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A new partnership between the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, or EDPA, the City of Auburn, Auburn University’s Raymond J. Harbert College of Business and the Auburn Research and Technology Foundation, or ARTF, will bring a regional Alabama Launchpad Startup Competition to the greater Auburn area. The competition will offer area entrepreneurs opportunities to compete for funding and to receive valuable mentoring for their business ideas.

Auburn is the second regional program for Alabama Launchpad, a program EDPA started in 2006. The Auburn Regional Alabama Launchpad is set to begin in October, with startups competing for a share of up to $100,000. Startups from all five counties in East Alabama – Chambers, Lee, Macon, Russell and Tallapoosa – will be invited to participate.

“We are fortunate to partner with Alabama Launchpad,” said Auburn Mayor Bill Ham Jr. “Alabama Launchpad has become the go-to resource for entrepreneurship in the state. And with the expertise at Auburn University, the program will contribute significantly to entrepreneurship development in the Auburn region.”

Alabama Launchpad invests in the development of early-stage Alabama startups and spotlights innovative new companies. Interested startups go through a rigorous application process, which includes a video pitch and a business plan. Judges then select the startups to make live pitches; the judges also decide the winners to share the funding.

The Raymond J. Harbert College of Business has been instrumental in bringing activities to assist student entrepreneurs through programs such as Tiger Cage, which offers an annual competition for student startups and provides space for student entrepreneurs.

“The Auburn Regional Alabama Launchpad will establish Auburn and the university as places of support for entrepreneurs,” said Harbert College of Business Dean Bill Hardgrave.

“Our partnership with the City of Auburn on the Auburn Regional Alabama Launchpad Competition is an excellent example of how we can empower a program that results in positive economic development in Alabama,” said Auburn Research and Technology Foundation Director Larry Fillmer.

The program is designed to promote entrepreneurial thinking, to create ideas that have impacts on communities and to create companies that help support economic development and job growth in East Alabama.

The Harbert College’s Lowder Center for Family Business and Entrepreneurship, headed by LaKami Baker, will operate the business competition. Existing programs and infrastructure for startups will be utilized to support the young companies.

Winners from the Alabama Launchpad regional can also compete in Alabama Launchpad.

For more information, visit the Auburn Regional Alabama Launchpad website