Innovation Depot CEO Goes Private Enterprise

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Innovation Depot will be looking for a new CEO.

Drew Honeycutt will be leaving his post by the end of August to embark on a business venture.

A native of Birmingham, Honeycutt was appointed to the role in 2020 following a nationwide search. Former CEO Devon Laney had worked for the Birmingham tech startup incubator for 14 years.

During the Honeycutt era, Innovation Depot underwent a brand refresh, launched two entrepreneurial programs, unveiled a mobile app and revamped its Birmingham campus. These accomplishments came after Honeycutt was hired during the height of the COVID-19 lockdown.

“They hired me the week the world stopped,” he said. “I started on April 1, 2020. It was a strange time to say the least. What we did was we really went out and operated like a startup, and asked people in the community what they wanted and needed. We tried to create a reason why people would want to enter the building.

And the pandemic has brought many changes to Birmingham’s business landscape. Honeycutt said the popularity of remote work has opened up opportunities for workers nationwide and made it easier for entrepreneurs to connect with investors. Landing CEO Bill Smith made similar comments last week, saying the pandemic had loosened access to venture capital.

“People aren’t looking for a space that’s as big as they used to be,” Honeycutt said. “What we have focused on at Depot is creating additional density, going from 110 to over 200 companies as a goal. And I think (the pandemic) has definitely opened up the flow of capital. I think people are better at having conversations through Zoom and online.

Honeycutt said he would leave the depot to run Talladega Castings and Machine Co. with his father Rick.

“It’s the heart of economy products,” he said. “We do a lot of work in mining, machining, rail, wiring.

“I’m really excited about where the Repository is and our technology ecosystem in general. I just had a unique opportunity to acquire a 73 year old manufacturing company in Talladega. It’s full of innovation. People bring us problems and we bring solutions. There was an opportunity and, as they say, I jumped on it.


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