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EDPA’s imerge 2018 Innovation Celebration Set for July 12

Special to The Times

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imerge 2018 – a celebration of ideas, innovation and inspiration designed to drive the future of Alabama forward – returns July 12 at the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama’s state-of-the-art campus, 1320 1st Avenue South.

imerge 2018 is part of Birmingham’s Innovation Week and features 22-year-old Henrique Dubugras, who started his first business at 16. Dubugras co-founded Brex, a financial technology company based in San Francisco that recently raised $57 million in venture capital and is redefining how corporate credit cards work for startups. He will follow his talk with a question-and-answer session with imerge attendees.

imerge 2018 will include a panel discussion, entitled “$1 Billion Reasons to Believe in Alabama,” in which the billion-dollar founders will share their start, their build and their successful exits all in Alabama.

The panelists are:

  • Bill Smith, founder and CEO of Shipt
  • Shegun Otulana, founder and CEO of TheraNest
  • Chad Trull, founder and CEO of Hospicelink

Other highlights of imerge 2018 include two pitch competitions for seed and concept categories with $150,000 to be awarded to winning startups; recognition of the state’s Innovation Award winners in eight categories, including Lifetime Achievement in Innovation, Outstanding Startup of the Year and Social Entrepreneur of the Year. Seven people will be recognized as imerging Young Leaders.

An after party will follow, with musical performances by Birmingham’s own, The Brummies, a group that also will play at Sloss Music & Arts Festival.

EDPA is transforming its campus into a pop-up venue for imerge 2018, with air-conditioning, a full audio/video soundstage, food trucks, beverages and more.

Gates open at 2 p.m., and the event begins at 3:30 p.m., with a challenge by Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin to keep building Birmingham and the state through innovation.

“We have a strong lineup, and we are particularly excited about the venue this year, which is in the heart of one of Alabama’s thriving innovation districts,” said EDPA President Steve Spencer. “If you’re an Alabama startup, an early stage investor, or a venture capitalist, you’re going to want to hear more from Henrique Dubugras about Brex. We hope that anyone interested in networking, learning about building a successful business and celebrating the amazing innovation and entrepreneurship happening in Alabama will join us.”

To purchase tickets, visit imerge.io.