Employee program to recycle small things gets big results, campus award

May 22, 2013

Has your pen dried up? Don’t throw it away – recycle it. Got a handful of rubber bands from today’s newspapers and mail? Send them back to Mail Services – they need them.

ASU Materials Management has created a collection system for all kinds of used office supplies that is saving money and manpower for the staff of ASU Recycling and moving ASU toward its goal of achieving Zero Waste by 2015. Download Full Image

In the two and a half years prior to January, they took in more than 400 pounds of CDs, DVDs, plastic jewel cases and more than 150 cell phones. Toner cartridges collected over three years totaled more than 17,200. In just six months, they have collected more than 2,500 writing instruments and more rubber bands than they can count.

The Materials Management team won an ASU President’s Award for Sustainability this spring for their innovative program that uses existing delivery and pick-up routes to collect the used items.

Formed by the 2011 merger of ASU Stores and University Mail Services, Materials Management already had daily pick-ups and deliveries to most ASU departments. ASU Stores had begun picking up used toner cartridges the year before as they delivered supplies, even beating the University of Arizona that year in a competition to see who could collect the collect the most.

One day a Mail Services clerk who was delivering the daily mail to a department saw a staff member dumping rubber bands in the garbage can.

“Wait a minute, you don’t have to throw those out,” she said. “Mail Services recycles those. We need rubber bands.”

From that observation grew a concerted campaign by Mail Services to pick up used pens, highlighters, mechanical pencils and markers; rubber bands of all sizes; small electronic peripherals, such as cell phones, CDs and mice; and disposable plastic tape dispensers. Flyers went out and employees across campus began placing the items in envelopes and dropping them in intercampus mail bins.

“It has happened organically, with individual employees volunteering to help, and each little item adding up to a greater whole,” says Maureen King, manager of Materials Management. “The work is spread out over lots of people, but the effect is substantial.”

Toner cartridges go to companies that clean and refill or recycle them, and cell phones are sent to ASU Surplus or recycling. Pens are sent to a company that recycles them and pays two cents each, with the proceeds going to the ASU Foundation. Mail Services reuses all the rubber bands they can get.

King says the next step is to work with Classroom Scheduling to place collection boxes in hundreds of classrooms to collect pens, pencils and dry erase markers that otherwise would be thrown in the trash and dumped in the landfill.

“It’s the little things that add up,” says King. “Each act does not have much impact by itself, but collectively all this work leads to the larger goal of creating a sustainable future.

“It’s become quite a passion for me. All of us can be doing something. ASU employees are terrific at this, always looking for one more way where they can make a difference.”

ASU announces Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative's 2013-2014 cohort

May 22, 2013

Twenty student-led startup companies at ASU will spend the next year participating in an intensive start-up accelerator designed to help them execute their business models, deliver valuable products or services, and create local jobs as part of ASU’s Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative.

Each year the Edson initiative offers approximately 20 student teams up to $20,000 each in seed funding, office space, mentorship and training to launch their for-profit, more-than-profit or nonprofit ventures. The program, which is run by ASU Venture Catalyst in the Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development, is one of the largest privately funded business plan competitions at a U.S. university.  Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative Download Full Image

The companies were accepted into the 2013-2014 Edson cohort after participating in a highly competitive application process. This year nearly 350 teams applied, representing almost 650 ASU students from all university disciplines, as well as nearly 250 non-student team members. Thirty teams were selected to pitch to an independent panel of judges comprising Valley investors, business leaders and entrepreneurs, and the top 20 companies were accepted into the Edson cohort.

The winning ventures include a housewares company that makes products for people with physical disabilities, a software platform that allows users to convert their content into downloadable eBooks, and a team developing a biosensor for on-site rapid screening of waterborne bacteria and viruses. In addition to funding, each venture will receive office space at ASU SkySong, intensive industry-specific mentorship and a number of educational opportunities designed to enable students to advance their ventures.

This year’s Edson competition featured the first-ever ASU Student Startup Bowl, a competition to determine which ASU college or school has the most entrepreneurial students. In the Startup Bowl, the college or school with the highest percentage of student participation in the Edson competition is designated as ASU’s most entrepreneurial college or school and receives ASU’s newest traveling trophy, the Startup Bowl Cup. 

This year’s Startup Bowl winner is the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, with 173 Fulton students participating for a 26 percent engagement rate. Fulton students, staff, faculty and administrators will be honored by ASU President Michael M. Crow and Executive Vice President and Provost Elizabeth D. Phillips at an awards ceremony later this summer.

