TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The University of Alabama will host the 2020 Tuscaloosa Innovates Business Plan Competition that will distribute $25,000 and in-kind support to the top ideas, pitched in front of a panel of area business leaders.
Held virtually as a live event on May 28, the competition is presented by the Alabama Entrepreneurship Institute (AEI) and The EDGE Incubator and Accelerator, the co-working and innovation space located in the heart of Tuscaloosa on 10th Avenue.
“While we are disappointed that we have to go virtual for this year’s event, I expect that our competitors will be able to embrace the format when presenting their business concept,” said Dr. Theresa Welbourne, executive director of the AEI and The EDGE.
It will identify budding ideas that can blossom into a sustainable business. All participating teams will be able to gain access to the entrepreneurial mentoring resources available at The EDGE, including free coworking membership and free professional services and publicity.
“Tuscaloosa is becoming a hotbed for innovation, that’s to be sure,” said Welbourne. “The Tuscaloosa Innovates Business Plan Competition is a way that we can identify ideas that with some kind of assistance can either enter into or bolster their position in the marketplace.”
The deadline to submit an intent-to-compete is May 12. Students from area colleges, including Stillman College and Shelton State Community College, are encouraged to apply.
The Tuscaloosa Innovates Business Plan Competition is an offshoot of the Edward K. Aldag Jr. Business Plan Competition presented by the Alabama Entrepreneurship Institute, which is responsible for supporting business innovators and entrepreneurs both across UA and in the greater West Alabama community.
New this year is a grand prize award of $10,000 sponsored by the Tuscaloosa County Industrial Development Authority. Other competition awards are sponsored by the Alabama Small Business Development Center, the Alabama Entrepreneurship Institute, The City of Tuscaloosa, West Alabama Chamber of Commerce. In addition, a new $5,000 prize fund is supported by four local banks including Regions, Bryant Bank, BankFirst and Synovus.
Potential competitors must review eligibility rules and competition details at edge.culverhouse.ua.edu.
The University of Alabama, part of The University of Alabama System, is the state’s flagship university. UA shapes a better world through its teaching, research and service. With a global reputation for excellence, UA provides an inclusive, forward-thinking environment and nearly 200 degree programs on a beautiful, student-centered campus. A leader in cutting-edge research, UA advances discovery, creative inquiry and knowledge through more than 30 research centers. As the state’s largest higher education institution, UA drives economic growth in Alabama and beyond.