ASU launches Startup Mill to help Arizona entrepreneurs
Arizona State University is launching a program to provide Arizona-based entrepreneurs the same acceleration services available to ASU students, faculty and post-doctoral researchers.
The Startup Mill – run jointly by ASU’s Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Arizona Technology Enterprises, ASU’s technology transfer organization – will more closely link regional entrepreneurs with the cutting-edge research and venture acceleration at ASU.
The university is no stranger to the start-up world: More than 75 companies have launched based on ASU innovations, attracting more than $500 million in funding from venture capital firms and other investors, $76 million in the past year alone. ASU start-ups now employ more than 350 people in Arizona alone.
That's a “track record of success that speaks to both the quality of ASU’s research enterprise and our venture-support model,” said Charlie Lewis, vice president of venture development at Arizona Technology Enterprises. “Startup Mill is an intentional effort to provide that same acceleration experience to high-potential outside entrepreneurs based in the Phoenix region.”
The program is open to start-ups in any industry, with selections based on the strategic value to the economic vitality of the region and ASU. Startup Mill services include:
•Acceleration and venture support, including ASU and partner resources for intellectual property management and business/growth processes
•Interim or permanent C-level management drawn from a pool of more than 20 accomplished entrepreneurs and seasoned executives
•University resources, including facilities, equipment, clinic, strategic partnerships and specialized test-beds for product and market validation
•Startup School training and mentoring
•Pitch opportunities to ASU Foundation Angels and venture capital funding partners upon maturation.
Companies with significant 2015 investments
Of the more than 75 companies launched based on ASU innovations, those with significant investments this year include:
•Fluidic Energy – Rechargeable zinc-air battery developer with R&D and manufacturing facilities in north Scottsdale.
•Healthtell – Early-stage life sciences company offering the first diagnostic platform capable of assessing an individual’s real-time immune-system response to specific diseases.
•Heliae – Platform technology that uses both sunlight and low-cost carbon feedstocks to produce high-value products from algae.
•Thync – Lifestyle wearable that uses neurosignaling algorithms – waveforms that signal neural pathways – to shift and optimize people's state of mind in areas related to energy, calm and focus.
“Launching and accelerating a start-up to a successful exit requires a combination of high-potential intellectual property, an accomplished and visionary management team, and success in fundraising,” said Lewis. “Startup Mill will replicate that formula on a bigger scale to create more success stories.”
Robert Green is president and CEO of EndoVantage, an ASU spinout company commercializing computer-simulation technology used to plan medical procedures before patient treatment. EndoVantage is also participating in Startup Mill.
“Despite being based on great ideas, many start-ups stagnate or fail because they lack the right resources and connections,” said Green. “Having access to ASU’s tremendous physical and intellectual resources and professional network through the Startup Mill framework means EndoVantage and other high-potential start-ups will have the critical support they need to be game changers in their field.”
Startup Mill began accepting entrepreneurs in late spring. Start-ups and entrepreneurs-in-residence will be accepted on an ongoing basis.
For companies originating outside the university, ASU will be engaged on a fee-for-service basis. Faculty and student start-ups will be governed by the same university policies currently in place.
Find more information about ASU’s Startup Mill at http://entrepreneurship.asu.edu/startup-mill.