University of Alabama students were invited to pitch their business ideas at the Edward K. Aldag Jr. Business Plan Competition held on campus this spring.
UA College of Engineering students were members of seven teams that placed in the competition including the grand prize winning team.
Started in 2014 by Edward K. Aldag Jr., CEO and chairman of Medical Properties Trust Inc., the business plan competition cultivates entrepreneurship by allowing UA students to turn their business plans into reality through a daylong series of pitches to panels of judges. This year, 34 student teams competed. The Alabama Entrepreneurship Institute, an outreach center in UA’s Culverhouse College of Business hosted the competition.
Grand Prize $50,000
Trips 4 Trade is a peer-to-peer based service that allows users to trade trips and experiences pertaining to outdoors, adventure, vacation, and sports. Members include: Slade Johnston, MBA student, from Butler, Alabama, and Andrew Johnson, mechanical and aerospace engineering student, from La Grange, Kentucky. This team also took home the Community Affairs Board of Directors Award worth $5,000 provided by the innovation and entrepreneurship committee and the Alabama Capital Network Business Grant and Mentoring Award worth $5,000 from the members of the Alabama Capital Network.
Second Place $3,000
Locality is an app intended to help people connect by being the bridge between screens and face-to-face interactions. Members include: Lily Prater, creative media major, from Calhoun, Georgia; Bryant Mathis, metallurgical engineering major, from Calhoun, Georgia; Alex Tidwell, mathematics major, from Panama City, Florida; and Ethan Reeves, electrical engineering major, from Milford, New Hampshire.
Third Place $2,000
Rottweiler Security aims to reduce theft and loss by providing customers with the ability to be alerted the second they leave their item behind or when a thief steals their item. Photo: John R. Zimmerman, chemical engineering major, from Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Crowd Favorite $500
Fiber Motion’s idea is to use a patent for 3D fiber optic motion capture in a suit to capture human movement in real-time. Members include: Carson Burgin, chemical engineering major, from Anderson, South Carolina; Daniel Murphree, computer science major, from Birmingham, Alabama; Noah Zahm, mechanical engineering major, from Austin, Texas; Jack Sledge and Jessica Crawford.
Best New Idea $500
SEACR is an adaptive, noise cancelling earbud. Members include: Sani Ghulmani, computer science major, from Tuscaloosa, Alabama; Rachel Becse, nursing major, from Murrysville, Pennsylvania; Clay Nunley, mechanical engineering major, from Louisville, Kentucky; Adam Graff, electrical engineering major, from Gibsonia, Pennsylvania; and Elizabeth Holley.
Round 2 Runner Up $1,000
The Artemis Co. offers unique safety tools for women in the form of self-defense jewelry.
CEO: Lauren Irene Gwin, mechanical engineering major, from Shalimar, Florida.
Room Runner Up $500
ME-Commerce is an eCommerce business that provides a consulting business and is building out its own eCommerce sites. Members include: Louis Shulman, computer science major, from Las Vegas, Nevada; Sani Ghulamani, computer engineering major, from Tuscaloosa, Alabama; Alan MacGavin, marketing major, from Temecula, California; Jake Sacco, general business major, from Huntsville, Alabama; and Raza Bajwa.