ASU, Millennium Challenge Corporation announce new Innovation Fellowship


November 1, 2012

Arizona State University and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) have announced a new Innovation Fellowship that will work across various teams within MCC’s Washington, D.C. office to help address some of today’s most compelling development challenges.

ASU, MCC and the New America Foundation invite applicants with an advanced degree and technical expertise in social and physical sciences, supply chain or other business management, medicine, engineering or other relevant disciplines to apply to the Innovation Fellowship. The application period opens Nov. 1, closes on Nov. 25, and is open to those who meet the qualifications listed online at mccif.asu.edu. Innovation Fellowship Download Full Image

“ASU’s New American University model is designed to rapidly focus science, technology and innovation on acute global challenges and to bridge knowledge creation and implementation,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow. “We are excited, along with our partners at the New America Foundation, to support MCC as they advance their next-generation programs and projects in international development and global poverty reduction.”

Fellows will be placed throughout MCC operations to advance the effective application of business, science, technology and related expertise in international development and the foreign affairs activities of the U.S. Government.

As an Innovation Fellow duties will be dependent on the individuals’ expertise and capacity and may include, but are not limited to:

• conduct research, survey existing best practices and generate knowledge to enhance project implementation

• measure and compare social and economic benefits of new and existing projects

• assist MCC and its partner countries to enhance the use of technology in development projects

• develop new approaches to building sustainable public-private partnerships in MCC partner countries

• work with monitoring and evaluations team to address questions beyond standard M&E activities

• conduct cross-compact evaluation and identify opportunities to improve efficiency

• provide MCC with recommendations to build the capacity of partner countries

"We hope to attract experts from a range of fields to this unique and prestigious opportunity to work among the world’s leading foreign aid experts in MCC,” said Mariko Silver, senior advisor to the president of ASU and director of the Innovation Fellowship. “Since the first round of fellows will start January 2013, this application process is efficient, yet will allow us to identify the top candidates to advance MCC’s mission."

Each fellow will be paired with a mentor within MCC as well as at least one leadership mentor from academia, the development community, and/or the private sector. Mentors will be selected based on fellows’ individual goals and interests. All leadership mentors will be at the top of their respective fields and will support fellows and help them expand their professional networks.

“MCC was founded with a focused mandate to reduce poverty through economic growth,” said Omar Hopkins, MCC’s director of infrastructure. “MCC continuously reviews our operational experiences to inform and strengthen our development model and by partnering with ASU, MCC will leverage their expertise in research and teaching to help identify lessons learned, improve our own practice, and share our experiences broadly within the development community.”

More information about the fellowship and how to apply is available at mccif.asu.edu.

Top Arizona businesses win Spirit of Enterprise awards


November 1, 2012

As Americans talk about how to improve our economy, we keep hearing how small businesses and entrepreneurs have to lead the way in the recovery. This week, the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University honored five of the state’s best businesses for creating jobs, contributing to charities and introducing innovation. They’re this year’s winners of the prestigious Spirit of Enterprise Awards.

“What is striking about this year’s group of finalists and winners is that these entrepreneurs have chosen incredibly difficult industries and excelled where others have failed,” says Gary Naumann, director of the Spirit of Enterprise Center at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “They are recognized because of their hard work, dedication to the community, and great entrepreneurial stories.” Gary Naumann Download Full Image

Hundreds of Valley business and community leaders attended Thursday’s awards luncheon at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix, where the winners were announced. The finalists’ impressive and often emotional stories were shown on video, as the firms were recognized for ethics, energy and excellence in entrepreneurship.

The 16th annual Spirit of Enterprise Award winners are:

180 Degrees Automotive – The Hahnco Companies Special Achievement in Entrepreneurship Award
This woman-owned, full-service auto repair center caters especially to women and minorities. The company has moved to bigger locations four times in six years, provides free car classes to women, hosts an art exhibit, gives free rides home, and leaves a gift in each car with each visit. It also makes a notable commitment to “green” business practices and community causes.

Daphne’s Headcovers – The Spirit of Enterprise Overcoming Adversity Award
This novelty golf-club cover business was started when the owner was just 16 years old, and it had to address major growth issues when business shot up 400 percent in just one quarter. Daphne’s now serves fine resorts and golf shops in 75 countries, despite the recession that’s hit the golf industry hard. The company has covers in the bags of more than 200 touring pro golfers and offers customers a lifetime guarantee to repair or replace its products for free.

GlobalMed – U.S. Bank Emerging Entrepreneur Award
This booming company offers telemedicine solutions like innovative cameras, medical devices and software, so health practitioners can provide care to remote patients via telecommunications or satellite. GlobalMed made Inc. Magazine’s 2012 list of the nation’s 500 fastest-growing private companies. It also made large donations to charity, including the Marine Corps Toys for Tots Program, the Strike Out Child Abuse Walk and the Migrant Clinicians Network.

LawLogix Group – Gary L. Trujillo Minority Enterprise Award sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona
This fast-growing provider of immigration, I-9 and E-Verify software boasts a 96.9-percent client-retention rate, low 3-percent employee turnover, and more than 155,000 organizations as customers, including Fortune 500 companies. The minority-owned business also has a nonprofit practice that offers tools to hundreds of nonprofit and community-based organizations, so they can provide some of the same information as expensive immigration law firms.

Total Transit – The Spirit of Enterprise Innovation in Entrepreneurship Award
This comprehensive mobility management company runs the Discount Cab brand throughout Arizona. Total Transit has the largest fleet of environmentally friendly Prius cabs in North America and also provides innovative Dial-a-Ride services for Valley Metro and many large Medicaid and Medicare providers. It also introduced a Free Ride Back program to keep drunk drivers off our roads, by offering paying customers a free ride back to their car the next day. The company donates to the community through its charitable Total Transit Foundation.

The other Spirit of Enterprise Award finalists this year were CyberMark International, Hard Dollar, NJOY Electronic Cigarettes, Optimal Performance Training and Real Property Management East Valley.

These awards are just one focus of the Spirit of Enterprise Center, which helps hundreds of businesses each year. The center offers companies the chance to recruit and meet with top student talent, while also allowing students to get hands-on business experience. One key program, Student Teams for Entrepreneurship Projects (STEP), matches teams of W. P. Carey School of Business students with Valley companies to help tackle real-world challenges and opportunities. Companies can also use the center to access other ASU business resources.

The center is self-funded and utilizes community sponsorships and volunteers to sustain its activities. For more information, visit www.spiritofenterprise.org.