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        Auburn Ideas Jam

        The Auburn Ideas Jam helps ideas and early-stage businesses grow. This is a low-barrier competition with no business plan or slide deck required. Individuals still at the idea phase or businesses that are pre-revenue and/or pre-product are strongly encouraged to apply. The competition is open to both college students and community members residing in East Alabama. The slate of competitors will be divided into separate pitch booths, with several teams competing at each booth. This has the effect of significantly improving the chances of winning funding for your early-stage business idea!

        Register now!

        Important Dates



        Monday, August 14

        Registration opens

        Tuesday, September 19

        Registration closes

        Tuesday, September 26

        Auburn Ideas Jam
        Time: 5 pm - 8 pm
        BEST room, Horton-Hardgrave Hall
        (425 W Magnolia Ave, Auburn, AL 36849)

        Competition Structure


        • Registration is free and there is no entry fee!
        • By participating in this event, you grant the right and permission of organizers to use photos, videos, and audio recordings in publicity, including on social media.
        • Register before the end date above.
        • After you register, look for further instructions and next steps from the Lowder Center for Family Business and Entrepreneurship Team or Josh Sahib (

        Day of the Event

        • Arrive early:
          Participants must arrive at the Horton-Hardgrave Hall by 5:10 pm on the day of the event to sign in.
        • 3 Minute Presentation:
          You will have 3 minutes to persuasively describe your idea to a panel of judges – Remember to keep it simple and make them want to know more!
          • This is first and foremost a pitch competition. Therefore, you cannot use slides or a computer/tablet, but you may bring a visual aid such as a prototype if desired.
          • You can be part of a team, but only one person needs to sign up and is able to pitch.
          • This event is meant to be a low-barrier competition. You don't have to be overly dressy; business casual attire will be perfectly fine.
        • 5 Minute Question & Answer:
          The judges will have up to 5 minutes for Q&A. The judges may ask about the problem you are solving, your product or service, your market/customer, business management, financials, or any other elements of the business.
          A draft of the judging criteria is available here to help you better prepare for the competition.
        • Deliberation and Awards:
          We are targeting 5+ pitch booths with up to 5-6 individuals pitching at each booth and awarding a $1,000 prize at each table.
          • The number of pitch booths and individuals pitching at each may fluctuate based on the registrations. If we have more registrations than space allows, Jumpstart graduates and the earlier-stage ideas/businesses will receive priority consideration. Alternatively, if we have fewer registrations than anticipated we may not run as many, booths and/or have fewer competitors at each.

        Competition Stipulations

        1. Ideas/businesses pitched must be the original work of entrants.
        2. If you are pitching on behalf of a team/company, you must have a substantial role (such as CEO or co-founder) in the business.
        3. The competition is open to both students and community members, but the person registering/pitching must reside in the East Alabama area.
        4. Although some participants may be involved in multiple businesses, for this competition, they can only pitch a single idea/business.
        5. Prior winners of $1,000 or more in funding from a business-related competition are encouraged to compete with a different business/idea. These teams may be excluded from participation if they try to compete with a previously winning business/idea. 
        6. This competition is geared towards early-stage ideas and businesses. Therefore, entrants with either $20,000+ in lifetime revenue (including grants or competition winnings) or more than two years in operation may be excluded from participating.

        Note: If you exceed the thresholds for stipulation 5 or 6, you're still encouraged to apply, but if more teams register than the available spaces, the earlier-stage ideas and businesses will receive priority consideration.

        How to apply

        A representative for each idea/business must register for the competition via this link by the above registration deadline. Our team will review all registrations and follow up with any relevant next steps.

        Please email with any questions.

        Contact Us

        Joshua Sahib

        Joshua Sahib

        Managing Director, The Lowder Center for Family Business and Entrepreneurship

        The Lowder Center for Family Business and Entrepreneurship

        Combining outreach programming and academic studies in the area of family business

        Learn more