Two Auburn University teams bring creative start-up businesses to Alabama Launchpad Competition

By: Dorothy Sherman

AUBURN, AL – They maybe the youngest competitors at the Alabama Launchpad Competition final event this Thursday, but that hasn’t stopped two Auburn University teams from competing with some pretty impressive start-up companies.  Here’s a look at the start-up businesses each A.U. team will be pitching at the final.

"SimplyProse is an online writing platform that allows different writers to collaborate and receive productive critic of their work.  They can receive edits and comments on a portion of their novel that they’ve uploaded or a portion of a short story that they’re working on," Jake Wright said.

Wright is a student at Auburn University as well as the C.E.O of SimplyProse.  He along with A.U. student Cole represent one of the teams that will be pitching at the final event SimplyProse.  SimplyProse is a start-up business that partly came from Wright’s passion for reading and writing.

"I’ve been in several different writing communities and I’ve noticed that they just don’t have the functionality or just the centralization of a lot of the different features that SimplyProse will offer," Wright said.

The second Auburn University team comprised Haitham Eletrabi and Xuemei Yuan will pitch their start-up business, Tennibot.  Tennibot is a mini robot that picks up tennis balls on the court.  Eletrabi, Tennibot C.E.O. and Auburn University researcher, explained.

"We have two minor, micro cameras in it and the cameras will basically pick up the tennis ball.  Basically, the shape and the size.  So, it will detect the tennis ball.  Then it will basically go towards it, and the bot will pick up the ball as you get closer to it," Eletrabi said.

It was an idea that generated on the court.

"Basically on a tennis court trying to hit with a tennis ball machine and improve my forehand and back hand and then I used to get frustrated all the time a the fact that when I finish with the tennis machine I had to go collect them," Eletrabi said.

Both teams said they’ll be spending their final hours perfecting their pitch before the finale this week.

The competition finale is Thursday in Birmingham.

For more info on SimplyProse:

For more info on Tennibot:

For more info on the competition and how you can help either team win an "Audience Choice Award":