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ASU Edson initiative gears up for another round of student-driven innovation

Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative graphic
March 30, 2015

A cheaper and easy-to-use medical device that aims to prevent neonatal jaundice and save infants’ lives.

A student-led initiative that is working to combat human trafficking in the Phoenix metro area.

Smarter garden tools that are ergonomically designed.

These are just some of the approximately 260 ideas from student ventures that have received nearly $2.5 million in seed funding from Arizona State University’s Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative thus far. The program, currently in its tenth year, is now accepting applications for its 2015-2016 cohort.

“Over the last 10 years, Edson has proved that ASU students are already at the cutting-edge of education and entrepreneurial thinking, creating opportunities for themselves – a critical skill that will define a new generation of college graduates,” said Mitzi Montoya, vice president and university dean of entrepreneurship and innovation at ASU. “It continues to draw the most entrepreneurial students from across ASU who are driven to advance big ideas that can have major economic, social and educational impact.”

In the past three years, Edson teams have raised more than $2 million in external funding, filed over 30 patents, and hired more than 150 employees.

Student ventures selected as part of the Edson program receive up to $20,000 in seed funding, office space, mentoring, and up to 12 months of acceleration and support services – a highly responsive, individualized and student-centered environment that makes the program one of the most competitive and rewarding student entrepreneurship programs in the country.

The applications are evaluated for viability, scalability, and compliance with university standards. All ASU students, including undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and part-time students, are eligible to apply as long as a startup team counts at least one current ASU student as a key founder.

Garret Westlake, associate dean of student entrepreneurship at ASU, said, “We encourage students from all majors and backgrounds, who have a big idea for a for-profit or non-profit organization, to apply to the Edson program. The key is to just start.”

More information on the Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative, and the application is available at Deadline to submit the application is April 19.