AUBURN, Ala.- For the first year, the City of Auburn, Auburn University and others held the first Innovation Fest at Ag Heritage Park Pavilion on Thursday.
The goal of the event was to give those in attendance the chance to experience the world of innovation and entrepreneurship in Auburn.
The morning kicked off with Auburn High School students taking part in the Junior Shark Tank competition where they pitched their ideas to panels. After a chamber members only lunch provided by the Auburn Chamber of Commerce, Auburn University students presented their preliminary elevator pitches as part of the Tiger Cage competition.
Later in the day, three Auburn University faculty members who have recently been recognized by the university’s Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development with funding from LAUNCH:The Fund for Research and Innovation at Auburn provided updates on commercialization of their research.
The last part of the day was the Alabama Launchpad, a business startup competition where teams compete for up to $250,000 in prize money.
Auburn Chamber of Commerce President Lolly Steiner said that a goal of the day was to spread the entrepreneurial-ship spirit, and the fact that Auburn has a thriving business community makes that spirit keen.
“We have nearly 1,000 members in the Auburn Chamber of Commerce, and that’s 1,000 small business owners,” Steiner said. “Somewhere, those small businesses began with an idea, with a passion, with a spirit to own their own business, begin a business or to develop a product; it’s all of those into one.”