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ASU students dominate 'College Entrepreneur of the Year' competition

August 02, 2011

3 of the 5 finalists in this year’s competition are ASU Edson student companies

ASU’s Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative startup companies have dominated this year’s Entrepreneur magazine’s “College Entrepreneur of the Year” shortlist, with three of five finalists being current or past Edson winners. The winner of the competition will receive $5,000 in prize money to help develop the business, which will be presented at a prize ceremony. The winning team will announced later in 2011 and feature in the January 2012 edition of Entrepreneur magazine.

The three finalists from ASU are:

Boson Inc believes stereoscopic 3-D media can enhance our abilities to interact, communicate, and develop physical abilities that will benefit our current and future generations. Using gesture-based technology, interactive simulations, and supporting a unique technology platform, our versatile solutions foster exceptional products and services.

Ellens Technologies LLC is developing an iOS platform mobile application to assist veterinarians in the diagnosis of small animals by starting with a symptom and ruling out or eliminating possible causes while moving towards the root problem.

G3Box focuses on converting steel shipping containers into medical grade clinics by outfitting them with the basic components of power, ventilation, potable water, and insulation to create sustainable medical clinics that address critical health needs internationally, while contributing every seventh container as a maternity clinic to help decrease the maternal death rate throughout developing countries.

The wide variety of business models, products and services this year also highlights the wide diversity of the entrants. This is a student venture competition that sees student teams enter from all the ASU campuses, from undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students.

The winner will be decided by voting which already has begun and continues until September. To see the finalists and vote, click

"I am very honored to be selected as a finalist for Entrepreneur magazine's College Entrepreneur of 2011” said Jeremy Ellens, founder of Ellens Technologies. “We came up with the idea of a veterinary differential diagnosis application while brainstorming with our veterinary consultant, Brenda Ellens DVM January of 2011. The application market is booming and we saw this as a great opportunity to solve a problem in the veterinary field I'm very happy to have so much support behind us from both Edson and Entrepreneur magazine."

The Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative harnesses the entrepreneurial energy, excitement and creativity found in ASU’s student body. The program helps students succeed in any enterprise, large or small, for-profit or not-for-profit, domestic or global.

"When I found out we were finalists I was ecstatic, but I ultimately knew our enterprise development had reached global recognition," said Christian Stewart, co-founder of Boson Inc. "When I found out a total of three of five finalists were from ASU, it shocked me even more! The Edson Initiative and the Venture Catalyst team that runs it is a testament to the dedication that ASU has to develop successful people and businesses amongst its student population.”

The Edson Initiative funding is in addition to the office space, mentorship and training that ASU offers as part of this new venture creation competition. The program is one of the largest privately funded business plan competitions at a U.S. university. These student teams will incubate and accelerate their business ideas at SkySong, the ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center. A variety of mentors and venture acceleration services provided by the ASU Venture Catalyst team at SkySong will help catapult their ideas into reality.

“Having three finalists in this competition being recent or current Edson student startup companies is a fantastic validation of the Edson Entrepreneurship Initiative and the culture of entrepreneurship being cultivated here in ASU,” said Gordon McConnell, executive director of Venture Acceleration in ASU. “The fact that they are three very different kinds of startup companies with very different technologies highlights the range of technologies being developed by students and staff on our campuses.”

As a student entrepreneur, Orin Edson, started a boating company in his garage. The company eventually became Bayliner Marine Corporation, the world’s largest manufacturer of pleasure and luxury boats. The Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative has been made possible by a $5.4 million investment by Orin and Charlene Edson to the Arizona State University Foundation.

Gordon McConnell,
Venture Acceleration