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Major research university, leading investors partner to pilot and certify new learning technology ventures

   ASU, Draper Associates, and GSV logos

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SAN DIEGO, CA – For the first time, a comprehensive research university is joining leading venture capitalists and investment advisors to source, fund, pilot and credential higher education technology companies.

The ASU Draper GSV Accelerator will help the best learning technologies quickly enter the market by providing product validation and executive education focused on how to partner with universities. It will also provide the resources traditionally associated with an accelerator program: financial capital, mentorship and access to investors’ networks.

The project was announced at the ASU GSV Summit. It is being led by:

  • Arizona Technology Enterprises (AzTE) -- the exclusive intellectual property management and technology transfer organization affiliated with Arizona State University (ASU), the top ranked university for innovation by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Draper Associates -- the San Mateo, CA-based early stage venture capital firm founded and led by Tim Draper.  As a founding partner of investment firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson (which has deployed more than $5 billion in 300+ companies), Draper invested in Cruise Automation, Twitch, Skype, Tesla, Hotmail and many other successful early and growth stage technology ventures. Draper was also an early investor in learning software company Instructure, which made its initial public offering in November 2015. Draper’s education experience includes founding Draper University, an innovative entrepreneurial boot camp in Silicon Valley for entrepreneurs. Draper University offers immersive residential, online and executive sessions, and will initially partner with the Accelerator on an executive training session in fall 2016.
  • Global Silicon Valley (GSV-- the principals of GSV have built and supported the establishment of an entrepreneurial ecosystem in education and talent technology for the last 20 years. Having published the first education sector investment white paper, The Dawn of The Age of Knowledge, in 1996, they have been sector thought leaders and have built a platform focused on scaled innovation driving a high return on education — increasing access, lowering costs and improving learning outcomes. GSV has invested $135 million in 64 learning and talent technology companies, including Knewton, Coursera, General Assembly, Pluralsight, 2U, Clever, HotChalk and Turnitin. They co-founded, along with Arizona State University, the ASU GSV Summit, an annual celebration of scaled innovation and innovators that has grown from 240 attendees in 2010 to 3,550 in 2016. Additionally, the group's Silicon Valley based incubator, GSVlabs, has over 60 ed-tech companies. 

Throughout their time in the program, accepted companies will be offered the opportunity to integrate their technology at ASU – known for its innovative partnerships and ability to successfully scale new approaches to learning -- and to have their services tested and validated by university faculty, staff and students. Upon a company’s successful completion of the highly selective program, it will be issued a certification of market-preparedness – signifying to colleges and universities that the product is immediately viable for adoption and use.

"Together with ASU and GSV, we are excited to find, invest in, and mentor the most promising young companies that can transform higher education," said Tim Draper.  "ASU is a true innovator -- ranked the number one innovator in the nation -- and an ideal partner to work with to help transform education. Along with ASU, GSV continues to impact education with their premiere ed-tech conference."

“There has never been a better time to catalyze change and scale innovation,” said GSV Advisors Founder and Managing Partner Deborah Quazzo, noting that combining the strengths of ASU, Draper and GSV offers unprecedented opportunity.

It was also announced today that CampusLogic, a venture-backed technology company that developed a personalized, cloud-based engagement tool to simplify the student financial aid process, will be the Accelerator’s first startup member. The Accelerator expects to accept four additional companies before August 1, 2016.

“We’re very excited to partner with ASU as we build our innovative products,” said Gregg Scoresby, chief executive officer at CampusLogic. “We’ve had early success with over 50 customer institutions across the nation. This partnership with ASU will accelerate our growth and give us access to additional resources as we vet the next generation of CampusLogic products.”

Though the ASU Draper GSV Accelerator is ideal for learning technology companies whose product is nearing commercialization, any venture that has received seed funding or beyond is qualified to apply for acceptance. The program will offer demo events, featured space at the annual ASU GSV Summit and, potentially, workspace in ASU’s SkySong innovation center in Scottsdale, AZ. There is no geographic restriction for where a company must be based, and relocation is not required.

“ASU is the world’s largest testbed for innovative approaches to delivering higher education,” said Rick Shangraw, chairman of the board of directors of AzTE and chief executive officer of its parent enterprise, the ASU Foundation. “The ASU Draper GSV Accelerator is exactly the kind of partnership that results when we think about the possibilities of innovation rather than the limits of tradition.”

To learn more about the ASU Draper GSV Accelerator, please visit Applications to join the program will be available on the site on May 1.

The relationship between ASU and Draper Associates, resulting in the ASU Draper GSV Accelerator, was initiated through AzTE’s entrepreneurial and intellectual property activities in California. AzTE maintains a presence at the ASU California Center in Santa Monica to foster connections between the Arizona and California innovation ecosystems. 

Media contact:
Beth Giudicessi
ASU Media Relations & Strategic Communications


ASU News

Sun Devil Campus Stores to hold ASU employee sale

Faculty and staff can enjoy 30% off ASU apparel, gifts; select technology on sale too

April 14, 2016

To thank all ASU staff and faculty members for a great year, the Sun Devil Campus Stores will be hosting a one-day sale exclusively for ASU employees on Friday, April 29. 

