Tuscaloosa Community Business Plan Competition Goes Virtual

2019 River Pitch

$25,000 on the line for West Alabama’s best business ideas

Tuscaloosa is a vibrant community of doers, innovators, and creators. Some lead major companies, others are getting things done through small organizations. But no matter the size, all are helping give T-town a well-deserved reputation for being a place that supports new business ventures.

The 2020 Tuscaloosa Innovates Business Plan Competition on May 28 celebrates and helps those entrepreneurs by distributing $25,000 and in-kind support to the top ideas, pitched in front of a panel of judges composed of area entrepreneurs and business leaders.

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 at 2627 10th Avenue, the Tuscaloosa Innovates Business Plan Competition will also identify budding ideas that with assistance 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.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Tuscaloosa Innovates Business Plan Competition will be held live virtually.

“Tuscaloosa is becoming a hotbed for innovation, that’s to be sure. 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,” said Dr. Theresa Welbourne, Executive Director of the AEI and The EDGE.

“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.”

A key date for participants is the deadline to submit an intent-to-compete on May 12. The competition date is May 28. 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 The University of Alabama campus 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 the eligibility rules and competition details at edge.culverhouse.ua.edu.

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