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July 9, 2024 · Entrepreneurs, Innovation, News, Talent

Sloss Tech Attendees “SEEK AL” 

Innovate Alabama picked a prime spot to activate its SEEK AL outdoor recreational marketing campaign when it chose Sloss Tech. Launched only a few weeks before the conference, SEEK AL aims to attract tech talent by spotlighting the endless outdoor recreational and lifestyle amenities that Alabama has to offer.  

Hear from T.C. McLemore, Innovate Alabama’s executive director of outdoor recreation programs, here:

SEEK AL Activation Van 

During Sloss Tech, McLemore and the Innovate Alabama team hosted a steady stream of outdoor attendees at its feature-laden SEEK AL recreational van that, among other things, took visitors through a virtual reality headset tour of Alabama’s natural resource attractions.  The van was developed by Storyteller Overland, an Alabama company that designs, upfits and kits world class overland and vanlife vehicles.

Speaking from the van, McLemore said, “Right now, we’ll take you to the beach on Dauphin Island. In the future, you’ll be able to look out from the top of Mount Cheaha, or maybe enjoy a lakeside view, or a cookout or a campground in Alabama. We also have our outdoor recreation asset maps on interactive tablets around the van, so you’ll be able to interact with all the assets that Alabama has to offer.” 

Downtown-Avondale E-Bike Ride 

In another novel twist, Sloss Tech attendees rolled out at 7 a.m. on the second day of the conference to take an e-bike ride from the Lyric Theatre, through downtown Birmingham, and over the city’s Red Rock Trail system to Avondale’s Saturn coffee house. There, bikers forged connections over donuts and coffee before mounting their bikes back to The Lyric for day two of Sloss Tech.  

“I am so excited for the launch of SEEK AL. I am so impressed with the work that Innovate Alabama is doing to engage young people across this state,” said Rylen Dempsey, an e-bike rider, University of Alabama student and FuelAL participant.  

“This bike ride is a free experience provided by Veo and SEEK AL. And what’s interesting to me is that we’re not hiking or in canoes or on a trail. We’ll go through city streets, through urban streets. And so that’s awesome to me. It’s about attracting and keeping wonderful talent here. We make a pitch to the people of Alabama, why they should stay here, and why this is a great place to be, to live and to thrive,” he said. 

This is Just the Beginning 

McLemore said this is only the start of the SEEK AL campaign and to attracting people to the state by amplifying our lifestyle and recreation assets.  

“We’re looking to invest in our communities throughout Alabama, elevating their natural assets, providing more access points to trails, to waterways, to green spaces and other outdoor recreation offerings across the state. We’ll be starting a grant program inside the Innovate Alabama Network this fall.   

“We’re already investing in places like the Pinhoti Trail, making improvements along the trail, adding shelters and restrooms. We’re investing in mountain biking trails in East Alabama. Innovate Alabama is partnering with the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Forestry Commission, our state parks and the Alabama Trails Foundation. We want to make sure by the time somebody graduates from an Alabama college or university, they love a part of Alabama that we’ve showcased through this effort,” he said.  

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