Venture Catalyst connects entrepreneurs, investors at Dublin conference

October 12, 2010

Fourteen of Ireland’s most promising entrepreneurial ventures got to make their pitches to a select group of more than 40 U.S. and European Venture and Angel investors last week at Invest Ireland 2010, a conference jointly organized by" target="_blank">Venture Catalyst at ASU and the Ryan Academy for Entrepreneurship at Dublin City University. 
The three-day conference is built on the model of" target="_blank">Invest Southwest, a capital conference series hosted by Arizona State University. Over the past 15 years, Invest Southwest has brought in more than 200 start-up companies and established investor relationships that have resulted in $300 million in funding for new ventures.
Speaking at the conference, Ireland's President Mary McAleese explained the importance of the event as Ireland seeks to recover from the global economic downturn.
“Jobs are not created by spectators or by doing nothing," McAleese said. "They are created by people with sound business ideas who can move their ideas skillfully from the drawing board to the factory floor. The more support, mentoring and encouragement those entrepreneurially-minded ideas people receive, the quicker will be the translation from good idea to decisive action.”
Julia Rosen, ASU associate vice president for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, spoke at the conference and provided an overview of the global business connection services offered by Venture Catalyst at SkySong, the ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center.
“By gathering together a select group of investors and high-potential entrepreneurs in this format, Venture Catalyst lives up to its name by accelerating the process by which startups go from idea to build-out," Rosen said. "The U.S. investors we recruited for the trip, many of whom have longstanding ties with ASU, got first-hand contact with emerging companies outside their typical geographic realm and had an opportunity to discuss global investment trends with their European counterparts.”
Venture Catalyst is ASU’s new entrepreneurial assistance initiative to help faculty, students and companies launch new startups or accelerate existing ventures. Launched this week with the help of a $1 million state grant, Venture Catalyst offers investor connections, intellectual property consulting, educational workshops, and one-on-one mentoring opportunities with established entrepreneurs and seasoned business executives. 
SkySong is a global portal connecting the world through technology. More than 40 enterprises from 11 countries have operations on site.  Partnerships with organizations and universities in Singapore, Turkey, Ireland, the United Kingdom and Mexico attract global companies and help U.S. companies expand abroad and explore new technologies. Download Full Image

Author Jim Shepard to read, discuss his work at ASU

October 13, 2010

Nov. 4, 2010
1:30 p.m., 7:45 p.m.

Jim Shepard, a novelist and short-story writer who is known for his darkly humorous tales and work that explores the pain of male adolescence, will discuss his work during a Public Craft Q&A at 1:30 p.m., Nov. 4 at the Piper Writers House on Arizona State University’s Tempe campus.

Shepard then will read and sign books at 7:45 p.m., also on Nov. 4, in Recital Hall in the Music Building on the Tempe campus. Both events are free. Download Full Image

Shepard is the author of six novels, including most recently “Project X,” and four story collections, including the forthcoming “You Think That’s Bad” (Knopf, March 2011).

His third collection, “Like You’d Understand, Anyway,” was a finalist for the 2007 National Book Award and won The Story Prize. “Project X,” about the trying life of junior-high-age Edwin Hanratty, won the 2005 Library of Congress/Massachusetts Book Award for Fiction, as well as the ALEX Award from the American Library Association.

His short fiction has appeared in, among other magazines, Harper’s, McSweeney’s, The Paris Review, The Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, DoubleTake, The New Yorker, Granta, Zoetrope: All-Story, and Playboy, and he was a columnist on film for the magazine The Believer.

Four of his stories have been chosen for the Best American Short Stories, and one for a Pushcart Prize. He’s won an Artists’ Grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

A native of Bridgeport, Conn., Shepard received his undergraduate degree from Trinity College and his M.F.A. from Brown University. He teaches at Williams College and in the Warren Wilson MFA program. His wife Karen Shepard is also a novelist. They live in Williamstown, Mass. with their three children, and two beagles.

For more information about the event, which is part of the Distinguished Visiting Writers Series, call the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at (480) 965-6018, or go to:
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Media Contacts:
Tom McDermott,
(480) 727-0818

Judith Smith, jps">">
(480) 965-4821