Arizona startup acceleration program seeks entrepreneurs
The Arizona Commerce Authority and BioAccel – in conjunction with ASU’s Entrepreneurship & Innovation Group; Arizona Technology Enterprises; Northern Arizona University; Dignity Health in Arizona; and Mayo Clinic – invite entrepreneurs to apply for the second cohort of the Arizona Furnace Technology Transfer Accelerator.
The Arizona Furnace Technology Transfer Accelerator is a competitive startup acceleration program designed to form, fund and launch new companies that are built on technologies and intellectual property licensed from Arizona’s premier research institutions. Furnace is currently seeking new and seasoned entrepreneurs to accelerate the commercialization of Arizona’s best technology assets into viable entities. Interested parties are invited to attend one of Furnace’s statewide information sessions to learn more.
Launched in September 2012, Furnace aims to improve the technology-transfer process for public and private research institutions, and make it easier for entrepreneurs to access research discoveries and intellectual property as the basis for new companies. Furnace offers several unique incentives for entrepreneurs and researchers to form a company and apply to the accelerator, including:
• More than 100 compelling technologies that are easily searchable, understandable and ready to be licensed and brought to market by new startup management teams.
• More than $100,000 in cash and services to winning management teams, including a $25,000 seed grant, nine months of complimentary incubation space and acceleration programming led by top industry mentors.
• A culminating Demo Day event for all supported ventures designed to facilitate follow-on funding deals, mergers, acquisitions or accelerated sales and growth.
“At the core of the Furnace program are the partner institutions that have incredible discoveries sitting on the shelf,” said Charlie Lewis, vice president of venture development for Arizona Technology Enterprises, ASU’s technology transfer arm. “Furnace is designed for serial entrepreneurs, business people and researchers to look at an unencumbered technology and see the potential for commercializing that technology and using it as the basis for forming a new company.”
Furnace’s pilot cohort launched in November 2012. With funding support provided by the Arizona Commerce Authority and BioAccel, 10 teams made up of external entrepreneurs and university researchers and faculty received a prize package that totaled close to $100,000 in cash and services, including a $25,000 seed-funding grant, access to more than 250 top industry mentors and six months of acceleration support with access to designated incubation space throughout Arizona.
“The goal for the second round of Furnace is to increase the number of startup teams that apply to and are funded by the accelerator,” said Brent Sebold, the furnace accelerator’s senior venture manager at ASU. “Furnace has added additional information sessions throughout Arizona and developed a new online platform to share available technologies and provide as many opportunities as possible for interested entrepreneurs and researchers to learn more about the program and apply.”
“Technologies available for commercialization have been uploaded to a new proprietary social media-enabled marketing platform which allows interested applicants to easily search and identify technologies that best align with their commercialization interests and strengths.” Sebold said. The technology showcase platform will be demonstrated at each of the Furnace state-wide information sessions prior to the November 12, 2013 application deadline.
To begin searching available technologies or to RSVP for an information session, visit www.furnaceaccelerator.com.
Arizona Furnace is a statewide initiative to drive economic development through the creation of high-potential research-based startups. It is supported by Northern Arizona University, the University of Arizona, Dignity Health, Thunderbird School of Global Management and Science Foundation Arizona. Arizona Furnace is run by the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group at ASU, the university unit created as a joint initiative between the Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development and Arizona Technology Enterprises to accelerate high-potential startup companies.