The Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative was started in 2005 with a $5.5 million endowment with the mission of helping entrepreneurs and ultimately creating jobs in Arizona. Students who are enrolled at ASU can apply for the Edson competition in March by submitting a business plan and the finalists present their idea in front of a panel of judges. Up to 20 ventures are selected and receive up to $20,000 in seed funding, office space at ASU SkySong, and mentors.
The 2012/2013 Edson cohort is a diverse group of 20 companies who range from biotech to military defense technology to retail manufacturing. ASU believes that entrepreneurship is interdisciplinary; therefore, the Edson Initiative is open to any major and has companies in a variety of industries. The current cohort has already seen success by two companies receiving Angel investments and a company making it into the top five of Entrepreneur Magazine’s College Entrepreneur of 2012.
“The new Edson cohort is certainly one of the most advanced groups that we’ve seen enter the accelerator in recent years,” said Brent Sebold, Senior Venture Manager of the Edson Initiative. “We are honored to be affiliated with these student entrepreneurs, as they truly represent the best of the best student startups at ASU. With our robust external mentoring pool we should be able to push each company toward meeting several significant ramp-up, launch, and growth milestones during their time in the Edson accelerator—it’s time to roll up the sleeves and get our hands dirty!”
In addition to seed funding, the Edson Accelerator provides other services to the companies like events, pitch practices, legal advice, and other resources. Recently, Edson held their first Mentor Mashup, allowing the entrepreneurs to connect with potential mentors. The program also invites the teams to practice their pitches for future competitions in order to receive feedback and participate in a trial run before their presentation. With the program adding new resources and opportunities to the entrepreneurs, it will be interesting to see the future success of these companies.
2012/2013 Edson Cohort:
Custom Aeroponics manufactures and sells aeroponic components to urban agriculture growers, from restaurants to individuals, who want to reduce waste water, fertilizers, and increase food quality while minimizing growth time. Unlike AgriHouse or Aerofarms, we use FDA and USDA approved recyclable materials, bacteria and bio-film resistant components, and increase plant density through our unique design, giving our users a more reliable, efficient, and eco-friendly system.
PhycoLogical produces omega-3 enriched algae and algae oil for people who want healthy hearts and healthy pets. Unlike omega-3 from fish-oil our omega-3 production is sustainable and mercury free and is produced from waste nutrients using natural sunlight to lower cost.
SmrtEn provides a subscription service to homeowners to save them 20+% on their energy bill by continuously programming WiFi home thermostats. Unlike Nest Labs, we are a cloud based service whose Artificial Algorithms are applicable to other home appliances.
SOLAR STREAM INNOVATIONS
Solar Stream Innovations sells packaged solar solutions to hotels, multifamily housing, elder care facilities, and hospitals that want the renewable benefits of solar energy with a faster return on investment and back-up power generation. Unlike competing solar power technologies, we use primarily low cost, mass manufactured components to reduce installation and maintenance costs. Also, unlike substitute photovoltaic competitors, we offer low cost reliable back-up power generation.
AlphaStripe is a global, online networking platform for military service members, military families, civilians, and humanitarian organizations to share war-time and conflict zone stories in video, photo, audio, and journal formats. Open to military personnel and civilians the world over, AlphaStripe has developed a detailed database of military branches and service units, enhancing the social connections made when their members create profiles and upload content. AlphaStripe gives their members an opportunity to save history, record memories and make connections through their unique combination of popular social media outlets.
AsymSolutions is a veteran-owned aerospace and defense company that provides military and public threat detection and elimination products. Unlike other defense providers, AsymSolutions ensures that its products are needed, user-centered, reliable, and superior to the enemy’s weapons and tactics, techniques, and procedures.
INNOVATIVE HEALTHCARE TECHNOLOGY
Innovative Healthcare Technology sells EZ PT, a virtual physical therapy program using Kinect technology, to therapists, physicians and patients who will benefit from a home therapy program that provides feedback and tracks patient compliance and performance accuracy. Unlike the status quo, EZ PT provides immediate and consistent feedback, resulting in a more effective physical therapy delivery program, with significant cost savings.
