Edson Entrepreneur Initiative announces record year
$250,000 invested in wide variety of Edson student startup companies
This year’s Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative continues to break records, with 30 student startups getting funded, up from 22 student companies in 2010. This means that the Edson Initiative will invest almost $250,000 in student startups, the most it has ever given out in one year.
“The record number of companies funded has been triggered by the increasing quality level of entrants that ASU has witnessed in recent years,” said Gordon McConnell, executive director of Venture Acceleration in ASU. “There are a fantastic mix of problem solving concepts on show this year. Student venture are increasingly showing a real maturity in terms of solving the bigger issues that people face.”
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.
"It was great seeing such a diverse group of entrepreneurs," said Derek Neighbors, co-founder of Gangplank and one of the judges of the Edson competition. "Representing a number of sectors from social entrepreneurship to food service and everything in between. Definitely not your typical mix of young minds focused solely on technology. The quality of the presentations was better than most we see at local investor pitch events. Edson's financial commitment to these 30 startups is just the kind of boost to innovation that Arizona needs." Gangplank is a collaborative workspace for new companies and ideas and was recently listed as one of Entrepreneur magazine’s annual 100 Brilliant Companies.
One example of an Edson student company is Audio Excursions. It specializes in aggregating all audio tours available on the market into one easy to use website, allowing users to search out and download the widest range of audio tours in the world, and offers a mobile app to experience these tours while traveling or on the go. Another example of student startups working on cutting-edge technologies is Cato Technologies, which produces self-improvement software for the Microsoft Kinect, a device which offers capabilities such as motion tracking, gesture recognition, and facial recognition, at a consumer-friendly price.
Another Edson venture with a global ambition is G3Box. This venture 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 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.
New ventures for the 2011-2012 Edson Student Entrepreneurial Initiative:
29 Minutes is a novel online shopping network where both vendors and shoppers get a mutually beneficial opportunity utilizing a unique concept known as “Opportunity Marketing” to assist vendors in bringing products to market while providing the consumer with the best possible price of the moment.
Arizona Microcredit Initiative is a nonprofit venture that aims to provide startup capital and small business consulting for entrepreneurs in the greater Phoenix area who have limited access to traditional sources of credit.
Audio Excursions specializes in aggregating all audio tours available on the market into one easy to use website, allowing users to search out and download the widest range of audio tours in the world, and offers a mobile app to experience these tours while traveling or on the go.
Bebe EcoPosh is a green luxury eBoutique for baby that features quality high-end brands that are safe for baby and stylish for mom.
Blue Dream specializes in the creation of company identity media and graphics through the production of websites, cell phone applications, logo design, commercials, promotional videos and auditory media, as well as the production and recording of events such as weddings, graduations and concerts.
Bridge Communities is an internet venture that provides an online platform for senior citizens living in the metropolitan Phoenix area to connect with each other; to join together around common, local issues; to provide mutual support; to share information; and, to interact in a variety of ways.
Cato Technologies produces self-improvement software for the Microsoft Kinect, a device that offers capabilities such as motion tracking, gesture recognition, and facial recognition, at a consumer-friendly price.
Custom Aeroponics is a new venture to produce self-contained indoor and outdoor aeroponic growing units with an emphasis on versatile interlining components, water efficacy, and vegetative growth maximization.
Date U is an online dating website designed just for university and college students utilizing cloud computing technologies and integrating them with a unique and niche market to create an interactive and meaningful experience.
Draft Sustainability is pioneering the first enterprise-scale participatory integrated assessment (PIA) software platform for developing comprehensive and regional sustainability strategies and evaluating long-term results.
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.
KVZ Sports LLC is a start-up manufacturing and sourcing company servicing the action sports industry with uniquely branded quality apparel, with particular attention to snow sports.
Mercury Innovative is a new venture to produce and market language and discourse analysis software to lawyers, analysts, government, military, and politicians.
reNature capitalizes on industrializing the natural process of waste management to produce sustainable alternatives for petrochemical products by creating a closed-loop waste stream management system at the institutional and municipal scale.
SIDS Sensor will produce and market a low-cost vital sign monitor for infants in order to reduce the incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
Silicon Learning will deliver superior Advanced Placement exam prep products through the use of modern technology such as an adaptive learning platform and mixed video and graphic presentation formats.
Simple Swaddle will provide a high-quality, well thought out swaddle blanket, designed for the needs of baby as well as mom and dad, using a design and fabrics that combine comfort, quality and affordability into one package.
Skeebers will produce a unique, portable, and delicious fast food that will be sold from a mobile vending cart, with the ebelskiver, a versatile gourmet Danish pancake, as its primary product.
Stickyband is creating a solution to the problem of holding a smartphone while exercising by utilizing special materials to quickly attach and remove the device from your body.
The Quanta Inc. is a research publisher that will provide opportunities for high school students to critically examine issues connecting science with society, business, ethics, and law, while cultivating valuable writing and research skills in the process.
Vantage Realized LLC will provide alternative mobility options for wheelchair users the world over, and has developed the Mechaddy, an attachable wheelchair accessory that uses the quick-release wheels on modern wheelchairs to improve mobility and control.
Arizona Pro DJs provides high quality and innovative event entertainment solutions for teen celebrations such as school dances, dance parties, and private events.
DevilWash provides high pressure concrete cleaning services to the commercial property and industrial sector with a focus on parking structures and high traffic pedestrian walkways.
Majestic Tea is a new chai formula that combines the finest quality tea leaves infused with essential vitamins and minerals from distant parts of the African jungles, creating an experience, not just a product.
Pragmatic Energy provides the highly energy-efficient, cost-effective BHR to treat waste water from food and beverage plants that is high in waste carbohydrates, both cleaning the pollution and producing sustainable fuel sources as a byproduct.
Gordon McConnell, firstname.lastname@example.org