Tuscaloosa community Business Plan Competition goes virtual

Tuscaloosa community Business Plan Competition goes virtual
Young entrepreneurs make their pitch during a previous Tuscaloosa Innovates Business Plan Competition. The 2020 competition, scheduled for May 28, will be a virtual event. (contributed)

The University of Alabama will host the 2020 Tuscaloosa Innovates Business Plan Competition that will distribute $25,000 and in-kind support to the top ideas, pitched in front of a panel of area business leaders.

To be held virtually as a live event on May 28, the competition is presented by the Alabama Entrepreneurship Institute (AEI) and The EDGE Incubator and Accelerator, the co-working and innovation space on 10th Avenue in the heart of Tuscaloosa.

“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,” said Dr. Theresa Welbourne, executive director of the AEI and The EDGE.

It will identify budding ideas that 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 co-working membership and free professional services and publicity.

“Tuscaloosa is becoming a hotbed for innovation, that’s to be sure,” said Welbourne. “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.”

Students from area colleges, including Stillman College and Shelton State Community College, were 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 UA 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 and the West Alabama Chamber of Commerce. In addition, a new $5,000 prize fund is supported by four banks: Regions, Bryant Bank, BankFirst and Synovus.

This story originally appeared on the University of Alabama’s website.

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