The Harbert College of Business’ Lowder Center for Family Business and Entrepreneurship will operate a regional Alabama Launchpad competition for startups that will enable entrepreneurs to compete for a share of up to $100,000.
A collaboration between the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, the City of Auburn, the Harbert College, and the Auburn Research & Technology Foundation will bring the first Auburn Regional Alabama Launchpad competition to the community in October.
In addition to competing for funding, area entrepreneurs will also be able to receive mentorship that will help them solidify their business ideas. Auburn is the second regional program for Alabama Launchpad, which began in 2006. The Auburn regional competition will be open to start-ups from five East Alabama counties – Chambers, Lee, Macon, Russell and Tallapoosa. Alabama Launchpad invests in the development of early-stage startups from the state and recognizes new and innovative companies.
The partnership builds on the Harbert College’s efforts to discover and nurture entrepreneurship among Auburn University students. The college began hosting the annual Tiger Cage student business pitch competition in 2015.
“The Auburn Regional Alabama Launchpad will establish Auburn and the university as places of support for entrepreneurs,” said Harbert College Dean and Wells Fargo Professor Bill Hardgrave.
The Auburn Regional competition will utilize existing Lowder Center for Family Business and Entrepreneurship programs and infrastructure to support startups. Harbert College faculty member LaKami Baker serves as director of the Lowder Center for Family Business and Entrepreneurship, as well as the Tiger Cage competition.
Auburn Regional Alabama Launchpad startups must complete an application process, which includes a video pitch and a business plan. Judges will screen entries and select startups to make live pitches. A panel of judges will also evaluate finalists and determine shares of funding. Winners from the Auburn regional will have the opportunity to compete in the statewide Alabama Launchpad.
Auburn Research & Technology Foundation Director Larry Fillmer described the regional competition as one that will “promote entrepreneurial thinking.” The last value, he said, is the creation of ideas “that have impacts on communities” and the development of “companies that help support economic development and job growth in East Alabama.”
The EDPA launched its first regional program with the Shoals Alabama Launchpad in 2016. Five companies shared $97,000 in funding.
“Just like in the Shoals, this partnership will give Auburn regional companies access to funding, resources and mentoring to help them start, stay and grow in Alabama,” EDPA Vice President Angela Wier.
Learn more about the Auburn Regional Alabama Launchpad: http://www.alabamalaunchpad.com