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Auburn University’s Raymond J. Harbert College of Business and the Auburn Research and Technology Foundation will host the finals of the Tiger Cage student entrepreneurship competition on Friday, April 24, at The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center.
Four teams will compete for a $10,000 grand prize in the final round, which begins at 9 a.m. in The Hotel at Auburn University & Dixon Conference Center auditorium. The first-year competition challenges Auburn University students to develop and pitch early-stage product, service or business concepts. Twenty teams began the competition, which included multiple elimination rounds. The finalists will have an opportunity make their pitches to a panel of judges that will include Kevin Harrington, an original panelist from ABC’s “Shark Tank” and pioneer of the “As Seen on TV” product line.
The teams competing for the grand prize include BAUCE, LifeLike Projections, Parking Grid Technologies, and Simplyprose.
Business administration graduate student Hunter Barriault and engineering student Brett Townsend lead BAUCE, a social media-based advertising app. Information systems management major Vincent McNeeley will pitch LifeLike Projections, which uses projection-mapping technology for retail store customization. Mechanical engineering majors Jonathan Philip and Alex Wakefield lead Parking Grid Technologies, a parking management system utilizing sensors and cloud-based data management. Simplyprose, a concept of supply chain management student Cole Kinchler, industrial and systems engineering major Sharan Kalva and finance major Jake Wright, is a collaborative writing platform.
In addition to $17,000 in total prize money to cover business expenses, the teams will also be competing for $30,000 in legal assistance from the Silicon Valley-based law firm of Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati.
In addition to Harrington, the panel of judges will also include Scott Kupor, Chief Operating Officer of the California-based venture capital firm Andreesen Horowitz; Paul McCreadie, Director of the Michigan-based venture capital firm Arboretum Ventures; Chris McCulley, Founder and CEO of robotics manufacturer Deshazo Automation; Will Brooke, Senior Partner for Harbert Management Corporation Venture Capital; and LaKami Baker, Managing Director of the Lowder Center for Family Business and Entrepreneurship.
Tiger Cage will kick off the first Auburn University Entrepreneurship Summit hosted by the Harbert College of Business. The daylong program will also include Top Tigers luncheon honoring the fastest-growing businesses founded, owned or led by Auburn University alumni. Harrington will serve as the keynote speaker for Top Tigers, presented in partnership with Business Alabama magazine and the accounting firm Warren Averett. The summit will conclude with the Auburn University Entrepreneur Hall of Fame gala, where the winner of Tiger Cage will be revealed.