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The University of Alabama

UA-Hosted Business Competition Ready for Next Big Idea

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Do you have the next big business idea? Local residents and University of Alabama students will have an opportunity to bring their ideas to life as Startup Weekend returns to campus April 22-24.

The 54-hour fast-paced event begins with pitching ideas, and it moves on to business model creation, design and development.

The Culverhouse College of Commerce’s STEM Path to the MBA program is hosting the third annual Startup Weekend Tuscaloosa at the South Engineering Research Center on UA’s campus. To kick off the weekend, participants pitch their business idea to a panel of judges made up of professionals and entrepreneurs.

Anyone can pitch an idea for a product or business at the event. The panel of judges selects ideas to move on to the development stage. Teams are formed around the winning ideas, and the real work begins in the second phase with the creation of a business model, customer-based validation, and product development and design.

The weekend culminates with teams presenting to judges for an opportunity to receive critical feedback and support.

Brewery Buddy, an online service for beer brewers to organize recipes, schedules, inventories and budgets, won the inaugural StartUp Weekend in 2014. The team was also successful in winning a portion of the 2015 Alabama Launchpad Competition.

Josh Sahib is the co-founder of Brewery Buddy, a Culverhouse alumnus and is a coach for this year’s competition.

“Startup Weekend provides an extraordinary opportunity to validate a business idea over a short period of time,” said Sahib “The competitive atmosphere quickly surfaces potential problems within both the team and business. We were able to move forward from Startup Weekend with a sense of accomplishment and momentum that could’ve taken months to build.”

More information about Startup Weekend Tuscaloosa including judges, coaches and sponsors can be found at tuscaloosa.up.co.

Early bird discount registration is available until April 8 on the EventBrite website, http://www.eventbrite.com/e/startup-weekend-tuscaloosa-tickets-18078162270, and additional registration is available until April 22.

Startup Weekend Tuscaloosa is made possible with the support of local sponsors, Alabama Power, JamisonMoneyFarmer and EBSCO Capital.

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.