makes it easy to experiment with entrepreneurship.

Birmingham to provide incentives for Builders + Backers accelerator

Birmingham is getting a new accelerator program.

Heartland Forward and Builders+Backers have partnered to offer 10 Birmingham residents training, resources, and up to $5,000 to help them transform their ideas into viable businesses or ventures. This is done through the Builders+Backers Idea Accelerator program. Birmingham residents with "creative, unexpected ideas" for new businesses or solutions to problems in their communities are encouraged to apply.

The city has signed a funding agreement with Heartland Forward in which it will offer Heartland Forward incentives of up to $70,00.

The program was designed to allow anyone to try out entrepreneurship. The applicants are not required submit a business proposal or a presentation deck.

The Builders + Backers Idea accelerator has proven to be an effective, meaningful way of accelerating the entrepreneurial thinking required to help our communities flourish, said Ross DeVol.

The deadline for applications is May 22. Residents who have the most innovative and promising ideas will be chosen to participate in a virtual program that runs for two months starting on June 8.

We hear from Builders that have been through Idea Accelerator, they need a low barrier way to test their idea. Donna Harris, CEO at Builders + Backers, said that many people had been sitting on an idea for some time, unsure of what to do or unable to make the leaps necessary for most entrepreneurial programs. Our fast, virtual yet highly hands-on method was exactly what they required.

The four pillars of the program, which are designed to mobilize and outfit Builders by:

Pebble Fund: Each Builder receives a Pebble Grant of $5,000 to test out their ideas. Storytelling: An integrated media program that collects, records and distributes stories about Buildership from both within the programs as well as in communities. Workshops on Buildership: These workshops and other events are designed to introduce people to Buildership, and to demonstrate how anyone can create innovative solutions by experimenting with entrepreneurship. This will contribute to the sustainability and well-being of communities.

Since then, over 400 builders have been working in 15 cities.

Birmingham's Mayor Randall L. Woodfin has said that small businesses are important to Birmingham's future.

"In order to reach our goals, we must invest in innovative, creative ideas and solutions, by giving people the chance to directly enter the world of entrepreneurship. This program will provide the needed financial resources, but also equip future entrepreneurs with tools, resources and networking to grow and build their businesses right here in Birmingham. Birmingham is home to the next billion dollar company.