Congratulations to the 2022 Faculty/Staff Innovation Pitch Competition Winners!


Alabama Power Foundation – Innovative Technology Prize

$15,000 – Carbon Admixture

Jialai Wang – Professor, College of Engineering

Culverhouse College of Business – Entrepreneurial Growth Business Award

$10,000 – BobaMania

Lingyan Kong – Assistant Professor, College of Human Environmental Sciences

Office of Research and Economic Development Awards – $10,00 Total

First Prize

$5,000 – Rapid and Layer-Specific Annealing for Manufacturing of
Perovskite Solar Modules

Dawen Li – Associate Professor, College of Engineering

Second Prize

$3,000 – Miniaturized Reflector Antenna

Nathan Jeong – Assistant Professor, College of Engineering

Third Prize

$2,000 – Dental Appliance Treatment Assessment

James Geyer – Medical Director, College of Community Health Sciences

Division of Finance and Operations: Staff Innovation Pitch Awards  – $10,00 Total

First Prize

$5,000 – e-Flood IIoT Interoperable Intelligent Systems

Silvana Croope – Associate Research Personnel, Transportation Policy Research Center

Second Prize

$3,000 – College Not Chaos

Genna Jones – Tartan Brand Manager/Events Coordinator, Dean’s Office, College of Human Environmental Sciences

Third Prize

$2,000 – Delighted Digital LLC, DBA Fast Fruit

Andrea Foster – Receptionist, Capstone College of Nursing


Thanks to all Competitors, Judges, Facilitators, and the Support Team

Facilitator

  • Ying Qin – Manager, EDGE Labs – The University of Alabama (UA)

Judges

  • Danielle Kimbrough-Community Relations Manager, Alabama Power
  • Katherine Zobre–Director of Training, Innovation Depot
  • Nghia Chiem-Director, Office for Innovation & Commercialization(UA)
  • James Cochran-Associate Dean for Research, Culverhouse (UA)
  • Rob Morgan-Director, STEM Path to the MBA (UA

Support Team

  • Dan Blakley – Associate Vice President for Economic and Business Engagement (ORED – UA)
  • Dr. Theresa Welbourne – Executive Director, Alabama Entrepreneurship Institute (UA)

All Competitors

  • Andrea Foster – Receptionist, Capstone College of Nursing
  • Armen Amirkhanian -Assistant Professor, College of Engineering
  • Chandra Clark – Instructor, College of Communication & Information Sciences
  • Dawen Li – Associate Professor, College of Engineering
  • Genna Jones – Tartan Brand Manager/ Events Coordinator, Dean’s Office, College of Human Environmental Sciences
  • James Geyer – Medical Director, College of Community Health Sciences
  • James Harris – Assistant Professor, College of Engineering
  • Janet Brown – Assistant Professor, Capstone College of Nursing
  • Jared George – Lecturer/Director of Creative Services, Advertising and Public Relations
  • Jialai Wang – Assistant Professor, College of Engineering
  • Lingyan Kong – Assistant Professor, College of Human Environmental Sciences
  • Nathan Jeong – Assistant Professor, College of Engineering
  • Peter Brummund – Associate Professor, Culverhouse College of Business
  • Robin McWilliam – Professor, Director, Executive Director, College of Education
  • Silvana Croope- Associate Research Personnel, Transportation Policy Research Center


 

The Faculty and Staff Innovation Pitch Competition offers the University of Alabama’s faculty and staff the opportunity to win cash resources for an original business idea. This year the competitions offers a total of $35,000 in funding including a $15,000 grand prize, a $10,000 prize and additional prizes at $5,000, $3,000 and $2,000. All you need to do is record your 3-minute pitch and be ready to do a question and answer session with judges. See the timeline and details about all the awards below.

Eligibility:

In general, any faculty of staff member at The University of Alabama is eligible to apply.

  • Faculty or staff can apply individually or as a team.  
  • Presenting team members must be currently working at The University of Alabama.
  • Previous winners who did not win a top award can compete again in another year ONLY if the business idea has evolved and changed (progressed), or they have a new business idea.  If unsure, please contact Dr. Welbourne at twelbourne@cba.ua.edu or Dr. Ying Qin at yqin@ua.edu.

What if my idea comes from my work at UA?

Overall, the intellectual property practices at UA are a win/win for the inventor and the University. Because employees are pitching in this event, we want you to understand how the University’s intellectual property policy works.

Note that our policy is fundamentally no different from the practices of companies or other universities. The overall governing idea is if significant University resources are used, if your discovery results from a project where the costs were paid by the University, or if the discovery is in your field of work at the University, then the University owns the idea (this is a normal business practice).

As the inventor, you gain from the University’s expertise in evaluation, marketing, and ability to secure intellectual property rights while also benefiting from the University’s interest in recognizing your efforts and providing you with some share of any potential gain.

2022 Competition Timeline:

*All times are central daylight time.

  • April 12,  Registration Opens

  • May 14 , 11:59 pm:  Registration Closes

  • May 12, 12-1:30 pm:  Competitors’ Luncheon

    • 1:30-5 pm:  Office hours for anyone seeking help

    •  Location:  The EDGE, 2627 10th Avenue, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401

  • May 15, 11:59 pm:  Video Presentation Due

    • Upload to StartupWind

  • May 18, Competition Round One

    • Virtual via Accelevents Platform; details will be provided

  • May 18,  Winners Announced (On website)

What’s At Stake


Alabama Power Foundation – Innovative Technology Grand Prize – $15,000

The Alabama Power Foundation is sponsoring an additional $15,000 grand prize for the faculty and staff competition. The grand prize will go to a technology-focused idea that has the potential to drive a new business or commercialization.


Entrepreneurial Growth Award – $10,000

The Culverhouse College of Business is sponsoring this $10,000 prize for any business idea that is most likely to scale or grow, either non-profit or for-profit.


Office for Research and Economic Development – $10,000

The Office for Research and Economic Development is sponsoring three  awards for best innovative ideas to develop products or services that can be patented or build businesses. 

First Prize

$5,000

Second Prize

$3,000

Third Prize

$2,000


Staff Innovation Pitch Awards – $10,000

Division of Finance and Operations is providing three awards  dedicated to staff innovative ideas.

First Prize

$5,000

Second Prize

$3,000

Third Prize

$2,000

Additional awards for all winners

Co-Working Space

One year of free co-working space at The EDGE

Free Consulting

Business, accounting, and law partners’ consulting


See the 2021 Winners

See the 2021 Winners' Book

Questions?

If you have any more questions, feel free to reach out to the AEI team.

*Please note, the Tuscaloosa Innovates community business plan competition is still in the planning phase. More details will be shared on the EDGE competition website as the details come together.

Kiersten Pace

Marketing Manager for AEI and The EDGE

Theresa M. Welbourne, PhD

Executive Director of AEI and Will and Maggie Brooke Professor in Entrepreneurship


Thank You to our Sponsors!

 

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