The Tiger Cage
Presented by the Raymond J. Harbert College of Business and the Auburn Research and Technology Foundation, Tiger Cage is an annual competition devoted to discovering and rewarding the best early-stage products, services or business concepts that emerge from Auburn University students and entrepreneurs.
If you have a fantastic idea for a business, and are looking for an opportunity to advance it, this program is designed for you. You will have the opportunity to develop your concept, pitch it to a seasoned group of judges and potentially win prizes that will help in jump-starting your business.
Cash prizes (amounts to be determined) will be distributed to the winning teams. The money will cover legitimate business expenses associated with a start-up. Students will compete for a prize pool of up to $25,000 and access to legal services. Teams that advance will have access to mentorship from entpreneurs in the Auburn University community.
- Tiger Cage is open to individual competitors, as well as teams comprised of up to six Auburn University students. Teams must be led by an active student, but AU alumni are allowed to join teams.
- Interdisciplinary teams (students representing different colleges, schools, departments) are strongly encouraged. It is recommended that these teams include at least three members.
- Teams that have received previous outside investment from venture capital firms, private investors or industry sources are ineligible for the competition.
Entries must be submitted by Monday, November 14 at 11:45 p.m. via an online application process. Access the 2017 Tiger Cage Business Idea Competition application at: https://auburn.infoready4.com/
Please sumbit the following documents:
- A 250-word (maximum) summary of your business idea. This will be used to introduce the judges to your business concept. Clearly state the problem, your solution and market opportunity.
- A one-page Business Model Canvas that describes how your business idea would be executed. The template is provided and is accessible at: https://strategyzer.com/canvas
- Three slides presenting your business idea to a panel of venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and experts who are experienced in business development and funding that allows them to see the novelty and market potential of your idea.
An independent panel of judges will review submissions and select the top 20 teams to advance to Round 1. Selected teams will participate in a series of business plan development and refinement mentorship sessions.
Remaining education and mentorship sessions
All sessions will be held at the Lowder Center for Family Business & Entrepreneurship, 570 Devall Drive, Suite 103.
- Wednesday, November 30, 5 p.m. -- Understanding intellectual property
- Wednesday, January 18, 5 p.m. -- Making an effective pitch
- Wednesday, January 25, 5 p.m. -- Understanding your business financials
Tiger Cage Pitch Day (Round 1)
Date: February 3, 2017
Each of the top 20 teams selected from the online submissions will deliver a Business Plan pitch to a group of judges with significant experience in business formation and funding. The presentation environment will be designed to simulate a typical pitch to a venture capital firm. Teams may use any combination of presentation methods to communicate their concept. Each team will have up to 10 minutes (5 minute presentation, 5 minute Q&A with judges). Judges will select the top eight teams to advance to the Tiger Cage semifinals.
Tiger Cage Semifinal Round
Date: March 3, 2017
Judges will select the top four teams to advance to the Tiger Cage finals.
Tiger Cage Finals at Auburn University Entrepreneurship Summit
Date: Friday, March 31, 2017
Location: The Hotel at Auburn University & Dixon Conference Center Auditorium
* Open to the public
This is a public event.
Envelope Aerospace, led by chemical engineering major Troy Ferguson, engineering systems major Shawn Majzlik, and political science major Dennis French, took the 2016 Tiger Cage grand prize for their alternative to pricey weather balloons.
Parking Grid Technologies, a mobile app concept pitched by mechanical engineering students Jonathan Philip and Alex Wakefield, emerged as the grand prize winner in the 2015 Tiger Cage contest. Two other companies led by business and engineering students, SimplyProse and Tennibot, built off their Tiger Cage experience and reached the finals of the $250,000 Alabama Launchpad.
For more information on Tiger Cage, contact Dr. LaKami Baker, Managing Director, Lowder Center for Family Business and Entrepreneurship, Lbaker@auburn.edu.