Business Ranking

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Auburn University is seeking to partner with the state of Alabama’s business sector, and the timing couldn’t be better.

Recently, the state of Alabama rose in the rankings of the 2018 Chief Executive Best States business rankings, climbing two spots from a year ago to No. 17 in the nation. The article quoted Auburn President Steven Leath, who spoke on the state’s growing opportunities and Auburn’s plan to expand its role as a partnership university through the advancement of transformative research and scholarship.

At a recent business entrepreneur event in Birmingham involving Steve Case, former chief executive officer and chairman of America Online, Dr. Leath shared specifics on Auburn’s goal of contributing to the entrepreneurial and innovative advancements of the state, nation and beyond.

“At Auburn, we’re growing as a partnership university to propel economic development and empower students, faculty and community entrepreneurs,” he said. “We seek to inspire startups and drive innovation that yields transformative ideas and inventions and translate them into powerful solutions that improve lives.”

As part of that initiative, Auburn has hosted a $100,000 regional Alabama Launchpad event along with the City of Auburn that has created opportunities for startups in the five-county area.  Auburn also has opened what is called the Tiger Cage Accelerator and Incubator program, whereby student-led startups are provided collaborative workspace and access to faculty and alumni mentors. Auburn’s Harbert College of Business recently awarded more than $80,000 in funding and services for its Tiger Cage student business plan pitch competition, with this year’s winner being a group of students who developed an electrotherapy garment for rehabilitations of various injuries.

“Our students engage and lead at extraordinarily high levels,” Dr. Leath said. “And they’re exploring everything from mobile apps to cyber currency.”

In addition to the student experience, Auburn also seeks to embolden faculty breakthroughs with a $100,000 innovation program that advances the commercial potential of advancements started at Auburn. Already, concepts are being seen in MRI contrast technology to pharmaceuticals to 3D printing and autonomous vehicles.  Another piece of the puzzle is a strategic expansion of the Auburn Research Park, which will create opportunities for convergence in research, innovation, entrepreneurship and the arts.

“Auburn is on the move and open for business,” Dr. Leath said. “We would love to talk about how we can partner together to make the world a better place.”

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Last updated: 06/25/2018