In research and development, there is a place known as the Valley of Death – it’s the gap between applied research and viable products. To help bridge this gap so that powerful, useful research can make an impact on the market and improve quality of life, Auburn University’s Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development hosts an annual Launch competition.
Alabama Launchpad is a statewide startup pitch competition in which winners receive $25,000 and $50,000. Auburn has two companies applying for the competition—one of which is Vulcan Line Tools. We asked founder Zac Young five questions about his business. Here are his responses.
The Milken Institute ranked Auburn No. 17 on its list of the 2021 Best-Performing Small Cities in the U.S. Auburn was ranked the second-highest of three Alabama cities that were listed in the top 50. The Milken Institute's Best-Performing City index tracks the economic performance of about 400 U.S. metropolitan statistical areas.
The City of Auburn will host its next START IN AUBURN entrepreneurial event, Strategic Planning for Small Businesses, on March 4. A strategic plan is crucial for businesses, especially in challenging and unprecedented times like those we are currently experiencing. Dr. LaKami Baker will provide insight and guidance to develop a strategic plan to help businesses grow.
Auburn city officials are reaching out to university faculty and local entrepreneurs, offering them opportunities to get into a new branch of manufacturing. The Additive Manufacturing Accelerator targets startup businesses that use additive manufacturing – which is related to the 3D printing that has emerged on shop floors around the world.
Two students entrenched in Harbert College's entrepreneurship programs, Mit Patel and Daniel Mazur, recently took third place in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) U.S. University Startup Competition – one of the premier student events of its kind in the country.
On November 18, 2020, Governor Kay Ivey announced Revive Plus, a $200 million grant program to support small businesses, non-profits and faith-based organizations in Alabama that have been impacted by COVID-19. Revive Plus is the second wave of funding for these organizations with 50 or fewer employees and will award grants of up to $20,000.
Alabama manufacturers and entrepreneurs now have a new resource to help further their innovation, the Additive Manufacturing Accelerator (AMA) in Auburn. The accelerator was established to aid industries and startups as they create and develop new products using advanced additive methods, or 3D printing, in metals and polymers.
Auburn entrepreneurs looking for extra space to foster innovation and develop business ideas have a new home. The New Venture Accelerator -- roughly 7,000 square feet of office space within The Park's new Research and Innovation Center housed with a team of resident experts – will guide startups on how to create business models, identify pricing strategies, and pitch to investors.
Zac Young, a student in Auburn’s Entrepreneurship Program and resident in the New Venture Accelerator, found a way to make power lines safer for linesmen to install, more effective and cost-efficient. Using lessons learned from the entrepreneurship offerings afforded him by Auburn University and the Harbert College of Business, Young is able to cultivate his business idea.