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ASU Venture Catalyst startups raise more than $1M


January 7, 2013

ASU Venture Catalyst, the startup unit of Arizona State University, has announced that the startups within their accelerator programs have raised more than $1 million in the last 12 months.

The main beneficiaries of the funding have been companies within ASU’s student startup accelerator, the Edson Entrepreneurship Initiative. The new startups in this program have raised approximately $800,000 during the last year from federal grants, U.S. and international competitions, and external seed funding from angel investors. Download Full Image

However, it isn’t just ASU’s student companies that have successfully acquired external funding. Early stage startups in the Venture Catalyst’s external accelerator – those companies that are not student-led or faculty spinouts – have  been successful in raising $250,000 in venture funding in 2012.

“It has been a great year for the early-stage ventures based in ASU SkySong,” said Gordon McConnell, assistant vice president for entrepreneurship and innovation for the Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development at ASU. “Raising early-stage funding, from sources as diverse as angel investors and federal grants, is vital to the survival rate of startup companies. As we continue to build on the accomplishments of the past year and look forward to 2013, we are confident that we will see even more successes from our startups.”

Poised to potentially add to next year’s funding are the 10 new companies that will be joining the AZ Furnace Accelerator in January 2013. The AZ Furnace Accelerator is a groundbreaking initiative that encourages entrepreneurs from across the country to find and commercialize innovations developed within Arizona’s universities and private research institutions. The 10 winning companies utilized innovations from Arizona State University, Dignity Health Arizona, and the University of Arizona. They represent a wide array of technologies and innovative solutions, from biomarkers for disease diagnosis to new methods for massive data storage to repurposing discarded tires for new concrete and construction materials.

Each Furnace company will receive $25,000 in seed funding from the Arizona Commerce Authority and BioAccel, as well as six months of incubation in innovation spaces throughout Arizona. This grant funding will occur in January when the new startups officially begin the Furnace Acceleration process. The acceleration period will culminate in an investor demo day where all 10 companies will have the opportunity to pitch to a room of investors to secure additional venture funding.

Hollywood Invades Tempe plans season of screenings, chats with noted filmmakers


January 7, 2013

The ASU School of Theatre and Film in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts presents Hollywood Invades Tempe chat and screening series.

The program opens Jan. 24 with a screening of the 2008 Academy Award-winning independent film "Juno" (Fox Searchlight Films, 2007) about an offbeat young woman who, when faced with an unplanned pregnancy, makes an unusual decision regarding her unborn child. Download Full Image

Talented film artists meet via teleconference with ASU audiences for a Q&A period following the screening of representative work. Hollywood Invades Tempe departs from its teleconference interviews with Hollywood A-listers when directors Gary Ross ("The Hunger Games") and John Landis (Animal House) appear on campus for a screening of his film and in person discussions. Because of overwhelming student response, both of these Hollywood Invades Tempe events are open only to ASU students with valid student IDs.

All Hollywood Invades Tempe events take place at 7:30 p.m. (come at 7 p.m. for pizza) at the Marston Exploration Theater at the School of Earth and Space Exploration, Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building IV (ISTB4), 850 S. McAllister Ave., Tempe, Ariz. 85287.

Upcoming "Hollywood Invades Tempe" event that is free and open to the public is:

"Beasts of the Southern Wild" (2012); Feb 6; Guest: co-producer Matt Parker

"Beasts of the Southern Wild" has won major film festivals including Sundance and Cannes and has been nominated for several honors including the coveted Independent Spirit Awards. It is a strong candidate for multiple Oscar nominations, which are announced on Jan 10. Faced with both her hot-tempered father's fading health and melting ice-caps that flood her ramshackle bayou community and unleash ancient aurochs, six-year-old Hushpuppy must learn the ways of courage and love.

For more information, contact the ASU School of Theatre and Film, 480.965.5337 and visit its website. Visit us on Facebook and YouTube.