The W. P. Carey School of Business was the Startup Bowl runner-up, with a 24 percent participation rate, followed by the College of Technology and Innovation (CTI), which had a 13 percent participation rate. Additionally, CTI allocated $3,000 in ancillary funds to make the Edson prize package even more appealing, thereby increasing student participation in the Startup Bowl competition. CTI hopes that this effort will set a precedent for other ASU colleges and schools to follow, which should translate to greater student engagement in entrepreneurial activities across the university.

The complete Startup Bowl standings will be available at https://studentventures.asu.edu/startup-bowl.  

The Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative is a flagship program of ASU Venture Catalyst, the ASU unit that works with high-potential startup companies both inside and outside the university. ASU Venture Catalyst is a strategic unit of ASU’s Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development, the university's research arm.

Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative 2013-2014 Cohort

AboutMyCare™ enables healthcare providers to improve the patient experience by providing them with an
innovative mobile solution that captures and converts targeted, real-time patient information into valuable
insights aimed at improving service design and delivery; thus allowing providers to recapture lost Value Based
Purchasing revenues.
Contact: Joseph Christ, joseph.christ@asu.edu
Website: www.aboutmycare.org

Duo Kitchenware
Duo Kitchenware is a housewares company that focuses on the needs of people with physical disabilities
around the home and kitchen. We provide low cost and beautiful kitchen products to users of all levels of
physical ability. Our mission is to empower individuals and improve their lives by providing them with the
tools they need to perform activities of daily living.
Contact: Heman Au, hemanau@gmail.com
Website: www.duokitchenware.com

Ebook Glue
Ebook Glue is a software platform that allows website owners, libraries, universities and businesses to quickly
convert their content into downloadable eBooks. Thousands of people rely on Ebook Glue to publish their
content for a plethora of devices through a simple automated process that produces a beautiful reading
Contact: Shantanu Bala, shantanu@ebookglue.com
Website: www.ebookglue.com

FlashFood, LLC
FlashFood is a website and smartphone app that connects leftover food from local restaurants, hotels and
caterers directly with community members who are in need. FlashFood allows food business managers to post any short-term food donation to the FlashFood network, which sends a twitter-like notification to a team of
volunteer drivers – ASU students in beta testing – who can pick up that food and take it into a neighborhood
where those who are food insecure live.
Contact: Eric Lehnhardt, eric@flashfoodrecovery.com
Website: www.flashfoodrecovery.com

Grimhardt Brewing Company
Grimhardt Brewing Company is a microbrewery in the greater Phoenix, Arizona area that brews superior
beers and engages the community through educational offerings including tastings, classes in beer-food
pairing, brewing science and history, and hands-on instruction at a casual level and a homebrewer's
introductory level.
Contact: Eric Lehnhardt, eric.lehnhardt@gmail.com
Website: www.grimhardtbrewing.wordpress.com

Parahealth Solutions
Parahealth Solutions' mission is to change the way patients engage in their healthcare through mobile and web-enabled technology applications. Parahealth’s featured product, CareMobile, delivers meaningful clinical data to a patient’s mobile device at the point-of-care during their hospital or clinic visit. It displays medication lists, lab results, vital signs, care plans and discharge instructions.
Contact: Ryan Louis, ryan.m.louis@gmail.com
Website: www.parahealthsolutions.com

HydroGene Biotechnologies
HydroGene Biotechnologies is a synthetic biology venture aiming to minimize disease outbreaks in developing
countries by developing a user-friendly, cost-effective biosensor for on-site rapid screening of waterborne
bacteria and viruses.
Contact: Nisarg Patel, nisarg@hydrogenebio.com
Website: www.hydrogenebio.com

Infinibotics sells an edutainment toy to parents who seek a product that will mentally and physically engage
their children, and give them an academic edge. Our product, which we call Cosmo, provides unbridled and
intelligent movement combined with smart and appealing games. It can play games in which both the child and
Cosmo move, such as hide-and-seek, making Cosmo a child’s best friend and teacher, all while allowing
parents more freedom with their time.
Contact: Edward Andert, eddie@andert.org
Website: www.infinibotics.com

LateLiving has created the world’s first online directory of senior living video tours. As the Zillow of senior
living, LateLiving’s unique sharing and decision-making features help make life easier for everyone in search
of senior care by transforming a three to four week search into a three to four hour decision. Now, elderly
parents and their families can make better decisions and tour senior care communities from the comfort of their
own home.
Contact: Christopher Wilson, chris@lateliving.com
Website: www.lateliving.com

