Alabama Entrepreneur Institute Hosts Annual Summer Crimson Entrepreneurship Academy

The Alabama Entrepreneur Institute (AEI) hosted the annual summer Crimson Entrepreneurship Academy (CEA). CEA is a nine-week pre-accelerator for UA students. CEA provides selected student entrepreneurs with a stipend that provides them with an opportunity to work on their businesses full time. Most competed in the annual Edward K. Aldag, Jr. student business plan competition. The summer curriculum is based on three pillars: building confidence, building business, and building networks. The initiative is supported by funds generously provided by Medical Properties Trust and in 2023 PNC Bank.

The 2023 cohort included 26 students from diverse academic disciplines with a variety of business ideas ranging from not-for-profits to potentially fast-growth technology products. The students share a passion for entrepreneurship and the desire to bring their business ideas to life. The program is run by Dr. Theresa M. Welbourne, and this year she was joined by Dr. Lou Marino, Seth Butler, and Jody Beck. Students also benefited from visiting guest speakers who shared their knowledge and met one-on-one with the participants.

Guest Speakers:

  • Jamie Lorio – Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Accessibility (DEIA) Advisor, Department of Defense
  • Cherie Moman – Instructor of Marketing, Culverhouse College of Business
  • Nick Willis – Regional President of North & Central Alabama, PNC Bank
  • Will Brown – Inventor, Plant Koo-z
  • Robert Jolly – Alumni, The University of Alabama
  • Benzamin Choi – Chief Executive Officer, Alabama Capital Network
  • Hunter Custard also with the Alabama Capital Network

2023 CEA Participants

  • Shiza Andleeb – EXPWIZ
  • Jarvise Billups-Brown – Planit
  • Luke Coffman – Tracks
  • Lars Griffin – Tapped In
  • Andy Hannah – Kybridge
  • Brian Henderson – ecobrew
  • Micah Howell – Hometown Heroes
  • Kaitlyn James – Fan Fare
  • Andrew Jones – Microtype Technologies
  • Kathiriya Harsh – Cruzo
  • Monica Lages do Amaral – Concrete2
  • Suess Luna – X-Calibur
  • Samuel McCullen – Mind Matters
  • Brett McPeters – Hometown Heroes
  • Ethan Myers – Quad Marketplace
  • Mohit Mujawdiya – Cruzo
  • Thomas Orchanian – Pyne Hammocks
  • Brian Rainwater – Planit
  • Christopher Richardson – Bank Builders
  • Kaitlyn Shelver – Sanoe
  • Jet Thevenot – JetStream Social
  • Kabria Thomas – Beauty Mark Vending
  • Thomas Walsh – The Advertising Guide
  • Andrew Winslow – Flash Photography
  • Julian Woods – Tapped In

Learn more about the Crimson Entrepreneurship Academy.


Authored by

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Zach thomas

Director of Marketing & Communications