Platypi and Innovation Depot Announce Advisory Board for Depot/U

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Platypi, in partnership with Innovation Depot, announces the advisory board for its software development bootcamp, Depot/U. The Board’s mission is to evolve Depot/U from a single classroom setting to a multi-location, multi-course, educational platform.

The advisory board plans to hold quarterly meetings that will take place at Innovation Depot and is comprised of the following individuals:

Matt Landers - CEO of Platypi
Chad Ballard - Vice President of Innovation BBVA Compass
Dr. Neal Berte - President Emeritus of Birmingham Southern College
Skip Brock - President of Brock Investments and Chairmen of the Board for ServisFirst Bank
Greg Canfield - Alabama Secretary of Commerce
General Charles Krulak - Former President of Birmingham Southern College
Devon Laney - CEO of Innovation Depot
Dr. Andrew Westmoreland - President of Samford University
Stephen Chazen - President and Founder of UNUS
Dr. Ray Watts - President of UAB

“As a member of the business community in greater Birmingham, I want more and better jobs for those who live here, and for those who would consider moving here,” said Skip Brock, Chairman of the Board of ServisFirst Bank and President of Brock Investments. “The tech industry is a growing source of well-paying jobs in a good work environment. To attract tech industry, we need a skilled workforce. Depot/U offers the training necessary to develop a skilled workforce to attract businesses with a tech component. As these businesses grow in size and number, they will create more jobs. The impact will ripple throughout Birmingham's economy. It's a virtuous cycle, and the purpose of Depot/U is to get it started.”

Depot/U is unique because of the affordable tuition in comparison to other programs across the country. The tuition for similar bootcamps or coding academies ranges from $12,000 to $18,000 per student. Depot/U is able to offer a discounted cost of $6,500 per student thanks to hiring partners and corporate sponsorships.

Depot/U is the product of a partnership between Platypi and Innovation Depot. Matt Landers, CEO of Platypi, worked hand in hand with Devon Laney, CEO of Innovation Depot, to make the non-traditional education platform available to residents in Birmingham and beyond. Landers taught the initial course in the Fall of 2015. The students graduated with skills to enter the workforce as entry-level Front End Engineers. Salaries for such positions range from $35,000 to $80,000.

When asked about the future of Depot/U, Matt Landers said, “The initial goal of Depot/U is to keep high-paying jobs in Alabama, and the future of Depot/U is to attract top talent from around the country. By lowering the barrier to entry and having strong sponsorships, Depot/U is more affordable than most coding academies which can attract talent outside the state. To this point, Platypi hired a student from the Fall class that is relocating to Birmingham from Philadelphia. The program has a bright future and the advisory board is poised and ready to ensure the program's success.”

Devon Laney added, “Innovation Depot, in partnership with Platypi, is proud to offer the first software developer bootcamp in Birmingham, Alabama. Since developing the initial idea, our goal has been to increase the technology talent pool in the region to support our growing technology startup community - as well as the broader technology ecosystem.” Laney went on to say, “This program is another step in the evolution of Innovation Depot to leverage its existing resources for greater workforce and economic development in the community.”

On January 7th 2016, Platypi is hosting an event, Meet the Students, at Innovation Depot. The event will be held in the atrium at 5:30PM CST.

About Innovation Depot

Innovation Depot is the entrepreneurial epicenter of Birmingham, Alabama and focused on the development and growth of emerging technology companies in the healthcare, information technology, and financial services/fintech sectors. Innovation Depot gives entrepreneurs a competitive advantage in attracting customers, talent, mentors, press, and funding to grow their businesses. In 2014, Innovation Depot housed and supported the growth of 99 early-stage companies employing 695 people and generating $137M in gross sales. Over the last five years, the total economic impact of Innovation Depot on the Birmingham region was $1.33 Billion. Innovation Depot operates in partnership with the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

About Platypi

Created by former Microsoft employees, Platypi is a full service design, web, and mobile development firm. With their platform, Platypi creates beautifully designed sites and apps that excel in performance and usability. Platypi’s services include web and mobile design and development, branding, logo design, social media marketing, and more. Visit us at