Venture capital fund invests in ASU startups to stimulate Arizona economy

October 24, 2014

Successful SkySong-based startup Bosse Tools has received a major investment of $200,000 from the Maricopa County Manufacturing Venture Fund to ramp up production of its line of ergonomically designed tools.

The venture fund was developed by the ASU Foundation for A New American University, thanks to a $1 million grant from the Maricopa County Industrial Development Authority (MCIDA). Stephen Walden founder of Bosse Tools Download Full Image

“We greatly appreciate the support of MCIDA, and are committed to creating quality hardware tools that increase productivity and decrease injury, while doing our part to create jobs here in Arizona,” said Stephen Walden, Bosse Tools president and founder.

The venture fund was created to invest in companies that are engaged with ASU-supported accelerator programs, helping them take the next step in their development with early-stage manufacturing startup support.

“Arizona has a robust and growing startup ecosystem, with this fund helping to stimulate next generation job and wealth creation by providing companies and entrepreneurs access to early-stage risk capital,” said Gregg Ghelfi, IDA board president. “We’re excited to be part of this effort to help emerging businesses grow, succeed and create jobs.”

As a company matures and realizes liquidity, proceeds will flow back to the fund to be re-invested in future companies. ASU’s goal is to build the fund to $10 million through private donations.

The Maricopa County Manufacturing Venture Fund is managed by Mitzi Montoya, vice president and university dean for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, and Charlie Lewis, vice president for venture development for Arizona Technology Enterprises (AzTE), ASU’s technology transfer arm.

Last year, Bosse Tools was one of eight startups participating in the ASU Startup Accelerator for Arizona-based companies. The company is currently based at SkySong, the ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center.

ASU officials visit Vietnam to support education advancement

October 24, 2014

In an effort to bolster Arizona State University’s existing partnerships and mission to help advance education in Vietnam, university officials and President Michael Crow recently traveled to the country to meet with local officials, evaluate their progress and discuss further possible action.

While in Vietnam, Crow met with Hoang Minh, president of the Posts and Telecommunications Institute of Technology (PTIT), to sign a five-year memorandum of understanding (MOU) on collaboration between the two institutions. two men shaking hands Download Full Image

As part of the memorandum, the institutions will work together to improve teaching methods in Vietnam through a jointly hosted conference in Hanoi; a short training course on cyber security at ASU; the establishment of a joint master’s of science program; and the development of a new learning management system.

“We are convinced that (this memorandum) will help PTIT advance modern instructional approaches and curricula to improve the learning outcome of PTIT’s exclusive information and network security students,” said Minh.

“ASU already has participated in some collaborative programs to advance Vietnamese education,” Crow said. “Through this MOU, we are happy to support PTIT and enhance their student’s learning outcomes.”

In addition to the partnership with PTIT, ASU has been working with Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training and other partners, including USAID and Intel, on other long-term programs, namely the Higher Engineering Education Alliance Program (HEEAP). The program began in 2010 with the involvement of five of Vietnam’s top technical universities, and in 2011 expanded to include three vocational colleges.

During the recent visit, a reception was held to celebrate the partnership’s extension to 2017 The reception marked the achievements gained during the program implementation; and according to ASU professor and director of HEEAP Jeffrey Goss, there are several.

Already, about 250 lecturers from HEEAP universities have been trained in the U.S. and are working on projects to transform engineering education. In addition, a program for female students’ interests in technical fields has provided over 200 female vocational college students with scholarships from the program.

To learn more about the Higher Engineering Education Alliance Program, visit the website here.

Emma Greguska

Reporter, ASU News

(480) 965-9657