University of Mobile Students Place 1st and 2nd at Startup Weekend Entrepreneurial Competition

Amber Kelley Arts, Business, News

MOBILE, Ala. – University of Mobile students are setting the pace for local entrepreneurs as they placed in the top two teams of Startup Weekend, an entrepreneurial competition developed by Google.

The weekend event was held in Mobile on March 29-31 and drew participants from as far away as Birmingham and Pensacola.

Startup Weekend is a global event in which teams build businesses in 54 hours. Teams include members with a variety of skills such as graphic design, software development, marketing and more. They are tasked with turning a business concept into a startup business plan.

UM students were able to use the knowledge they are receiving in classes to establish themselves as top-of-the-line entrepreneurs at this competition.

There were 51 total participants in Startup Weekend in which eight UM students and alumni placed in the 1stand 2ndplace teams.

The first place team included UM students Allison Gray and Abigail McCully, and alumna Satyn Morris.

The second place team included UM students Aisha Dionne, Nikola Rajkovic and Bauyrzhan Doszhanov, and alumni Heath Vester and School of Business faculty member Katie Allred.

“A large contingent of students from the University of Mobile made its presence known at this year’s event. Todd Greer, dean of UM’s School of Business, served as one of Techstars group mentors,” Lagniappe Weekly Business Writer Ron Sivak reported.

Allison Gray, class of 2019, enjoyed being able to work with UM faculty and a range of different students at Startup Weekend. She also enjoyed being able to connect and work with entrepreneurs outside of the university family. Gray is thankful for the networking and connections that were made during the 54 hours of Startup Weekend.

“As a graphic design major and graduate of 2016, I am thankful for the things that I learned in the classroom at University of Mobile. I am now able to carry out those skills in events like Startup Weekend, and even in my day-to-day work. It was special to get to share Startup Weekend with other UM students and graduates,” Heath Vester says.

For more information about University of Mobile degrees, visit or call 251.442.2222.


About University of Mobile

University of Mobile is a Christ-centered liberal arts and sciences institution with a vision of higher education for a higher purpose, founded to honor God by equipping students for their future professions through rigorous academic preparation and spiritual transformation. Core values are: Christ-Centered, Academically-Focused, Student-Devoted and Distinctively-Driven. The university offers on-campus and online bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs in over 90 areas of study. Founded in 1961, University of Mobile is affiliated with the Alabama Baptist State Convention and is located 10 miles north of Mobile, Alabama on a campus of over 880 acres.


For more information about University of Mobile, visit the website at or call Enrollment Services at 1.800.WIN.RAMS or 251.442.2222.

About the Author

Amber Kelley

Amber Kelley is the marketing communications specialist for University of Mobile. Amber received her Bachelor of Science in Communication from UM. As marketing communications specialist, Amber writes press releases and other content for UM. She is passionate about serving in her youth group at Redemption Church. She enjoys spending time outside, reading a good book and watching romantic comedies on Netflix.