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Student innovation reaches new heights at ASU

April 10, 2013

ASU's Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative continues to draw record numbers of entrepreneurial students eager to find the funding, resources and support to launch their ventures. Nearly 350 applications were submitted for the 2013 Edson program, marking the fourth consecutive year that the program has seen an increase in applications. 

The Edson program offers approximately 20 student teams up to $20,000 each in seed funding, office space, mentorship and training to accelerate their venture concepts. More than $1.6 million has been awarded to student teams since the program’s inception, and more than $200,000 will be granted to the teams chosen this year.

The program, which is run by ASU Venture Catalyst in the Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development, is one of the largest privately funded business plan competitions at a U.S. university.  

The winning ventures will be announced in May. Upon acceptance into the 2013 Edson cohort, each venture will receive funding, office space at ASU SkySong, intensive industry-specific mentorship and a number of educational opportunities designed to enable students to advance their ventures.

The 20 student ventures in the 2012 Edson cohort received numerous impressive accolades over the past year. An Edson company took home the top prize at the first-ever Arizona Student Startup Demo Day last month, competing against top student startups from all three state universities.

Another Edson venture was named one of 12 finalists in Inc. Magazine’s 2013 Coolest College Startups competition as well as one of 12 finalists in Microsoft’s Imagine Cup Grant Program and one of only six finalists in the YUM Sustainability Business Plan Competition. Still another was selected as one of the 50 Most Promising Ventures in the Startup Open competition during Global Entrepreneurship Week. 

In addition, the 2012 Edson companies collectively raised approximately $800,000 in external funding from federal grants, U.S. and international competitions and angel investors.

The Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative is a flagship program of ASU Venture Catalyst, the ASU unit that works with high-potential startup companies both inside and outside the university. ASU Venture Catalyst is a strategic unit of ASU’s Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development, the research arm of ASU.