Start-Up With COE ties a Finalist in Business Pitch Competition During SXSW

From left to right, Will Sanders, Dr. Jaber Abu Qahouq and Sloan McCrary are part of e-Electricity, a start-up company formed from Dr. Abu Qahouq’s research into wireless technology.

From left to right, Will Sanders, Dr. Jaber Abu Qahouq and Sloan McCrary are part of e-Electricity, a start-up company formed from Dr. Abu Qahouq’s research into wireless technology.

A University of Alabama start-up company developing technology to charge cell phones and other portable devices wirelessly was selected to pitch to potential investors in a unique competition during the annual South by Southwest Conference in Austin, Texas.

The firm, e-Electricity,  was selected by Life360, a mobile app development company, for the Austin 2014 Sweepstakes. Up to 10 companies pitched venture capitalists for 15 minutes in the backseat of a BMW i3, a new electric vehicle from the German automaker. The finalists were selected from Tweets sent to the company and the BMWi U.S. Twitter account from start-up firms.

The UA start-up firm will made pitched the potential investor March 8  in Austin in hopes to secure funding to further develop the patent-pending technology.

e-Electricity is developing wireless harvesting, allowing mobile devices to recharge wirelessly from radio waves, eliminating the need for an electrical outlet. The UA Office for Technology Transfer spun e-Electricity off technology developed by Dr. Jaber Abu-Qahouq, UA assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering. He is a consultant with the company that is led by Sloan McCrary, a UA student getting a master of business administration student from Alpharetta, Ga., and Will Sanders, a UA senior marketing major from Mobile, Ala.

e-Electricity was a winner in the Alabama Launchpad Start-Up Competition in fall 2013 sponsored by the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama.

In 1837, The University of Alabama became one of the first five universities in the nation to offer engineering classes. Today, UA’s fully accredited College of Engineering has more than 4,500 students and more than 120 faculty. In the last eight years, students in the College have been named USA Today All-USA College Academic Team members, Goldwater, Hollings, Portz, Mitchell and Truman scholars.