ASU startup Pollen-Tech wins Arizona Student Startup Demo Day
ASU student startup Pollen-Tech took home the top prize at the first-ever Arizona Student Startup Demo Day, March 29 at ASU SkySong.
Arizona Student Startup Demo Day, sponsored by Hool Law Group and MAC6 , is a new competition developed by ASU Venture Catalyst in collaboration with Northern Arizona University and the University of Arizona. The winning student startup receives the Startup Territorial Cup, a perpetual trophy that will go to the winning team’s university each year.
Pollen-Tech, co-founded by ASU students Adam Brown and Trevor Ray, ASU alumnus Thomas Brown, and Tom Brown, beat out 11 other student startups from ASU, NAU and UA to win the competition. The Pollen-Tech team was awarded a total of $10,000 in funding and the inaugural Startup Territorial Cup.
Pollen-Tech provides a high-tech way to pollinate crops, eliminating dependence on bee pollination. Unlike bee pollination, Pollen-Tech’s process does not rely on weather or healthy beehives to create substantial agricultural yields. This revolutionary technology will help alleviate the issues stemming from the collapse of bee colonies in the U.S. and around the world, making its potential impact on the agribusiness sector immense. A participant in ASU’s Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative, Pollen-Tech recently completed testing at farms in California.
“We’re thrilled to bring home the Startup Territorial Cup for ASU,” Ray said. “This experience has been invaluable for us, and it’s very gratifying to see our hard work and dedication pay off. We’re looking forward to using our winnings to further develop our pollination technology, which we believe will revolutionize the agricultural industry.”
The teams pitched their companies to a panel of judges that included local entrepreneurs and investors James R. Flach, Curtis Gunn, Michael Hool, Scott McIntosh and Bill Miller. Each startup was judged on problem and proposed solution, strength of team and advisors, market opportunity, go-to-market strategy, budget and progress toward launch.
“For more than 25 years, our firm has been active in efforts of entrepreneurship and capital formation,” said Hool, founder and managing partner of sponsor Hool Law Group. “We participated in organizing this event to demonstrate the further commitment of the startup community and the three state universities to collaborate on fostering entrepreneurship. We believe the new Startup Territorial Cup will serve as a beacon for student startup activity and will keep Arizona in the forefront of places to start emerging growth ventures.
“We were pleased that our collaboration with such great partners as MAC6 and the three universities was so overwhelmingly successful,” Hool added. “We look forward to bigger and better things for Arizona’s student startups next year.”
The top startup from each university received an award of $7,000. In addition to Pollen-Tech, NAU’s MyBarber, a mobile app that helps customers find barbers, and UA’s Crowd Audio, an online music mixing platform, were named the top startups for their schools. As the grand-prize winner, Pollen-Tech received an additional $3,000 for a total of $10,000 in funding.
In addition, FlashFood and Late Living, both from ASU, and UA’s Vive Innovations were named runners-up and received $2,000 each.
Arizona Student Startup Demo Day is a collaborative effort by ASU Venture Catalyst, the Northern Arizona Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology, and the University of Arizona’s McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship to showcase Arizona’s top student startups, foster collaboration among the state’s universities and highlight the outstanding entrepreneurship efforts at all three schools. Next year’s event will be hosted by the University of Arizona.