Harbert College of Business establishes entrepreneurship awards program

Published: September 15, 2014
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In an effort to recognize Auburn University’s established and emerging business leaders and innovators, the Raymond J. Harbert College of Business has created a new entrepreneurship awards program.

The first Auburn University Entrepreneurship Summit will be held Friday, April 24, and will honor individuals and businesses for their excellence. The daylong program will include the first inductions into the Auburn Entrepreneur Hall of Fame, presentations of Entrepreneur and Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards, recognition of the fastest-growing companies owned or led by Auburn alumni and a contest in which student entrepreneurs attempt to transform their ideas into viable business ventures.

“Auburn University has built a remarkable legacy of entrepreneurs and industry leaders, from Main Street to Wall Street, from the one-person start-up to the highest valued company in the world,” said Harbert College of Business Dean and Wells Fargo Professor Bill Hardgrave. “It is time to recognize, celebrate, reinforce and build upon this legacy.”

The Auburn University Entrepreneur Hall of Fame will welcome its first class of inductees during an evening banquet. Open to graduates from each of Auburn’s 12 degree-granting colleges and schools, the hall of fame will commemorate outstanding lifetime contributions to the business community and sustained success as a business leader.

In addition to recognizing the inaugural hall of fame class, the Harbert College of Business will also recognize the university’s Entrepreneur and Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Full criteria and online nomination forms for the Entrepreneur Hall of Fame and Entrepreneur and Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards can be found at harbert.auburn.edu/entrepreneurship-summit/hall-of-fame.php. The entry deadline for each is Monday, Dec. 1.

In recognition of the fastest-growing companies with Auburn University connections, the Harbert College of Business and Business Alabama magazine will co-host the first Top Tigers luncheon. To qualify for the Top Tigers program, a company must have been founded or be currently owned or led (CEO, CFO, vice presidents, etc.) by an Auburn University alumnus, have been in business for at least five years, have surpassed $250,000 in revenue for the base year of the evaluation period and have operated in a manner consistent with The Auburn Creed. Nominations may be submitted to Shanna Ullmann, director of engagement for the Harbert College of Business, at shanna.ullmann@auburn.edu. The entry deadline is Saturday, Nov. 15.

Top Tigers nominees will be evaluated on the basis of year-over-year revenue growth during the program time period (Base year: Calendar year 2010 or fiscal year 2011; Ending year: Calendar year 2013 or fiscal year 2014). Warren Averett, LLC will collect financial information from nominees and rank firms based on their rate of revenue growth. Only the percentage of revenue growth will be revealed publicly.

“For 30 years, the mission of Business Alabama has been to promote innovation, entrepreneurship and business growth throughout the state of Alabama,” said Walker Sorrell, associate publisher of Business Alabama. “By partnering with Auburn University’s Raymond J. Harbert College of Business for the Top Tiger event, we continue to carry out that mission by recognizing, celebrating and rewarding the most successful companies across the country that are led by Auburn alumni.”

The Entrepreneurship Summit will begin with the final round of Tiger Cage, a new competition open to student entrepreneurs from each of Auburn University’s colleges and schools. Presented in partnership with the Auburn Research and Technology Foundation, Tiger Cage rewards the best early-stage products, services or business concepts developed by individual contestants or teams of students. A panel of industry innovators and Auburn alumni will judge the entries and determine which competitors exhibit the quality, sustainability and viability necessary to earn the $10,000 first place prize.

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