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ASU launches Rapid Startup School aimed at young researchers, grad students

February 07, 2012

Arizona State University’s Venture Catalyst is launching the second round of the Rapid Startup School (RSuS) program, which is aimed at creating startup activity in postdoctoral researchers, graduate students and alumni. In particular RSuS will showcase the many patents that ASU has developed in its research laboratories with the intent that some of these might form the basis for new companies.

“We completed our first version of the Rapid Startup School late in 2011 to overwhelming response,” said Gordon McConnell, executive director of the ASU Venture Catalyst, which works with internal and external startup companies. “Now it is a matter of continuing to improve the program, including the ability to help this diverse group of participants form strong teams.”

A number of new startups came out of the first running of the Rapid Startup School including several that potentially involve university intellectual property.

This part-time, free evening program applies a "pracademic" approach to developing an entrepreneurial mindset and real new venture creation. The program modules are taught by pracademic adjunct faculty from leading external organizations, supplemented by online modules from the ASU Venture Catalyst.

These mini-modules are two or three hours long, depending on the subject matter, and delivered in the evenings in the ASU SkySong facility in Scottsdale. The program includes additional course materials to allow participants to work on their ideas outside of class. As new venture creation and founder team formation are core objectives of RSuS, networking sessions among the participants will occur throughout the program. 

“Rapid Startup School is really about priming innovators, whether they are graduate students in the business school or research assistants in a university lab, to become entrepreneurs”, said Wiley Larson, venture manager at ASU Venture Catalyst and RSuS program manager.

After the program concludes, one-on-one meetings with relevant new startups to further develop a startup roadmap, team creation and product development will be scheduled with ASU Venture Catalyst team members. ASU Venture Catalyst is the ASU unit that works with startup companies, both inside and outside the university, including managing the student startup accelerator, the Edson program.

This new program is offered free to graduate students and postdoctoral researchers. It is based on a successful similar program that McConnell ran in Dublin City University in Ireland where out of the first cohort of seventeen young researchers, two startups were created. The new Rapid Startup School will commence on Feb. 27, at ASU SkySong.

For more information and registration visit