ASU Venture Catalyst Startups Raise More than $1 Million

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Student and external start-ups win additional seed funding, grants over 12 months.

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Raising early-stage funding, from sources as diverse as angel investors and federal grants, is vital to the survival rate of startup companies.

ASU Venture Catalyst, the startup unit of Arizona State University, has announced that the startups within their accelerator programs have raised more than $1 million in the last 12 months. The main beneficiaries of the funding have been companies within ASU’s student startup accelerator, the Edson Entrepreneurship Initiative. The new startups in this program have raised approximately $800,000 during the last year from federal grants, U.S. and international competitions, and external seed funding from angel investors.

However, it isn’t just ASU’s student companies that have successfully acquired external funding. Early stage startups in the Venture Catalyst’s external accelerator, those companies that are not student-led or faculty spinouts, have also been successful in raising $250,000 in venture funding in 2012.

“It has been a great year for the early-stage ventures based in ASU SkySong,” said Gordon McConnell, Assistant Vice President for Entrepreneurship and Innovation for the Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development at ASU. “Raising early-stage funding, from sources as diverse as angel investors and federal grants, is vital to the survival rate of startup companies. As we continue to build on the accomplishments of the past year and look forward to 2013, we are confident that we will see even more successes from our startups.”

Poised to potentially add to next year’s funding are the 10 new companies that will be joining the AZ Furnace Accelerator in January 2013. The AZ Furnace Accelerator is a groundbreaking initiative that encourages entrepreneurs from across the country to find and commercialize innovations developed within Arizona’s universities and private research institutions. The 10 winning companies utilized innovations from Arizona State University, Dignity Health Arizona, and the University of Arizona. They represent a wide array of technologies and innovative solutions, from biomarkers for disease diagnosis to new methods for massive data storage to repurposing discarded tires for new concrete and construction materials.

Each Furnace company will receive $25,000 in seed funding from the Arizona Commerce Authority and BioAccel, as well as six months of incubation in innovation spaces throughout Arizona. This grant funding will occur in January when the new startups officially begin the Furnace Acceleration process. The acceleration period will culminate in an investor demo day where all 10 companies will have the opportunity to pitch to a room of investors to secure additional venture funding.

The Edson Student Entrepreneurship Initiative, the external cohort in ASU’s Startup Accelerator, and companies within AZ Furnace have access to the services provided by ASU’s Venture Catalyst and are based at ASU SkySong, the Innovation Center in Scottsdale. The ASU Venture Catalyst is a strategic unit of ASU’s Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development, the research arm of ASU. These acceleration programs provide funding, mentorship, and office space that enable entrepreneurs to advance their ventures.


About ASU Venture Catalyst (
ASU Venture Catalyst equips high potential startups for success. The Catalyst, a joint effort between the Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development and Arizona Technology Enterprises (AzTE), 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.

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Meagan Garrett
ASU SkySong
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