ASU Startup places in Final Five for ‘College Entrepreneur of the Year’

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Vantage Realized in the final five for top honor by Entrepreneur Magazine.

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The companies coming out of the student startup accelerator are doing amazing work, generating revenue, and gaining international exposure

Vantage Realized, an ASU student-led startup, has been named a top five finalist in the College Entrepreneur of the Year competition run in the U.S. by Entrepreneur Magazine. ASU isn’t new to this honor. In the 2011 competition, three of the top five finalists were ASU student startups, with ASU startup G3Box ultimately winning College Entrepreneur of 2011.

College Entrepreneur of the Year is one of three awards, including Entrepreneur of the Year and Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year, bestowed by Entrepreneur Magazine on the nation’s top entrepreneurs each year. Entrepreneur Magazine received thousands of entries for the competition and then selected the top five entries in each award category as finalists.

Vantage Realized improves the quality of life for people with disabilities. Through its first product, the Mechaddy, a lever-operated device that uses a chest press motion to propel a mechanical wheelchair, it will improve mobility for manual wheelchair users who want to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome as well as joint damage from occurring to their rotator cuffs.

“We are honored that Entrepreneur Magazine has named Vantage Realized as a top five finalist in this year’s competition” said JJ Tang, CEO and co-founder or Vantage Realized. “Vantage Realized is also grateful for the support of the Edson Accelerator, Arizona State University and our families. This support has helped us get to where we are today, already producing our conceptual prototype, and we know this support will help us do well in this competition.”

When Phoenix-based startup Vantage Realized was established in 2011, its purpose was simple: improve the lives of people with disabilities. Co-founder Nicholas Gough's father, a manual wheelchair user, inspired Vantage Realized's first product; the Mechaddy, which would improve the level of control and ergonomics of operating a manual wheelchair. Since its founding, Vantage Realized has expanded its team and has successfully built its first conceptual prototype.

Vantage Realized is currently a part of ASU’s Edson student accelerator run by the ASU Venture Catalyst and based in SkySong, Scottsdale’s Innovation Center. The Edson accelerator provides funding, mentoring, and office space that enables students to advance their ventures.

“We are very proud of the companies in the Edson program” said Gordon McConnell, Assistant Vice President of Entrepreneurship and Innovation for ASU. “The companies coming out of the student startup accelerator are doing amazing work, generating revenue, and gaining international exposure”. Venture Catalyst is the startup unit of Arizona State University and a part of the Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development (OKED), the research wing of the university.

To vote for JJ and Vantage Realized go to, click on JorJon Tang/Vantage Realized’s profile, click on “log in to vote” (Facebook account is required to vote), log in to your Facebook account and complete the voting process.

About Venture Catalyst at ASU (
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 the Edson Entrepreneurship Initiative (
The Edson program 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 students to advance their enterprises.

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Meagan Garrett
ASU SkySong
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