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ASU student entrepreneur wins 'Coolest American College Startup' competition

April 05, 2012

The ASU student startup Arizona Pro DJs has been named “Coolest American College Startup of the Year” by Inc. Magazine. Second place also went to an ASU student startup, G3Box, who were previous winners of the Entrepreneur magazine’s "College Entrepreneur of the Year" in December.

Inc. Magazine has for more than 30 years been one of the premier print publications for entrepreneurs and business owners. Inc magazine received entries from universities all over the United States for the competition and then selected the top seventeen entries which then went to a public vote. 

“My staff and I are honored that we were voted to be America's Coolest College Startup. This is fuel for us as we continue our work to expand outside the state of Arizona, and begin building our massive entertainment brand,” said Will Curran, founder and president of Arizona Pro DJs. “The past two years have been tremendously successful, and we cannot wait for the future.”

Arizona Pro DJs provides high quality and innovative event entertainment solutions and is currently experiencing rapid expansion.

Curran, a junior at ASU, was also featured in the Arizona Republic’s 35 under 35 – a list of the top 35 entrepreneurs under the age of 35 in the Phoenix Metro area. Curran was the youngest entrepreneur featured in this year’s group.  Additionally, Arizona Pro DJs’ Facebook page was recently named in the top five Facebook pages for small businesses in the world.

The second place winners, G3Box, came up with the idea of turning shipping containers into portable maternity clinics that could be shipped to countries that had extremely high maternal mortality rates. The team began plans to refurbish the containers, adding ventilation, insulation, power, and potable water.

“It was an honor to be selected among the top 18 of college startups to be featured in Inc’s competition,” said Susanna Young, co-founder and CEO of G3Box. “Getting first and second place is a testament to the commitment that ASU SkySong has to getting the word out about the Edson companies’ successes and opportunities. Our G3Box team is grateful for the efforts that the Venture Catalyst team took to support us. We are also proud that Will won. Friendly competition is alive and well here in the Edson cohort and is the catalyst for innovation.”

Both Arizona Pro DJs and G3Box are currently in the ASU Edson Student Entrepreneur Accelerator ,based in ASU SkySong, the Innovation Center in Scottsdale. The Edson accelerator provides funding, mentoring and office space that enables students to advance their ventures.

“Yet another example of how competitive the ASU student startups are in the wider world, particularly those who are in the Edson entrepreneurship initiative,” said Gordon McConnell, director of Venture Acceleration at ASU SkySong. “The companies in the student startup accelerator are doing amazing work, generating revenue, and gaining national exposure.”