Dropllel wins top prize in Auburn Tiger Cage competition

Startup was one of four finalists competing for $25,000

Parvin Fathi-Hafshejani tells the judges about her business idea, Dropllel, during the Tiger Cage competition.

Dropllel, a diagnostic tool to detect viruses, won Auburn University’s 2023 Tiger Cage Business Pitch Competition, beating 15 other student-led business startups.

Dropllel, led by electrical engineering doctoral candidate Parvin Fathi-Hafshejani, received $25,000 in startup capital for winning the event.

“The Tiger Cage Pitch Competition has been an incredible experience for me,” said Fathi-Hafshejani. “As an engineer-turned-entrepreneur, with a strong technical background but relatively new to the business world, I gained critical business skills, such as developing a business model and market strategy, as well as improving my pitching skills. The competition helped me to think critically and connect with amazing entrepreneurs. Overall, it provided me with the skills, confidence and network I needed to succeed as an entrepreneur.”

Out of 16 teams competing in the Harbert College of Business competition, four were named finalists and given 15 minutes to pitch their ideas and 15 minutes for questions and answers. Tiger Cage provided startup capital to all of the finalists, and two special awards were provided.

Rodopto, an agriculture company dedicated to sustainable crop production using drones, came in second and received $12,000. It’s led by Scott Rowe from the Harbert College of Business.

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Omnis, a peer-to-peer social platform that allows for borrowing of money, came in third and received $8,000. It’s led by Zakariya Veasy and Evan Henley from the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering.

Fourth place and $5,000 went to Archangel Defense, a provider of customized combat equipment. It’s led by Shay Pilcher from the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering.

Dropllel won a special $4,000 award, and Omnis received a special $5,000 award.

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