River Business Pitch Competition Returns for 2020, Virtually

River Business Pitch Competition Returns for 2020, Virtually

An entrepreneur-to-be pitches his business idea at the 2017 River Pitch competition.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – An annual business pitch competition hosted by The University of Alabama and open to area entrepreneurs will be virtual as the headline event of upcoming Global Entrepreneurship Week.

The Alabama Entrepreneurship Institute at UA is offering a week of learning, networking and pitching for budding entrepreneurs interested in participating. The week’s events are part of Global Entrepreneurship Week — an annual event championed by the Global Entrepreneurship Network to celebrate innovation and collaboration among individuals around the world.

The headliner of the week in Tuscaloosa will be the River Pitch Business Idea Competition on November 17, the fourth iteration of the annual event. Given social distancing guidelines, virtual platforms will be used to conduct these events. Participants will have the chance to receive feedback on pitches ahead of the event, which awards $1,000 to the winning business pitch.

“We are so grateful that modern-day technology allows us to move forward with these Global Entrepreneurship Week events,” said Dr. Theresa M. Welbourne, AEI executive director. “I have no doubt that our River Pitch participants will impress the judges with their creativity and intellect this year, as they do every year.”

The current schedule of events for AEI’s Global Entrepreneurship Week can be found on the AEI website. More events will be announced as they are confirmed. Events include:

Tuesday, Nov. 10: Speed Pitching Practice

Those participating in the River Pitch Competition will have the opportunity from 5-7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 10, to get feedback on their pitches the week preceding GEW. The virtual platform will allow participants to move from virtual table to virtual table, receiving feedback from five to eight professionals.

Monday, Nov. 16: One-on-One Mentorship

One-on-one mentorship on Monday, Nov. 16, in two sessions from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 5-6 p.m offers an additional way for participants to get last-minute help with their 3-minute pitches before the River Pitch Business Idea Competition. AEI will make virtual appointments available and will also have limited on-site sessions with individual competitors.

Tuesday, Nov. 17: Virtual River Pitch Business Idea Competition

The River Pitch Business Idea Competition will occur on a virtual platform on Tuesday, Nov. 17, starting at 5 p.m. It is open to UA students, faculty, staff and members of the West Alabama community. AEI will divide competitors into virtual booths; there will be several teams per booth. One representative from each team will have 3 minutes to pitch their business idea, and there will be a 5-minute period after each pitch for a Q&A with judges. After teams have presented, the judges will deliberate and decide on a winner. The winning team or individual will receive a $1,000 prize.

Wednesday, Nov. 18: Entrepreneur Exhibits: The Tuscaloosa Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Learn more about the growing entrepreneurial ecosystem by virtually meeting Tuscaloosa-area startups, previous winners of the business plan competitions, and teams that recently participated in the AEI’s summer pre-accelerator program.

Medical Properties Trust, Regions Bank and the Alabama Small Business Development Center are sponsors of AEI’s Global Entrepreneurship Week events and ongoing supporters AEI’s mission.

For more information, please visit entrepreneurship.ua.edu or call 205-348-3343.


Zach Thomas, director of marketing and communications, Culverhouse College of Business, at 205-348-8318, zthomas@culverhouse.ua.edu