ASU Edson Program Launches 2012 Competition, Seeks to Fund the Next Generation of Student Entrepreneurs

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Mentors, Office Space and over $250,000 were invested in 26 startups in the 2011 competition

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This is about giving student entrepreneurs the means to not only create their own jobs but provide new jobs and create wealth

ASU Venture Catalyst, part of ASU SkySong, has officially launched the 2012 application for the Edson Student Entrepreneur competition, to find and support the best new and innovative student startups in Arizona State University. Now entering its eight year, the Edson Student Entrepreneurship Initiative is the University’s premier student startup competition, and one of the largest privately funded business plan competitions at a U.S. university.

“We are thrilled to announce the launch of our 2012 application. Students can win up to $20,000 in funding as well as mentoring and office space to advance their venture ideas. More importantly, we have added over 70 leading mentors to the program in the last 8 months, including mentors in Silicon Valley, New York and Europe,” said Brent Sebold, Venture Manager for the Edson program. “We plan to build on the success of this past year's Edson cohort which included three of the five finalists in Entrepreneur Magazine's “College Entrepreneur of the Year” award and the eventual overall winner, G3Box” he added.

The Edson program’s main objective is helping students turn their venture concepts into viable businesses. Over a third of the companies that were funded in the 2011 Edson cohort are currently generating revenue. Edson companies have also been encouraged to compete in other US and international business plan competitions, where they have overwhelmingly placed in the top five in many cases. In addition, the current group of Edson companies has raised over $100,000 in additional funding from local, national, and global startup competitions and grants.

Both undergraduate and graduate level students can apply for the competition. Individual students may submit a variety of venture concept proposals and multiple submissions will not decrease the likelihood of being selected for funding. Additionally, all ASU students, including Barrett Honors students, are encouraged to adapt their problem solving term papers or Honors theses into Edson venture proposals. Beyond funding, student ventures have 24/7 access to office space at ASU SkySong and world-class industry mentors.

“This is about giving student entrepreneurs the means to not only create their own jobs but provide new jobs and create wealth,” said Gordon McConnell, Executive Director of the ASU Venture Catalyst. “Many of this year’s Edson companies are manufacturing ventures, and we can envision the next generation of product manufacturing companies in the United States coming from our student ventures.”
For further information, interested parties can check in with the Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative via Facebook (facebook.com/asu.edson) or via the dedicated website (edson.asu.edu). The application process is simple and quick, and budding entrepreneurial students may seek help from the ASU Venture Catalyst team when preparing their venture proposals for submission. Venture Catalyst team members will be holding application workshops and office hours on all four ASU campuses throughout the month of March. The deadline to apply to the Edson competition is Sunday, April 1st, at midnight.

ASU Venture Catalyst, part of ASU SkySong, has officially launched the 2012 application for the Edson Student Entrepreneur competition, to find and support the best new and innovative student startups in Arizona State University. Now entering its eight year, the Edson Student Entrepreneurship Initiative is the University’s premier student startup competition, and one of the largest privately funded business plan competitions at a U.S. university.

“We are thrilled to announce the launch of our 2012 application. Students can win up to $20,000 in funding as well as mentoring and office space to advance their venture ideas. More importantly, we have added over 70 leading mentors to the program in the last 8 months, including mentors in Silicon Valley, New York and Europe,” said Brent Sebold, Venture Manager for the Edson program. “We plan to build on the success of this past year's Edson cohort which included three of the five finalists in Entrepreneur Magazine's “College Entrepreneur of the Year” award and the eventual overall winner, G3Box” he added.

The Edson program’s main objective is helping students turn their venture concepts into viable businesses. Over a third of the companies that were funded in the 2011 Edson cohort are currently generating revenue. Edson companies have also been encouraged to compete in other US and international business plan competitions, where they have overwhelmingly placed in the top five in many cases. In addition, the current group of Edson companies has raised over $100,000 in additional funding from local, national, and global startup competitions and grants.

Both undergraduate and graduate level students can apply for the competition. Individual students may submit a variety of venture concept proposals and multiple submissions will not decrease the likelihood of being selected for funding. Additionally, all ASU students, including Barrett Honors students, are encouraged to adapt their problem solving term papers or Honors theses into Edson venture proposals. Beyond funding, student ventures have 24/7 access to office space at ASU SkySong and world-class industry mentors.
“This is about giving student entrepreneurs the means to not only create their own jobs but provide new jobs and create wealth,” said Gordon McConnell, Executive Director of the ASU Venture Catalyst. “Many of this year’s Edson companies are manufacturing ventures, and we can envision the next generation of product manufacturing companies in the United States coming from our student ventures.”
For further information, interested parties can check in with the Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative via Facebook (facebook.com/asu.edson) or via the dedicated website (edson.asu.edu). The application process is simple and quick, and budding entrepreneurial students may seek help from the ASU Venture Catalyst team when preparing their venture proposals for submission. Venture Catalyst team members will be holding application workshops and office hours on all four ASU campuses throughout the month of March. The deadline to apply to the Edson competition is Sunday, April 1st, at midnight.

About Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative (http://studentventures.asu.edu/):
The Edson Accelerator provides funding, office space, and guidance to teams of students within all university disciplines. This accelerator gives student entrepreneurs the opportunity to develop their innovative ideas and launch viable businesses. As an integral program of ASU Venture Catalyst, students in the Edson accelerator have access to seasoned entrepreneurs, industry mentors, and other Catalyst programs that enable them to advance enterprise.

About Venture Catalyst at ASU (http://www.asuventurecatalyst.org)
ASU Venture Catalyst equips high potential startups for success. The Catalyst assists university students, faculty and staff, as well as local and global companies, with launching startups or accelerating existing ventures. Based at ASU SkySong, The Catalyst offers investor connections, technology road maps, go-to-market strategy consulting, mentoring opportunities, and several other programs and services, all designed to identify and develop investment-grade companies.

About ASU SkySong (skysong.asu.edu)
ASU SkySong impacts local, state and international economies by engaging the University with businesses and governments to drive economic development and global enterprise. ASU SkySong helps grow the economy through launching and accelerating new companies and promoting use inspired research. ASU SkySong, and the dozens of emerging innovation driven companies located there, are dedicated to positively impacting the economies of our state and the country for years to come.

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Meagan Garrett
ASU SkySong
480-884-1814
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