ASU startup places second in global competition

It’s another sign that ASU is a leading global ‘green’ university when a student-led startup company, Arbsource, which licenses cutting-edge technology from ASU, won second place in the Idea2Product (I2P) Global Competition, that took place in Stockholm, Sweden in late November.

The I2P competition consisted of 15 teams from nine countries, representing five continents, competing in three tracks – energy, life sciences, and information and computer technology. The prize included a cash prize, in-kind business services and continued international recognition for this young, high-potential Arizona company. Arbsource competed in the energy track with teams from Brazil, Italy, Ireland, Denmark and Sweden.   

Among the products and services represented in this track were a dust suppressor, a biodegradable foldable umbrella, a new texture for solar cells and an energy conversion device to replace fuel cells.

Arbsource uses biotechnology to transform wastewater treatment from a costly energy liability into a valuable resource for food and beverage companies, using their patent and license pending ARBCell bioreactor. The ARBCell system can cut the cost of wastewater treatment for many food and beverage manufacturing companies by 50 percent or more through reduced energy consumption and maintenance.

Mark Sholin is a founder and CEO of Arbsource. He is a former doctoral student and graduate research associate at ASU, where he served an integral role in designing the ARBCell and is listed as a co-inventor. This is a big win for Sholin and Lon Huber, CFO of Arbsource.  

“Winning second place is an honor and a validation for Arbsource, but the real value of competing in I2P global came from the connections we made,” Sholin said. “We were introduced to international investors, mentors, potential clients and new markets.”

Arbsource is currently located in the ASU Edson student startup 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.