SEYMOUR INNOVATIVE (ANGEL INVESTOR FUNDED)
Seymour Innovative provides Ella’s Monitor, a revolutionary, low-cost device that will save infants from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Unlike existing inaccurate home sensors, Ella’s Monitor will offer the accuracy of hospital grade equipment in an affordable, convenient, and easy to use package.
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.
Late Living provides video tours of assisted living facilities to senior citizens and their families who want the ability to search for assisted living care without leaving the comfort of their own home. Unlike the current approach and other online directories, Late Living is the first to offer full video walkthrough tours, room availability, Facebook integration, and direct facility contact wrapped into an easy to use website. Our approach saves time, lowers stress, and aids the facilities in locating new patients they would have never otherwise found.
Quester Galleries sells downloadable photo slide show software that creates embeddable image galleries for use in digital news venues. This technology is designed by photojournalists for photojournalists. Quester Galleries provides a simple, clean and functional option for online news companies to display compelling photography, allowing the user to focus on an image – not a poorly designed gallery. Because the technology is integrated into each website’s html, the gallery also can improve search engine optimization and web traffic analytics.
Mercury Innovative® creates unique language arts and analysis software for kids & their parents, educators, and researchers. Our Text in Motion (TIM) software makes reading and writing fun and interactive for children. Our other software, called Rhetoristics®, allows communications researchers to create and analyze language models of audiences and communities.
BlockLight aims to become the leading software provider in educational and professional performing arts by improving current methods of preparation and practice. Its first product, Stage Minion, is an iPad application for performers, directors, choreographers, and stage managers that will revolutionize the way that show plans are created, documented, and shared.
FlashFood is a smartphone application and website designed to reduce food waste and feed the hungry. When the manager of a business has leftover food at the end of the night, she can create a post on our network which will notify a group of volunteer drivers to pick up the donation and deliver it to a local community center, such as a school or church. Meanwhile, qualifying subscribers to the network will receive a text alert of when and where they can pick up the donated meals.
G3Box sells medical clinics made out of converted steel shipping containers to nonprofits and NGOs that work in healthcare development and disaster response who want on-demand, fully-functional medical space for their needs. Unlike container conversion companies and nonprofits that convert containers to clinics, we capture a healthcare market, do not rely on a volunteer and fundraising model, and have a scalable and standardized manufacturing plan.
Pollen-Tech provides artificial pollination to growers who want more control over pollination and yields. Unlike bee pollination, our process does not rely on weather or healthy bee hives to create substantial agricultural yields.
SafeSIPP is a more-than-profit venture simultaneously solving two problems facing rural communities in the developing world: transportation and purification of drinking water. SafeSIPP has integrated a water purification system into a barrel that activates as the barrel rolls across the ground. SafeSIPP sells to organizations that have established connections and relationships with these rural communities. Unlike others in the market, who only transport water, SafeSIPP adds value by both transporting and purifying large quantities of contaminated water.
Sonoran Biosciences is developing antimicrobial technology for hospitals burdened with the high cost of surgical site infections. Our proprietary product’s unmatched combination of liquid properties and sustained release will provide greatly improved protection against infection.
Viomics has developed the LungVantage RNA Index which is the next generation lung cancer test for doctors and their patients who want to detect the cancer while it is still treatable. LungVantage can detect lung cancer early enough for physician to treat, and often cure the cancer using existing methods, substantially increasing a patient’s chances of survival.
KVZ SPORTS LLC
KVZ is a fully integrated design and manufacturing company that provides apparel products, on demand, to action sports clients who are looking for unique ways to promote their destination or brand and lower their inventory costs. Unlike our competitors we manufacture most of our products here in the United States with much shorter lead times and the ability to deliver mid-season re-orders. Stocking inventory for them is no longer a “one-shot-deal” that needs to be finalized pre-season.