Student Demo Day features startup companies, nonprofit ventures

Student entrepreneurs pitch their business ventures to the Birmingham business community following a 10-week training program.
Written by: Briana Bryant
Media contact: Tyler Greer

DemoDayjoomlaCultivating future Birmingham startups is a priority at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The latest cohort of student entrepreneurs in the UAB Student Accelerator program will debut their ideas at the upcoming spring student startup Demo Day.

On Wednesday, April 10, student teams are slated to pitch business startup and nonprofit ideas to the Birmingham business community. The event, hosted in the Velocity Accelerator at Innovation Depot, is free and open to the public; but registration is required.  

“Demo Day is a way to celebrate student innovators and showcase entrepreneurship from across the university,” said Kathy Nugent, Ph.D., executive director of the Bill. L Harbert Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. “Through programs like the Student Accelerator, we’re helping grow the culture of innovation on campus and in turn hoping to support the local startup community with the next generation of companies.”

The UAB Student Accelerator is a free, non-credit-bearing boot camp provided by the Bill L. Harbert Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The entrepreneurial training program guides students through customer discovery, business model canvas, sales and marketing, legal, and other elements of starting a company. At the conclusion of the 10-week program, student teams pitch their ventures at Demo Day.

Projects from the latest cohort include:

  • Bool Design Solutions – provides design and prototyping solutions for individuals, startups and established organizations through computer-aided design and modeling services. Led by electrical engineering undergraduate Praise Daramola.
  • El Criollo – delivers authentic Peruvian cuisine while educating the community about the country’s rich history and culture. Led by mechanical engineering undergraduate Jose Pilco.
  • TECHARGE – offers a novel method for producing long-strand nanofibrous materials of unprecedented quality on a scale exceeding combined global production. Led by applied physics Ph.D. candidate Anthony Brayer.
  • Rubisco – provides software paired with existing wearable technology to measure internal indicators of stroke to reduce the risk and facilitate recovery. Led by biomedical engineering undergraduate Kyla Gabriel.
  • Rturn – organic, nontoxic fragrances that prevent harsh reactions and are safe to use. Led by physical therapy graduate student Ra’Kysia Rogers.
  • Vulcan Esports Academy – integrates STEAM education into esports to improve competitive performance and inspire further education and interest in STEAM careers. Led by chemical education undergraduate Andrew Sluss, computer science undergraduate Jared Chesnut and NIH PREP scholar Courtney Swain.
  • Carter Solutions – provides custom LED lighting system for refrigerated delivery trailers. Led by electrical and computer engineering graduate student Brandon Carter.
  • Trio Solutions – offers a website/app solution for local universities to generate better outcomes for startups. Led by pediatric research scientist Thea Nicola.
For more information about the Bill L. Harbert Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, visit or contact Briana Bryant, marketing manager, at 205-934-2838 or

“Seven student companies have become revenue-generating since the launch of the program, and with 13 teams working on businesses and nonprofit ideas, this cohort is off to a strong start,” said Lydia Dick, director of the UAB Commercialization Accelerator. “Along with the curriculum, our mentor network has been instrumental in helping student ventures gain traction.”

The Accelerator program invites partners from across campus and the Birmingham business community program to act as mentors and guest speakers and to provide volunteer consulting, including the Birmingham Business Alliance, Innovation Depot, Alabama Capital Network, TechBirmingham, Maynard Cooper & Gale, and others.

“We’re blown away by the support the program has received from the community,” Nugent added. “Aligning with the Birmingham innovation ecosystem helps us cultivate a skilled workforce and strategically drive economic development.” 

The Bill L. Harbert Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship facilitates rapid development of new ideas, products and technologies, and prepares faculty, students and researchers to become entrepreneurs in an increasingly technology-driven ecosystem.