Published on April 12, 2018 by Morgan Black  
regions competition

Samford University’s Brock School of Business and Regions Bank are once again teaming up to present the 10th annual Regions New Venture Challenge business plan competition April 20 in the Regions Community Resource Room of Samford’s Cooney Hall.

Students interested in starting their own business can enter the competition for the chance to win start-up capital, gain publicity and receive mentoring to help start their businesses. Students can be business or non-business majors. Students from other universities can also compete, but all teams must include at least 50 percent Samford undergraduate or graduate students or recent Samford alumni as team members. First, second, and third place prizes are available for the Open Division valued at $7,500, $5,000, and $2,500, respectively.

“Our partnership with Regions has been amazing. We are truly blessed to be celebrating ten years of this competition,” said business school Associate Dean Chad Carson. “Part of that celebration is us bringing back two of our past winners to serve as judges for this year’s competition – Blair Badham and Heather Williams Simmons.” 

Badham received his Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) from Brock School of Business in 2009 and is the managing director for Butler Snow Advisory Services LLC. Simmons received her M.B.A. in 2011. She is the founder and president of Tallulah’s Designs in Birmingham and a business consultant for Silverbeet Creative Company in Florence, Alabama. Ty West, editor-in-chief of the Birmingham Business Journal will serve as the third judge for the competition. 

“Regions is proud to continue our support of Samford University and Brock School of Business through our sponsorship of the Regions New Venture Challenge,” said Ann Forney, senior vice president and corporate contributions director at Regions Bank. “We look forward to another great competition this year.” 

Carson added, “These 10 years have made a tremendous impact on our entrepreneurship program and we look forward to many more years of working with Regions to spur entrepreneurial activity in Birmingham and beyond.”

To learn more about the competition, contact Chad Carson, associate dean and the Brock Family Chair in Entrepreneurship, by emailing

Regions New Venture Challenge 

Regions Financial Corporation Community Engagement

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.