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The University of Alabama

Startup Weekend Returns to UA Campus After Inaugural Success

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — University of Alabama and UA Culverhouse College of Commerce students and area residents will once again have the opportunity to bring their business ideas to life as Startup Weekend returns to campus March 27-29.

The inaugural event last September was such a success with startups like Brewery Buddy that coordinators decided to hold another event as soon as possible.

“This is a great opportunity for students or anyone in the community who has ever thought about starting their own business to come and present their ideas and get the help they might need to move forward,” said Dr. J. Michael Hardin, dean of UA’s Culverhouse College of Commerce. “I am always telling students, ‘need a job? Create one.’ And Startup Weekend is just the type event to spark that entrepreneurial spirit.”

The 54-hour event will bring together those with technical backgrounds and business backgrounds to help entrepreneurs find merit to move ideas forward. From the initial pitch to the final presentation to a panel of judges, teams will design and develop business models in a risk-free environment where everyone is expected to dive in. It will be held at the South Engineering Research Center on Shelby Lane.

Pam Hill with the STEM Path to the MBA program worked with students and staff to initiate the Startup Weekend last year, and they continue to host the event.

“We were happily surprised at the level of turnout for the fall Startup Weekend event,” Hill said. “We hope this time to have even greater participation, from both the University community and greater Tuscaloosa community. We believe these Startup Weekend events are a great opportunity to create a melting pot of ideas, and so the broader the range of backgrounds of participants, the better.”

The winner of last year’s Startup Weekend, Brewery Buddy, has seen enormous growth since September 2014 including its success in the 2015 Alabama Launchpad competition. From forming the LLC to working with businesses in the state, the company is growing each day following their appearance at Startup Weekend.

The winners of “What’s Your Big Idea” during entrepreneurship week events in February received free entries for StartUp Weekend.

Cody Rasnick, finance major in the Culverhouse College of Commerce, and Ed Willcoxon, advertising major in the College of Communication and Information Sciences, will present their winning ideas at the startup event.

The event is made possible with the support of local sponsors Alabama Power, JamisonMoneyFarmer and Randall Reilly.

Learn more about Startup Weekend Tuscaloosa at or register at

Early bird registration ends March 14.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.