(Birmingham, AL) – (DECEMBER 13, 2022) –– Local entrepreneur and fundraising executive Maria Underwood has been named the new President of Birmingham Bound, the non-profit organization dedicated to growing the local tech ecosystem in Birmingham, AL.
Throughout her career, Underwood has served as an executive for both local and international nonprofit organizations, including Vital Voices Global Partnership, where she managed donor and corporate partnerships. She has consulted and presented internationally on fundraising and trends in the nonprofit sector, and spent nearly a decade working and building a nonprofit network in Washington D.C., which she will leverage in her new role at Birmingham Bound.
“Birmingham has a rare business ecosystem of affordability, connectedness, and strong support for the startup community,” Underwood said. “I’m thrilled for the opportunity to open our doors to companies looking to grow in a sustainable market. I’m honored for the opportunity to merge my personal passions and professional experience in this new role with Birmingham Bound.”
A Birmingham native, Underwood has deep insight into the needs of high-growth companies. As the founder of the social impact platform Fundrage, Underwood has participated in accelerator programs and pitch competitions across the U.S, including SXSW, and believes that Birmingham is well-positioned as a thriving tech hub. She currently sits on the board of TechBirmingham and was named honoree on the 2022 BBJ Top 40 Under 40 list.
“The tech environment in Birmingham is special. Our goal is to showcase our unique culture to drive growth among startups, talent and investors in our community,” said Birmingham Bound Cofounder, Britney Summerville. “Since our founding, we’ve recruited 22 new companies to relocate their headquarters or open satellite offices here. We’re pleased to welcome Maria to the organization to further our mission and purpose in building a thriving tech hub in Birmingham.”
When asked about his vision for the organization, Bill Smith, Birmingham Bound Cofounder and Landing CEO and Founder said, “I want Birmingham to be known across the world for our innovative founders and visionary tech companies, and Birmingham Bound is a huge part of getting us there.”
Birmingham Bound works closely with local leaders to recruit, retain, and grow startups to build our tech-forward community. Since launching as an independent nonprofit, Birmingham Bound has received generous support from community partners including Shipt, Landing, and Alabama Power.
“Under Maria’s leadership, Birmingham Bound is planning to play an integral role in retaining, attracting and growing tech companies in our city,” said John Smola, director of Business Transformation at Alabama Power. “We are proud to see how Birmingham is building a strong reputation as a standout ecosystem for accelerators, startups and tech industries.”
About Birmingham Bound:
Birmingham Bound was founded in 2018 to bring technology companies to Birmingham and grow the tech ecosystem. To date, the program has recruited more than 20 companies to Birmingham and has helped those companies thrive by connecting them with key leaders and innovators in its tech-forward, entrepreneurial and obnoxiously supportive community. Learn more at https://bhambound.com/ or on Instagram at @bhambound.