Everything You Need to Know About Sloss Tech 2019

ITAC Solutions is excited to sponsor and attend the Southeast’s premier tech conference for the fourth year in a row! Hosted by TechBirmingham, Sloss Tech gathers the best and the brightest of today's tech entrepreneurs to become a hub for Birmingham's technological ecosystem, where founders, startups and companies can share ideas, build relationships and push the boundaries of innovation.

Ben Branch, ITAC Partner and Director of IT Services, sits on TechBirmingham’s Board of Directors along with Deon Gordon, TechBirmingham President/CEO, and Donnie Garvich, Two Ravens Managing Partner. To gear up for this year’s conference, we rounded these three up to discuss Sloss Tech’s purpose and how it impacts Birmingham’s technology community.


What is the mission of TechBirmingham?  

Gordon said that TechBirmingham simply exists to help organizations and people create magic. TechBirmingham aims to market Birmingham as an emerging tech hub and ensure that it is top of mind for corporations and individuals considering relocation. Secondly, Gordon said growing the technology ecosystem is a priority. TechBirmingham does this by partnering with organizations and tapping into local resources, such as schools and boot camps, to support and accelerate growth.

Gordon also emphasized the importance of leveraging our strength as an inclusive economy. “Birmingham has a storied history when it comes to that,” he said. “But pushing for inclusion and diversity, those are some of our greatest assets and strengths, and we want to tie that into everything that we do.”

The magic happens when you put it all together. Gordon said, “We’re really just creating that atmosphere or landscape where community can form and people can have what I like to call those ‘beautiful collisions.’”

Why is TechBirmingham’s mission important?

Branch and ITAC have been members of TechBirmingham for more than 10 years. In fact, Branch has been involved with Sloss Tech since its inception and witnessed it evolve each year. Branch highlighted that TechBirmingham’s mission to grow the technology ecosystem not only raises awareness for Birmingham as an emerging hub, but also helps us attract and retain young professionals and talent.

Garvich said that TechBirmingham enables the community to come together and have a voice, but the voice isn’t representative of a single group.  “It’s not just a set of large corporations, it’s not just entrepreneurs, it’s not just technology, it’s everyone having the same voice,” he said. “And Sloss Tech at is a way to put that voice forward and amplify it.”

How does Sloss Tech support TechBirmingham’s mission?

Sloss Tech is a special event because it supports the mission of TechBirmingham in every way: It endorses Birmingham as an emerging tech hub, expands the technology ecosystem and establishes community. “Sloss Tech helps put a stamp of validation on what it is that we have been building here in Birmingham,” Gordon said. Being able to bring thought leaders, such as Gardy Vanderchuck and Bozoma Saint John, lends credibility to what TechBirmingham is building.

Branch said that as Sloss Tech’s audience and sponsors become more diverse, “it gives us the power to show the community outside of Birmingham what we are doing here, which is huge.” Plus, it speaks to Birmingham’s desire to create an inclusive ecosystem.

Likewise, Garvich stressed that Sloss Tech opens the door to praise the entrepreneurs, startups and tech people who have done well. “I think it’s important that once a year or so, we take a minute and get out of the four walls where we’ve all been working so hard and acknowledge the work we’ve done together on our ecosystem,” he said.

What can attendees expect from this year’s event?

This year’s keynote speaker is Alexis Ohanian, Co-founder of Reddit, Initialized Capital, and a bestselling author based in San Francisco, CA. “Having him solidifies that we have a major event here that folks across the region are looking toward,” Gordon commented.   

Garvich is excited about the panels taking place at this year’s event. “One of the panels we’re holding is about start-ups that have already crossed the ecosystem,” Garvich said. “It’s going to be really interesting to hear from some of these founders who have crossed some of these gaps and build their own bridges. How did they do it?  What were the steps they took?  And what are the steps for someone who wants to start up in the city? What are the things that are here? What things do we need to be building? I’m really excited to hear about some of that.”

All in all, Gordon said that Sloss Tech is “a wonderful opportunity to really dig in, create community and celebrate where it is that we are going as a region.” 

Join ITAC at Sloss Tech on Friday, August 2 at The Lyric. Visit sloss.tech to learn more and purchase tickets! Visit ITAC’s Instagram to learn how you can ENTER TO WIN two tickets!