Jim Cavale was sitting in the audience at a tech conference in Birmingham, Ala., in 2016. At the time, he was president of a successful fitness company in the city that had grown into a national brand, but his mind was beginning to think about new challenges.
“I was very comfortable and very passionate about what I was doing at Iron Tribe Fitness,” Cavale recalls. “Gary’s talk stirred a lot of passions that are embedded inside of me. He talked about the importance of personal brand and social media and how important it is in terms of athletes. He talked about leveraging the platforms to accomplish your goals in business and in life.
“He talked about things that led to a conversation between him and me afterward, that really kept stirring in me after the event was over. Less than two months after that event, I ended up deciding that it was a good time to sell out to my partners and I found myself in New York in Gary’s office telling him the story of the impact his talk had on me. I knew that I was going to build something new in this sports/social media realm. I didn’t know what it would be, whether it was going to be consulting and services or technology-based.”
That idea became Influencer (INFLCR), which launched in late 2017 and now works with some of the biggest brands in college sports and politics. The INFLCR software allowing clients to store, distribute and track their digital assets — photos, videos, story links, GIFs and more — through a cloud-based INFLCR account as they flow through the social accounts of their brand ambassadors.
“INFLCR allows you to partner with your brand ambassadors to tell their story within the context of yours,” Cavale says. “INFLCR has grown to serve a lot of big-time clients in the college sports world, and now in the political world. We are a product, but we have services built around it, and we help brands partner with their brand ambassadors on social media to create a full-circle influencer marketing network that the content runs through. Sloss Tech was a spark for that.”
On Friday, Cavale will come full circle. He’s the opening speaker for Sloss Tech 2018, featuring an all-star lineup of tech entrepreneurs and leaders such as Endeavor’s Bozoma “Boz” Saint John, director Payne Lindsey, Google’s Charles Berg and Foundry Group partner Chris Moody.
As part of his opening, Cavale will interview Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin about the burgeoning tech ecosystem that is a big part of Birmingham’s renaissance. While he was exiting Iron Tribe and making plans to launch INFLCR, Cavale came to know Woodfin as the candidate was on his way to becoming Birmingham’s youngest mayor since 1893. They’ll discuss Woodfin’s vision for capitalizing on the rising tide of technology in the heart of the Magic City. Birmingham-based companies such as Shipt and Fleetio are scoring big wins, among the many success stories being celebrated as part of Birmingham’s Innovation Week.
INFLCR, of course, hopes to become a big part of that story.
“For me, it’s cool to come back two years later for to the third Sloss Tech event, and to open it up by telling this story and challenge some in the audience to think about what they might learn that might spark something in them,” Cavale says. “And for us at INFLCR, this is a great event for us to host potential new hires and talent and bring in prospective new clients. There will be people attending the event from states all over the Southeast.”
Of course, after all this learning, networking and innovation, there will be entertainment.
Said Cavale: “It goes right from Sloss Tech to Sloss Fest, which has become one of the nation’s premier music festivals with almost 100,000 people coming through Birmingham for acts like Chris Stapleton and 21 Savage.”
It’s a great time to be in the Magic City. Perhaps you, too, may hear or meet someone who helps you see new possibilities as Cavale did in the audience in 2016.