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

UAB students triumph in Innovate Alabama: Entrepreneurship Hackathon, showcasing their entrepreneurial skills and innovative solutions.

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 challenges college students to present entrepreneurial pitches. The UAB team, consisting of Jaival Vikal, Shiva Gupta, and William Rainer, impressed the judges with their solution to the unique obstacles faced by rural entrepreneurs in Alabama. Their winning pitch, titled “Producer’s Pantry,” aims to bridge the gap between rural farmers and urban markets, ultimately benefiting both parties. With their first-place finish, the team secured a prize of $10,000 and recognition for their innovative approach to addressing rural entrepreneurship in the state.

Focusing on Rural Entrepreneurship in Alabama

The Innovate Alabama: Entrepreneurship Hackathon centered around finding solutions to the challenges faced by rural entrepreneurs in Alabama. The UAB team dedicated extensive time and effort to researching and strategizing how to best support these communities. Their objective was not only to assist the designated community but also to potentially benefit other rural areas throughout the state. By identifying and developing novel solutions, the team aimed to create opportunities for rural entrepreneurs to thrive.

Introducing Producer’s Pantry

The team’s winning pitch, Producer’s Pantry, proposes a link in the supply chain and logistics management company. The startup seeks to address the transportation and logistical challenges faced by rural farmers in bringing their products to the market. With a focus on the distribution and sale of peanuts, of which Alabama is one of the leading producers in the country, Producer’s Pantry aims to connect the rising demand for peanuts and produce in more populous areas like Birmingham with the increasing supply in Southeast Alabama.

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Utilizing Cutting-Edge Technology

To achieve their goals, the team plans to employ cutting-edge Supply Chain Management technologies. They aim 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. By leveraging technology and innovative solutions, Producer’s Pantry aims to streamline the distribution and sale of agricultural products, enabling farmers to obtain fair prices for their goods.

UAB’s Support and Mentorship

The UAB team credits the support and mentorship they received from the university for their success in the hackathon. The UAB Department of Mathematics and Department of Physics provided unwavering support and enthusiasm, fostering the students’ passion for science, technology, and business. Additionally, the Barefield Entrepreneurship Program’s curriculum and the guidance of Dr. Patrick Murphy, director of UAB’s Entrepreneurship program, played vital roles in preparing the team for the competition. The students commend the program’s world-class education and its emphasis on practical application.

Pursuing Grant Funding for Startup

With their victory in the hackathon, the team is actively seeking grant funding to cover the initial startup fees for their business. They have already applied for a grant that could provide the necessary resources, such as land, infrastructure, vehicles, and software, to establish a strong foundation for Producer’s Pantry. By securing grant funding, the team aims to turn their entrepreneurial vision into a reality.


The success of the UAB student team in the Innovate Alabama: Entrepreneurship Hackathon is a testament to their entrepreneurial spirit and innovative thinking. Through their winning pitch, Producer’s Pantry, the team aims to address the unique challenges faced by rural entrepreneurs in Alabama, particularly in the agricultural sector. With their cutting-edge technology solutions and the support of UAB’s entrepreneurship program, the team is well-positioned to make a meaningful impact in the state’s innovation ecosystem. As they pursue grant funding and prepare to launch their business, the UAB team exemplifies the potential for growth and success in Alabama’s technology and entrepreneurship sectors.

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