Twenty student-led teams pitched their business plans before industry professional judges Friday afternoon at the Auburn Research Park. Eight advanced to the March 1 Tiger Cage semifinal round.
Advancing teams advancing include:
* Phone Skunk – An app that generates robocall complaint messages and forwards them to the FCC (Bob Sesek, Auburn MBA program, and Richard Sesek, professor in industrial and systems engineering).
* The Slick Sink – Extendable, plastic attachment for bathroom sinks that allows the user to control the direction of water to make easier for cleaning (Mike Bush, accounting; Carson Moore, international business; Callie Stuart, engineering; and Trevor Schnell, finance).
* Lockshot – Development of a patentable safety hypodermic needle. Drew Addison (electrical and computer engineering).
* ParaSky (left) – Produces augmented reality in flight cockpit (Dan O'Leary, engineering management; Fehmi Capanoglu, occupational safety and ergonomics; and Baha Yakupoglu, electrical and computer engineering).
* Alabama Boat Club – Provides customers with boats they can use rather than own (Chad Matthews, entrepreneurship and family business).
* SOstraws (below) – Paper straw retailer dedicated to improving the environment (Porter Kennedy, finance, and Kressie Kornis, English literature).
* Precision Performance Insoles – A device placed within insoles that maps foot structures (Jordan Coker, engineering).
* Flashtract – Software service that streamlines construction payment process. (Ben Conry, civil engineering; Blair Chenault, engineering).
“We’re very pleased with the quality of teams we have this year,” said Lou Bifano, Director of Entrepreneurship Strategy at the Harbert College of Business. “It’s a diverse set of business ideas that the students have. Every year we seem to be getting higher quality ideas from the students and better presentations, so we’re very pleased with this year’s field.”
In its fifth year, the Tiger Cage student business pitch competition discovers and rewards the best early-stage products, services or business concepts that emerge from Auburn University students. Previous winning ideas included a parking app, weather balloon, garments to reduce injuries in the workplace, and a garment to aid in the recovery of injuries.
The Tiger Cage final round – featuring four teams that advance beyond the semifinals – will be March 29 at the Auburn University Hotel and Conference Center. There, teams will compete for $50,000 and services. The Tiger Cage finals are part of the annual Auburn Entrepreneurship Summit, where Auburn alumni are celebrated for long-term business careers and ventures.