Soaring City Innovation Partnership is pleased to announce the successful completion of Brian Alvarez-Bailey’s tenure as the organization’s inaugural Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR). Alvarez-Bailey, the CEO and Founder of fintech company Allison, has played a pivotal role in shaping the EIR position, leaving a lasting impact on the organization and the Uptown entrepreneurship ecosystem as a whole.
“Soaring City views support for tech entrepreneurship as a key objective to developing Uptown as an innovation district,” said Executive Director, Mark Sharpe. “We could not have found a better man to establish the Entrepreneur-in-Residence role than Brian Alvarez-Bailey and we are thrilled and proud of what he has built.”
During his tenure, Alvarez-Bailey spearheaded the development and implementation of the organization’s Business Accelerator program. His dedication and vision were instrumental in securing funding for the program’s first cohort, enabling ten promising startups to receive the resources and support they needed to thrive. As a mentor and coach, Alvarez-Bailey guided these entrepreneurs, fostering an environment of growth, collaboration, and innovation.
Under Soaring City’s steadfast support, Allison, Alvarez-Bailey’s fintech venture, achieved remarkable milestones. Through his strategic leadership, Allison successfully completed a seed-funding campaign, bolstering its financial foundation. Alvarez-Bailey’s dedication to excellence and entrepreneurial acumen led him to be recognized as one of the region’s rising stars in the startup world. He emerged victorious in the Tampa Bay Black Founders pitch competition and secured a coveted spot in the prestigious TechStars Miami program.
In June, Alvarez-Bailey made an exciting announcement—Allison secured a significant investment from the Alabama Founders Fund. With this milestone, Allison is now poised for further growth and expansion, choosing Birmingham, Alabama, as its new headquarters. This move demonstrates Alvarez-Bailey’s ability to navigate the ever-changing landscape of entrepreneurship, and it solidifies his reputation as a visionary leader.
“During my time with Soaring City, I’ve had the privilege of being part of a vibrant, diverse community filled with incredible potential,” said Alvarez-Bailey. “The spirit and determination I’ve seen in the countless underestimated entrepreneurs I’ve had the honor to serve alongside will forever inspire me. As I transition my focus to Allison full-time, I leave with a heart full of gratitude and a steadfast belief that the future of business is as diverse and resilient as Uptown Tampa. Thank you for reminding me every day why entrepreneurship is not just a career, but a calling. I leave Soaring City Innovation Partnership’ EIR role in the caring hands of Martika Jones.”
As Soaring City bids farewell to Brian Alvarez-Bailey, the organization is pleased to welcome Martika Brianne Jones as the successor to the EIR role. Jones, the founder and CEO of BUP, brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the position. She will continue Alvarez-Bailey’s legacy as a catalyst for the Uptown entrepreneurship ecosystem, while simultaneously driving the growth of her own company.
Soaring City Innovation Partnership extends its heartfelt gratitude to Brian Alvarez-Bailey for his exceptional contributions and wishes him continued success in all his future endeavors. The organization looks forward to witnessing the positive impact that Martika Brianne Jones will undoubtedly make in her new role.