Link will provide AER, a revolutionary intermittent catheter system, for users in need of continence care and
bladder management solutions. AER is a fully enclosed intermittent catheter system designed with discreetness
and universal usage to properly promote and protect wheelchair users from developing future UTIs and
empower the independence (ease of use) of urethral catheterization.
Contact: Jennifer Zielinski, jenzee24@comcast.net
Website: www.aercatheter.com

Loqui™ (pronounced lo-kee) is the solution for an often annoying and somehow far too frequently faced
problem: lost or misplaced remotes. Loqui™ combines existing technologies and puts a new twist on them.
Loqui™ combines voice recognition technology that most of us are already used to on our smart phones with
infrared data transmission to make watching TV or any other entertainment device simpler and easier than ever
Contact: Josh Heuser, Josh_Heuser@Yahoo.com
Website: www.LoquiRemote.com

Onvard is a website that helps beginning learners learn something new when they don't know where to start by
recommending the best way to learn a topic. It aims to provide an easier online learning experience to Internet
users by directing users toward the best educational resources in the best chronological order.
Contact: Keith Ryu, kibaekr@gmail.com
Website: www.onvard.com

Pollen-Tech will revolutionize agriculture by giving farmers the ability to mechanically spray pollen on to their
crops, decreasing crop risk and improving pollination rates and overall yields. With crop failure facing many
crops due to bee health issues, this technology will be crucial to the continued health and security of these
Contact: Trevor Ray, trevor.ray@asu.edu
Website: www.pollen-tech.com

Rarus Innovations
Rarus Innovations is an education technology company delivering learning solutions through mobile and web
platforms. Through partnerships with acclaimed researchers and educators, Rarus plans on developing a
learning ecosystem that harnesses the power of crowdsourcing in providing a continuum of educational content.
The learning content, which is common core equivalent, is aimed at helping students not only in reinforcement
and retention, but also in advancement and in increasing achievement levels.
Contact: Vinay Voorakarnam, vinay@rarusinnovations.com
Website: www.rarusinnovations.com

Repair Report
Repair Report successfully solves the common headaches of auto-repair-seeking drivers that have existed for
decades through a powerful online platform. We accomplish this by asking Repair Report shops to publish
diagnosed vehicle details online where competing Repair Report shops can view the diagnosis and pay to place
a custom offer on qualified leads. Through the unique solutions only offered by Repair Report, drivers sidestep
the common headaches of the repair process by receiving multiple repair offers with a single interaction with a repair shop.
Contact: Jamison Hill, jamison@repairreport.com
Website: www.repairreport.com

Revolt! Distillery
Revolt! is a small-batch craft distillery with a unique and differentiated product line located in Olympia,
Washington. We specialize in liquor products that encompass the unique culture of the Pacific Northwest and
its regional expertise. Revolt! cuts to the heart of a problem that is appearing everywhere. People want products
as unique as they are.
Contact: Andrew Johnson, andrew.scott.johnson.1@asu.edu
Website: Coming Soon

SiO2 NanoTech
We transfer our own patents via customized prototypes and direct interaction with the customer in need of a
"nanotech" solution. Our nanotech solutions include controlling fogging on vision wear and medical scopes, as
well as controlling blood and biological debris accumulation on medical scopes and implants.
Contact: Clarizza Watson, cwatson@sio2nanotech.com
Website: www.sio2nanotech.com

Solar Stream Innovations
We are redefining what solar thermal has to offer as an increasingly cost effective way to provide heating, as
well as offer a high performance component to a cost effective solar cooling system. We are developing a
patent pending means to collect solar energy - without lenses, mirrors or pumps - to a single point utilizing low
cost evacuated tube technology that increases the cost effectiveness of heat driven cooling.
Contact: Jeffrey Lee, JeffLee5761@gmail.com
Website: www.solarstreaminnovations.com

T7 Inc.
T7 thrives on developing innovative new concepts for use in education and business. We provide a way for
children’s book publishers to dramatically increase the value of their book by providing a patented technique
where multiple reading levels are included in a single book. This provides additional learning stimulation
thereby increasing the time of relevance for the book to the child.
Contact: Tom Hertig, thertig@cox.net
Website: www.stairs-mtr.launchrock.com

UP: The Elevating Wheelchair
UP is an elevating manual wheelchair for paraplegic manual wheelchair users who desire extra height in order
to reach high items and speak with others at eye level. Most wheelchair manufacturers do not offer height
adjustable wheelchairs, and the ones that do are bulky and can cost upwards of $10,000. Compared to standing
wheelchairs on the market, UP elevates users quicker, easier, and at a third of the price.
Contact: Peter Georgiou, peter.georgiou@asu.edu
Website: www.upwheelchair.com