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Auburn’s premier student-led entrepreneurship competition crowned a winner on April 10 as SwiftSku, a platform that brings Big Data to convenience stores and was created by senior in mechanical engineering Daniel Mazur and senior in mechanical engineering and accounting Mit Patel, secured first place and $25,000 in capital funding.

In its sixth year, the 2020 version of the Tiger Cage finals was the first held in a completely remote format. Four finalists submitted business plans and presentation videos to 15 industry professional judges, then met with the judges remotely on April 10 for individual question-and-answer sessions.

“Three things played an important role in our ability to move forward,” said Lou Bifano, director of entrepreneurship strategy at the Raymond J. Harbert College of Business, which sponsors the event.

“First, Zoom’s video conferencing capabilities allowed all the judges and teams to meet together virtually," said Bifano. "Second, video creation and editing technology, which our students were able to quickly master and use to create high-quality pitch videos. Third, and most importantly, was the conviction by everyone involved–students, faculty, staff and judges–that we could, and should, push forward in spite of the COVID-19 virus.”

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