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Get to know the Auburn students behind these 3 revolutionary startups


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Amazing startups start here. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

Many students leave after four (or five) years with their diploma and a lifetime of memories. Some leave with even more. Get to know three students from Auburn University’s New Venture Accelerator program who have started businesses that are already changing their industry.

Auburn’s New Venture Accelerator gives entrepreneurs what they need to succeed

At Auburn University, students get tons of experiences that they can take with them wherever they go next. But for many students, there is no need to wait for the “next”. Through Auburn’s Entrepreneurship program, students have the resources and support they need to start their business.

Entrepreneurs who are part of the New Venture Accelerator have access to:

  • Top-notch workspaces and facilities
  • Coaching for pitch competitions like Tiger Cage
  • The chance to win funding

Several startups are part of the New Venture Accelerator program, which is jointly managed by the Harbert College of Business and the Auburn Research and Technology Foundation. So we spoke to three students who are changing the industry with their businesses.

Get to know the students behind startups

Zac Young, Vulcan Line Tools

Vulcan Line Tools is a company that produces advanced tools for the electrical utility industry. According to Young, the startup will have a huge impact on the utility industry by enabling utilities to be more efficient and safer.

“When I first entered the program, I was a kid with a 3D printed prototype and an idea. I had no idea about companies or startups, and I’ve changed so much over the past year.

New Venture Accelerator has transformed Vulcan Line Tools from a kid who was in his basement blowing things up by hand to a company with employees that sells tools to utility companies across the country.

Zac Young, Founder, Vulcan Line Tools

MaKayla Smith, KultureXchange

The inspiration behind starting MaKayla Smith comes from her own experiences going into a retailer and not seeing a lot of products that work for her skin or hair. Her company, KultureXchange, offers beauty and skin care products for women of color.

“I hope to create an alternative to help minority-owned businesses reach new customers and also ease the burden on customers of finding products that are right for them.”

MaKayla Smith, Founder, KultureXchange

For MaKayla, some of the biggest benefits of being a part of the New Venture Accelerator program are the workspaces that foster collaboration and creativity. Being surrounded by other entrepreneurs is inspiring and necessary for the success of these students.

Daniel Mazur + Mit Patel, SwiftSKU

Daniel Mazur and Mit Patel founded SwiftSKU to connect moms and pop store owners with their point of sale so they can remotely manage and monitor their stores in real time.

“SwiftSKU is already changing the industry for nearly 400 moms and convenience store owners across the country.

My co-founder and I were introduced to the entrepreneurship program here at Auburn University after winning first place in the university’s Tiger Cage competition. We won $ 25,000, which we used to integrate a Verifone loyalty point of sale. It was crucial to get our business off the ground. “

Daniel Mazur, co-founder, SwiftSKU

In addition to winning first place in Auburn’s Tiger Cage competition, SwiftSKU also won the Rice Business Plan competition. So far, they’ve raised over $ 3.2 million, an impressive feat in addition to the typical responsibilities of a student.

Do you have an amazing idea? The new Venture Accelerator can bring it to life.

KultureXchange - New business accelerator
At Auburn Harbert College of Business, collaboration and innovation go hand in hand. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

“Here at the New Venture Accelerator, we have a great atmosphere for young startups. We are able to interact with other young entrepreneurs at different stages of their journey, and we are able to talk to other entrepreneurs who have been there and have done it.

Daniel Mazur, Founder, SwiftSKU

Want to learn more about how Auburn University will help bring your startup to life? Click here or contact the program directors to find out more:

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