Auburn University’s Tiger Cage business pitch contest narrowed to final four

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Four Auburn University student-led teams advanced to the finals of the tiger cage business pitch competition, selected from eight teams who pitched business ideas to the judges on Feb. 25 at Horton-Hardgrave Hall.

Moving on to the last four, listed in alphabetical order, are:

  • Feature Finder, a social music platform designed to revolutionize the music industry, by Zane Barbao, management and entrepreneurship, and Luke Matthews, professional flight;

  • IGNTE, a platform that gives organizations a way to deliver sponsor ads on Twitch, by Jacob Cordero, business administration, and Emmett Deen, IT;

  • The Best Roping Dummy, a team roping training system that reduces the need for live stock and improves trainability, by Will Jordan, agricultural communications; and

  • Toft by 2153, a game development studio specializing in next-generation cross-platform multiplayer games, by Jesse Stewart, software engineering and studio art, Brooke Hopton-Jones, computer science, and Sydney Pham, software engineering.

The final round of Tiger Cage will take place on March 25 in Horton-Hardgrave Hall’s event space and Broadway theater as teams compete for $54,000 in seed capital.

“We are thrilled with the diversity of startup ideas and the quality of the student teams participating in the competition this year,” said Lou BifanoDirector of Business Strategy at Herbert College of Commerce. “Every year we see better ideas and better pitches. This year is no exception.”

Semi-final judges included Greg Cessna, CEO, Consumer Fresh Produce; Ben Conry, co-founder, Flashtract; Olivia Cook, first executive director, Economic and Social Justice Center, Miles College; Tim Denison, President, GDI LLC; Ken Evola, Managing Director, PWC; Ben Finley, Founder, The Finley Group; and Ralph Runge, RSquare Consulting Inc.

More information on the Tiger Cage Business Pitch Competition, as well as the range of services provided by the New business accelerator to help those looking to start a new business or expand an existing one, is available by contacting Bifano at

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