Over $100,000 in Prizes

2019 Edward K. Aldag, Jr.
Business Plan Competition

Over the course of the day, 34 student teams and 8 community teams pitched their business ideas to panels of judges. Over $100,000 in total prizes were awarded. More than just the money, the Aldag competition is about the connections made and the lessons learned. We are proud to say that over the course of the event over 800 connections were made and recorded in our event app.

Win or lose, all teams walked away gaining from their experiences. Many of the teams are working with us over the summer in the inaugural Crimson Entrepreneurship Academy and our Crimson Accelerator. Congratulations to everyone who was involved, and thank you to the many people in our community who made this event possible. Feel free to take a look at our 2019 Edward K. Aldag, Jr. Competition Book which details all of our winners and participants in both the student and community competitions.

I also want to give a special thanks to the faculty who worked with the student teams all semester to help them prepare. Also, the entrepreneurship faculty in the management department in the Culverhouse College of Business who helped not only prepare the students but also who were extensively involved in workshops and in partnering to put on the event. Thank you to all of our university and community partners- we can't do this work without you.

Thank you,

Theresa M. Welbourne, PhD

Executive Director, Alabama Entrepreneurship Institute and
Will and Maggie Brooke Professor in Entrepreneurship
Trips4Trade a Big Winner
The $50,000 grand prize of our 2019 Edward K. Aldag, Jr. Business Plan Competition went to Trips4Trade, a peer-to-peer based service that allows users to trade trips and experiences pertaining to outdoors, adventure, vacation, and sports. CEO Slade Johnston is from Butler, Alabama and recently graduated from UA with an MBA. You can find out more about his business on Trips4Trade's website.

The grand prize wasn't the only award Slade went home with, as he also won awards sponsored by the Alabama Capital Network and the University of Alabama's Community Affairs Board of Directors Advisory Board.

You can read more about Slade and all of the other winners/participants in our competition summary book.
Learn more about Slade and other Entrepreneurs at The EDGE on the Wednesday WVUA News at 5 pm. Starting May 1st, every Wednesday we will feature stories about entrepreneurs, small businesses, growth businesses and business experts.
Riley Voce and Zac Rogers of Blenz Bowls
Additional Student Winners
In addition to the grand prize, there were a number of additional winners who received cash, office space, and consulting to help move their businesses forward.

1st Prize: Blenz Bowls - Riley Voce and Zac Rogers
2nd Prize: Locality - Bryant Mathis, Ethan Reeves, Alex Tidwell, and Lily Prater
3rd Prize: Rottweiler Security - John Zimmerman
Additional Student Award Winners
This year, thanks to the Office of Research and Academic Development, the Community Affairs Board of Directors Advisory Board, and the Alabama Capital Network, we were able provide three additional awards to final round contestants. The winners of these awards were:

Office of Research and Economic Development Award: AccuSkin - Erik Hanson

Community Affairs Board of Directors Advisory Board Innovation and Entrepreneurship Award: Trips4Trade - Slade Johnston

Alabama Capital Network Award: Trips4Trade - Slade Johnston
Erik Hanson of AccuSkin accepts his award from Rick Swatloski
Leah Taylor, first place winner of the Community Competition
City Competition Winners
For the second year, we were fortunate enough to have a community portion of the competition running alongside the student track. Congratulations to the winners below! These awards were sponsored by the Alabama Small Business Development Center in partnership.

1st Prize: Taylor's Victory Garden Center - Leah Taylor
2nd Prize: KinkyCurly Revolution - Nimi Ighofose
3rd Prize: KLG Creative Consulting - LaShay Gray
Thank you Judges and Facilitators
We could not have delivered the 2019 Edward K. Aldag, Jr. Business Plan Competition without help from all of our judges and facilitators.

They brought business experience, great questions and feedback to help the teams keep moving their ideas forward.

You can find a list of the 2019 judges and facilitators here.
Thank you Edward K. Aldag, Jr
We want to give a special thank you to Edward K. Aldag, Jr. who helps make this event a reality.

Though he was not able to attend this year, you can view his inspirational message for budding entrepreneurs here.
Thank you Speakers
During our lunch break, we were able to hear from some experienced entrepreneurs in a panel discussion. Thank you to Darryl Robinson, Mark Smith, Alex Haisting, Mickey Millsap, and Culverhouse Dean Kay Palan for sharing their time and expertise with the attendees.
Thank you Sponsors and Partners!