Students’ Innovative Ideas Win Big in Competition

  • April 4th, 2022

Ingenious and enterprising students representing majors from across The University of Alabama pitched their business plans to judges in the Edward K. Aldag Jr. Business Plan Competition March 28-29. 

Two members of the grand prize team with Dr. Theresa Welbourne
Members of the grand prize-winning team, City Detect Inc., Gavin Baum-Blake (left) and Dr. Erik Johnson, assistant professor of economics (right) accept their award from Dr. Theresa Welbourne, executive director of the Alabama Entrepreneurship Institute (center).

Started in 2014 by Edward K. Aldag Jr., CEO and chairman of Medical Properties Trust Inc., the competition fosters entrepreneurship by allowing UA students the chance to turn their business plans into reality. 

The top teams competed for the grand prize of $50,000; a space to start their business in The EDGE, a Tuscaloosa-area business incubator and co-working space; and mentoring from local entrepreneurs. 

2022 Edward K. Aldag Business Plan Competition Winners 

Grand Prize Group

Grand Prize
City Detect, Inc.: Gavin Baum-Blake, Erik Johnson, Comer Jennings, Ezra Coutre 

First Place
Banded: Jack Pierson, Cameron Hall, Makena Trust, Matthew Porter

Second Place
Tuska Brew Solutions Inc.: Brian Henderson 

Third Place
TheBestMe: Nicholas Sepanski 

Established Concept Group

First Place
NephSol, Inc.: Sydney Ringold, Olivia Bruno

Second Place
FlashNote: Anastasia RamigJoey Westermeyer 

Third Place
The Pelt Company: Trina Locklear 

New Business Category Group 1

First Place
Sano: Corban Walsh, Ashleigh Woods, Kaitlyn Shelver 

Second Place
Veskar: Leif Nuesken, Mack Hodges 

Third Place
Tri Jox inc.: Josh Brouillette 

New Business Category Group 2

First Place
Hydro Hut Aquatics: Emma Crosby, Shain Tomlinson, Mia Demarco, Brooke Ivy, Alexis Witcher, Eli Armendariz, Liam Mitchell 

Second Place
BarGenics: Griffin Hollon, Justin Estes, Lauren Harris, Dylan Hatton, Ian Kohl, Brian Seybold 

Other Awards 

Best New Idea
Tri Jox Inc.: Josh Brouillette

Great Repurposing Award
Tuska Brew Solutions Inc.: Brian Henderson 

Best NASA Patent 

First Place
NephSol, Inc.:  Sydney Ringold, Olivia Bruno

Second Place
RecaliBrain: Autumn Minyard, Kate Hays, Andrew Doss, Jeremiah Parker, Tommy Miles 

Social Entrepreneurship Award
Empact: Jesse Mullins, Anderson Liddle, Abby Morthland, Sahuj Mehta 

Alabama Power Foundation Innovation Technology Awards 

First Place
Dactylo: Everyone Can Learn Sign Language: Elizabeth Tagg 

Second Place
JetStream Social: Darrin Griffin, Sydney Burkhart, Fareed Bordbar, Stephen Young 

Third Place
Bodhi: Gabrielle Yager, Cassie LeCates, Grant Morgan, Jake Walker, Katie Rhodus, Phil Bruni, Preston McGee 

Crowd Favorite
At Your Service: Cameron Galbreath, Brantley Ledbetter 

Best Teamwork Award
Angel Dirt: Grace Bastyr, Cheryl Robertson, Taylor Mullins, Alex Banuelos, Taylor Falls, Blake King 

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.