Innovation Shakes Alabama!
“Innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship…the act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth.”
WIth millions of problems in the world come billions of possible solutions, but only a very small portion of those possibilities will be deemed worthy of recognition, and only the most innovative one will set the precedence. Being an innovator in a sea of entrepreneurs is not at all an easy feat. Fortunately, there are organizations that are there to aid those seeking to create a new phenomenon. On June 14, 2018, I had the distinct pleasure of attending the imerge Kick-off event at the ALOFT Hotel in downtown Homewood, which was hosted by the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama (EDPA). This year’s imerge Conference is centered around the celebration of innovation and entrepreneurship designed to drive Alabama forward and will take place on July 12, 2018, at the EDPA Campus.
Now, this will not be your ordinary conference full of mind-numbing lectures. If you’re going to push innovation then you have to be hosting Imerge in a dynamically innovative way and that is just what they are doing. Upon entering the ALOFT hotel, I was greeted by Tanesha Howard, the Event Project Manager for the kick-off. Then Val Walton Conner, Communications Director for EDPA helped navigate me through the kick-off and gave me so much insightful information as to how this all came about 26 years ago, but most importantly she provided me with the inside scoop on what you all have to look forward to on July 12th, but I will get to that in just a moment.
The kick-off offered an invaluable networking experience with a signature drink called “The imerge”, which was absolutely delicious. After some mixing and mingling we stepped onto the outdoor balcony where we received a warm welcome from Communications Consultant, Dave Ricky followed by an energizing and comical speech from Chuck Faush with Summit Media who is also a liaison for Imerge. The conversation in the room was bubbling with excitement and the air was filled with possibility. I must say, I left with a desire to create something undeniably innovative that will take the world by storm, now I don’t know exactly what that is, but I’m sure my feelings are being conveyed. If the kick-off gave that much inspiration, then you all can only imagine what the actual Imerge event will be like.
Imerge is THE innovation event of the year. This year’s keynote speaker will be Startup Wunderkind Henrique Dubugras, Founder of Brex. If you are an Alabama startup, early age investor, or VC, you will definitely want to be there to hear him speak. Dubugras will also be joined by a few other speakers including Alabama native, Holly Williams who is a critically acclaimed singer/songwriter and one of Nashville’s leading entrepreneurs who juggles motherhood and being a wife while chasing her dreams. There will also be a panel discussion with Alabama based business leaders that have hit the billion-dollar mark.
I told you all that this would not be your ordinary “conference”. Imerge has a unique set-up with an opening of food trucks and beverage stations allowing for networking, which will be followed by a challenge from Mayor Randall Woodfin, and then the evening will commence. One of the most exciting parts of the day will be the Pitch Competition where several innovators in our great state will have the opportunity to receive an investment of $150,000 to help with the growth of their business. How phenomenal is that? Lastly, Innovation Awards will be presented to very deserving individuals who have displayed prowess in innovation and made exemplary strides in the entrepreneurial world. Oh, but that is not all folks. What is a celebration without an after party? I’ll tell you same o’ lame-o’. Don’t worry though, Imerge is throwing the livest after party with Alabama’s own Brummies. The Brummies are comprised of vocalist and multi-instrumentalists John Davidson and Jacob Bryant, and drummer Trevor Davis. This is sure to be an amazing event, so what are you waiting on? Go buy your ticket by visiting www.imerge.io. I look forward to seeing you all there.
Until next time lovies…don’t be ordinary, be uniquely extraordinary.