UAB Student Team Wins Statewide Entrepreneurship Hackathon, Secures $10,000 Prize

UAB students triumph in the Innovate Alabama: Entrepreneurship Hackathon, addressing challenges faced by rural entrepreneurs.

A team of students from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) has emerged victorious in the Innovate Alabama: Entrepreneurship Hackathon, a statewide competition that provides a platform for college students to showcase their entrepreneurial skills. The UAB team, consisting of Jaival Vikal, Shiva Gupta, and William Rainer, impressed the judges with their innovative solution to the unique obstacles faced by rural entrepreneurs in Alabama. As a result, they were awarded the first-place prize of $10,000.

Tackling Rural Entrepreneurship Challenges

The focus of the hackathon was to address the specific challenges faced by rural entrepreneurs in Alabama. The UAB team dedicated extensive hours to research and strategy, aiming to develop novel solutions that would benefit not only the designated community but also rural areas throughout the state. Their company, Producer’s Pantry, aims to bridge the gap in the supply chain and logistics management for rural farmers, helping them effectively sell their products and obtain fair prices. By connecting the rising demand for peanuts and produce in more populous areas with the abundant supply in Southeast Alabama, Producer’s Pantry aims to create a sustainable and efficient distribution system.

UAB’s Supportive Environment

The UAB students credit their success to the support and guidance they received from the university. Jaival Vikal, a senior double-majoring in computer science and entrepreneurship, expressed his captivation with the opportunity to collaborate with academically diverse and skilled individuals during his freshman year. Shiva Gupta, a junior double-majoring in physics and mathematics, highlighted the unwavering support and enthusiasm from the UAB Department of Mathematics and Department of Physics, fostering his passion for science, technology, and business. The team also praised the mentorship and lessons provided by the UAB Collat School of Business, which thoroughly prepared them for this competition.

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A Promising Startup Venture

Producer’s Pantry aims to revolutionize the distribution and sale of peanuts, leveraging cutting-edge supply chain management technologies. The team plans to establish an online network for rural farmers, implement a distribution system through farmers’ markets, and utilize a fleet of trucks to facilitate the process. With Alabama being one of the leading producers of peanuts in the country, this venture holds immense potential for the growth of technology businesses in the state.

Grant Funding and Future Prospects

The UAB team is actively pursuing grant funding to cover the initial startup fees for their business. They have already applied for a grant that could initiate their business venture, allowing them to establish a strong foundation, including land, infrastructure, vehicles, and software. The team is optimistic about the future and the potential growth of their venture in Alabama’s innovation ecosystem.


The UAB student team’s victory in the Innovate Alabama: Entrepreneurship Hackathon showcases the university’s commitment to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship. By addressing the challenges faced by rural entrepreneurs in Alabama, the team’s startup, Producer’s Pantry, aims to create a sustainable and efficient distribution system for peanuts and produce. With the support and guidance from UAB, the team is poised to make a meaningful impact in the state’s innovation ecosystem. As they secure grant funding and continue to develop their venture, the future looks promising for both the team and Producer’s Pantry.