Ignite Alabama - Sparking Innovation & Entrepreneurship in Alabama

Ignite Alabama spotlights Alabama start-ups and entrepreneurs who are building a 21st century economy in Alabama. The show also covers the latest research and technology that paves the way for innovation in business. The mission of Ignite Alabama is to spark innovation, creativity, and new ideas that empower and equip Alabama residents to start businesses and grow Alabama's economy. Ignite Alabama is a Shinecast® show by Sheree Martin.
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Ignite Alabama - Sparking Innovation & Entrepreneurship in Alabama




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Now displaying: 2017
Jun 11, 2017

Episode 21 of the Ignite Alabama podcast features Sheree Martin's conversation with Jack White, CEO and founder of Book-it Legal, an innovative startup in the legal space. Book-it Legal is a marketplace startup that helps law firms hire law students to do legal research, legal writing and other related work.

Jack is a lawyer who spent a few years practicing transactional law with a “big” law firm in Birmingham before starting Book-it Legal, LLC in 2016.

Book-it Legal got its first boost through the Alabama Launchpad program when it won $50,000 in funding to push the new company from idea to minimum viable product. Most recently, Book-it Legal was one of 10 startups (out of 100 applicants) selected to make up the first cohort of the Velocity Accelerator Program through the Innovation Depot. The first edition Velocity Accelerator ended in April and I believe applications are still open for the second cohort.

Jack’s plans for Book-it Legal, LLC for summer of 2017 are to grow and scale the enterprise. At the time of our conversation in late April, law students from 5 schools were available for projects and lawyers from 11 states had signed up.

The biggest piece of advice Jack offers to new entrepreneurs is to find a local entrepreneurial community and get involved. Jack started by attending meetups of Birmingham Startup Drinks, a meetup group in Birmingham facilitated by Tony Sommerville. Find it on The first meetup Jack attended happened to be the first pitch night for Birmingham Startup Drinks. That evening, Jack met lawyers on the board of Innovation Depot, along with Tony, who introduced him to Nate, who runs the Velocity Accelerator program for Innovation Depot.

Books and Resources

The Lean Startup is the book any aspiring entrepreneur should start with.  The book Jack wishes he’d read earlier in his startup journey: The Hard Thing About Hard Things. Jack also recommends White Tears, a recent work of fiction.

Jack recommends that entrepreneurs who want to start a marketplace type of business check out Share Tribe Academy.

Full Show Notes at 


Mar 26, 2017

Taylor Phillips, managing director of the new 501(c)(3) nonprofit Futureproof Bama is the guest on Episode 20 of the Ignite Alabama podcast.

Alabama has, at most, a 10-year window to prepare for a future where 30% or more of the jobs that exist today will be replaced by AI, robotics and other automation technologies.

The time to prepare for this new future is today, but that can only happen if there's awareness that leads to action.

I'm optimistic about how my own life will fit into the new automation paradigm, but, like Taylor, I'm concerned that Alabama is woefully unprepared for the future that is already arriving. Many jobs are being lost to AI and automation technology right now.

When most people think of automation and robots they think of robotic welding and factory floor assembly lines.

In reality, the job sectors are going to be hit first and fastest will be the traditional administrative positions in banking and finance, insurance, document review and assembly and the like.

Trucking and transportation will also be hard hit. We're less than 10 years away from a reality where autonomous vehicles, including delivery trucks and long-haul trucking, are commonplace.

For full show notes visit