three students give a presentation to a room of people during a pitch competition

Students: Compete for $100K in Prizes at 2022 Aldag Competition

The Edward K. Aldag Jr. Student Business Plan Competition is an annual event at The University of Alabama highlighting the development and innovation of entrepreneurship on campus. The competition awards over $100K in prize money for different categories, including an all-new category for innovations that promote sustainability.

professor stands with two winners of the competition
Dr. Theresa Welbourne of the Alabama Entrepreneurship Institute and the grand prize winners of the 2019 competition, Trips4Trade.

Taking place March 28 and 29 in a hybrid format with the in-person component held at UA’s entrepreneurship complex, The EDGE, the Aldag Business Plan Competition allows UA students to present their business ideas to a panel of judges for the opportunity to earn a grand prize of $50,000 that could help them push forward in the market and bring their idea to its fullest potential.

In addition, winners will receive substantial in-kind support from the Alabama Entrepreneurship Institute — plus be eligible for the summer Crimson Entrepreneurship Academy, which provides coaching, learning and a $3,500 stipend to work on their businesses full time in the summer. This year, the Academy program starts June 8 and ends Aug. 10.

“Whether you are competing or just want to watch and learn, this is a great opportunity to network, be inspired by our local entrepreneurs and get involved. We also need coaches to help teams get ready, judges and facilitators,” said Dr. Theresa M. Welbourne, executive director of the Alabama Entrepreneurship Institute and a professor of entrepreneurship at UA’s Culverhouse College of Business.

New in 2022: The Great Repurposing Award

Sponsored by Bob and Jean Merritt, the all-new “Great Repurposing” award is designed to spur innovative thinking to repurpose items that could be put to better use. The goal is to award ideas that are aimed to repurpose something, with no constraints on the thing being repurposed. Ideas include doing something new with used tires, sawdust, old laptops or phones, abandoned shopping centers or Christmas trees. It is OK if some other company is already repurposing those items; the idea being presented just has to be novel or different, in some way.

Get Started

Registration for Aldag closes March 4 at 11:59 p.m. All student competitors must register to compete.

All further details about the competition, including upcoming workshops, entry requirements, rules and guidelines are available at the Alabama Entrepreneurship Institute’s website.

The competition is made possible with an endowed gift from Aldag, who is a class of 1986 Culverhouse alumnus and the founder and CEO of Medical Properties Trust of Birmingham, which also has made generous sponsorship contributions to support the growth of this program at UA.


Kiersten Pace, Marketing Manager, Alabama Entrepreneurship Institute,, 205-348-7157