Using a name that’s part play on their mascot tiger and part play on the success of the Shark Tank, Auburn University’s inaugural Tiger Cage competition is in full swing. The contest, which started this fall, has now been weeded down to the semi-finals, with the announcement of 10 student led startups advancing on Wednesday.
The contest was co-sponsored by the Harbert School of Business alongside the Auburn Research and Technology Foundation. Successful serial entrepreneurs Mark Forchette and Kyle Sandler have helped steer the competition to success. Forchette helped conceptualize the program, while Sandler, through his Round House startup space in neighboring Opelika served as a mentorship house for many of the teams.
“We touched most of the original 20 teams through at least a proof of concept meeting. Six teams worked at least once a week with The Round House to hone their pitches and work on their products through the competition. All six teams advanced to the semi-finals and will continue to work through the competition” Sandler said. “many of the teams have also expressed an interest in continuing well past the Tiger Cage experience”. The Round House which offers an equity based incubation solution will continue to groom the startup companies past the April finals.
The ten teams that made it into the semi-finals were:
- Life Like Projections, a retail concept for infusing projection mapping and virtual dressing rooms
- Hobot, a tennis ball retrieval system
- Bauce App, an app that allows corporations and other brands to implement charitable challenges
- Simply Prose, a new web based collaboration platform for all levels of writers
- Spawn Tech, an innovative spin on growing mushrooms
- C-Quest-R heat energy recycling, turning heat energy into jet fuel
- Wrap Straps, customizable back pack straps
- MaxLife Living, clothing line designed for athletic men and women
- Book Work, a platform to facilitate peer to peer used text book transactions
- Smart Lot, new flat sensor based parking lot technology
All ten teams will have the option to pitch before a live audience during The H-Con Conference in Opelika April 14-16th and then for the Tiger Cage judges April 17th. On April 17th four teams will advance. Those four teams will compete on April 24th as part of Auburn’s upcoming Entrepreneurial Summit featuring original Shark Tank shark Kevin Harrington.