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Now entering its ninth year, the Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative is the university’s premier student startup competition and one of the largest privately funded business plan competitions at a U.S. university. Its main objective is helping students turn their venture concepts into viable businesses. In addition to receiving funding, student ventures have 24/7 access to office space at ASU SkySong and work with world-class industry mentors.
This year’s Edson competition marks the introduction of the Student Startup Bowl challenge, designed to motivate students to submit Edson proposals. In the Startup Bowl, ASU colleges and schools will compete to be recognized as ASU’s “most entrepreneurial college or school.” The college or school that generates the highest percentage, per capita, of Edson proposal submissions by April 1, will be honored as the winner of the inaugural Startup Bowl.
“ASU’s problem-solvers, changemakers, latent entrepreneurs, and practicing founders are not being widely exposed to the enterprise’s decentralized startup support opportunities,” said Brent Sebold, senior venture manager for the Edson Initiative.
“The ASU Student Startup Bowl is designed to help expose all student and faculty populations to the entrepreneurial resources and to use those resources to launch new businesses and organizations, while supporting friendly competition among the colleges and schools," he says. "May the most entrepreneurial college or school win!"
The Edson competition is open to both undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in any ASU program. At least one member of the team must be an ASU student at the time the team’s proposal is submitted. Individual students may submit a variety of venture concept proposals; multiple submissions will not decrease the likelihood of being selected for funding. Additionally, all ASU students, including Barrett Honors College students, are encouraged to adapt their problem-solving term papers or honors theses into Edson proposals.
In the 2012 Edson competition, 340 teams representing more than 1,200 students across the university submitted proposals, a 35 percent increase in applications over the previous year. More than $200,000 was invested in 20 ventures, which have since raised more than $450,000 in additional funding from local, national and global startup competitions and grants.
For more information, visit the Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative website or Facebook page. The application process is simple and quick, and budding entrepreneurs may seek help with their proposals from the ASU Venture Catalyst team. Venture Catalyst team members will hold application workshops and office hours on all four ASU campuses throughout the month of March.
The application deadline for the ASU Startup Bowl is midnight, Monday, April 1.
Gordon McConnell, firstname.lastname@example.org
Assistant Vice President
Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Venture Acceleration
Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development