Notes On Criteria

Notes On Criteria

As with any listing of a private company, information is not easily accessible. We compiled an initial list based on publicly available sources that indicated a company might have received funding. We then either went to the company, sources with first-hand knowledge, or articles in publicly available sources (the Birmingham Business Journal,, etc.). Through those methods, we attempted to verify and pare down the list into its current form.

The $100,000 level is an objective measurement of materiality. Some companies were excluded because they did not reach this threshold. A recipient of a pitch contest, for example, would not meet this threshold unless it received additional funding.

The “growth industry” criteria were a bit more subjective, but we had to put some definition into the list in order to identify the companies that truly have a larger market cap potential. Restaurants and small businesses, for example, were purposely excluded. Although vital to the economy, these are not the kinds of growth companies vital to a thriving entrepreneurial scene. In some cases, determining whether or not a company was part of a “growth industry” was not as clear-cut. We tried to follow the roadmap set forth in the original 2018 Innovate Birmingham report, but ultimately we did make judgment calls for companies that could be construed either way.

We also ran into a couple of situations in which there was a question as to whether these companies were Birmingham companies. Typically, if the CEO/Founder and/or the lead funders were located in Birmingham and the company had a Birmingham office, we considered the company a “Birmingham” company. If a company relocated to the city because of funding, we counted it as a Birmingham company. However, if the entrepreneur moved out of the city (for funding or for other reasons), we did not include them on the list.

We have also put a five-year timeline on it. Our thought process is that in five years, you will have either exited (and are no longer eligible), wound down, or reached a level of maturity where the startup moniker is no longer apropos. Our long-term goal is to update this annual as we think not only is this a useful resource, but a good indication of the health of the entrepreneurial ecosystem. 

While every effort was made in ensure completeness and accuracy, mistakes are inevitable. Please let us know of any errors.