Employees can enjoy 30 percent off all ASU clothing and gift items on all campuses, as well as the newest store, the Sun Devil Marketplace located in the College Avenue Commons. Poster for faculty/staff sale at bookstores Download Full Image

There will also be a special technology one-day discount on select Dell laptops and Apple products.

The technology special is limited to in-stock items, so a reservation is recommended on desired models to assure stock levels (no deposit necessary). Apple reservations can be made at 480-965-1385 or

Press Releases

ASU McCain Institute Hosts 4th Annual Sedona Forum

Top government officials and leaders of civil society from around the globe gathered with leading humanitarian and human rights activists as well as prominent figures from the worlds of business and sports at the 4th annual Sedona Forum, held this past weekend in Sedona, Arizona by the McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University.

This year’s Sedona Forum brought together decision-makers, thought-leaders, and activists to discuss approaches and solutions to such contemporary issues as cyber-security, growing threats to human rights and journalism globally, geopolitical challenges in Asia and the Middle East, and the national security implications of the 2016 presidential election.  In all, 12 current and former U.S. Senators (six Republicans, four Democrats, two Independents) spoke at the event, as well as Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz.  Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake was among the first speakers at the opening dinner on Friday, April 8, welcoming all the guests to Arizona. Download Full Image

            “The Sedona Forum demonstrates the convening power of the McCain Institute and ASU’s commitment to a solutions-based approach to research and the free exchange of ideas,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow, who spoke to this year’s meeting about the evolution of research universities and ASU’s success as an innovation leader.   “By bringing together such a diverse and accomplished group, the McCain Institute reinforces the importance of character-driven leadership and makes an important contribution to the spread of democratic values.” 

            Every year, the Sedona Forum brings to Arizona influential military, political, humanitarian, and human rights leaders for a weekend of discussions about critical global challenges. Highlights from the 2016 session included a keynote conversation between Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and James R. Clapper, the current Director of National Intelligence; a panel on cyber-security featuring Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Admiral Michael S. Rogers,  the director of the National Security Agency and head of U.S. Cybercommand; as well as a discussion about the national security implication of the current political campaign among U.S. Senators Cory Booker, D-N.J., Angus King, I-Maine, Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Ben Sasse, R-Neb.

               “The Sedona Forum has become one of the preeminent venues for U.S. and world leaders to meet in an informal setting and discuss strategies for dealing with some of the most difficult challenges facing the world today,” said Retired Gen. Jim Jones, a former U.S. National Security Advisor to President Obama and Supreme Allied Commander Europe.

“Each year, the Sedona Forum brings together an impressive group of individuals for substantive, bipartisan discussions on the challenges facing our nation,” said Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “I enjoyed this year’s event and appreciate the work of all involved, especially John and Cindy McCain, the McCain Institute and Arizona State University.”

Also in attendance was Jeffrey Immelt, the Chairman and CEO of GE, who moderated a discussion about leadership in sports with Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals owner Michael Bidwell, and Dikembe Mutombo, the humanitarian activist and former NBA star.  For a complete list of this year’s participants, click here.

In addition to the GE Foundation, Arizona sponsors of the 2016 forum included:

  • Jeff and Kristen Cunningham
  • Freeport McMoRan
  • Greater Phoenix Economic Council
  • Greater Phoenix Leadership
  • NXP Semiconductor
  • PetSmart
  • Salt River Project

               Other highlights from the 2016 Sedona Forum included engagement with the McCain Institute’s Next Generation Leaders, and a conversation about humanitarian activism moderated by Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-ND, in which Cindy McCain discussed her work combatting human trafficking, and philanthropist Howard Buffett discussed his foundation’s work promoting food security, development, and conflict mitigation among impoverished and marginalized populations in Africa.

 “Participating in The Sedona Forum has become one of the highlights‎ on my calendar - engaging with incredible thinkers, scholars, global leaders, and humanitarians.  The Institute's humanitarian work – inspired by the leadership of Sen. and Cindy McCain - has continued to change outcomes and lives around the world and is one of the reasons I am so honored to participate in the Forum and continue my work with the Institute.  This year's conversation with Cindy McCain and Howard Buffett was insightful and provided a new perspective on how to address humanitarian challenges in Africa,” said Sen. Heitkamp.

“This was the most successful Sedona Forum yet,” said Ambassador Kurt Volker, Executive Director of the McCain Institute.  “We strive every year to bring to Arizona leading voices from around the world on the subjects that present the most significant challenges to United States and global security.   This brings great minds to Arizona, and showcases Arizona and ASU to the world.  Several participants have already told me they are leaving Sedona with new information and fresh ideas they will apply in their own work around the country and the world.”

For information about past Sedona Forums, click here.

About ASU

Arizona State University has developed a new model for the American Research University, creating an institution that is committed to access, excellence and impact. ASU measures itself by those it includes, not by those it excludes. As the prototype for a New American University, ASU pursues research that contributes to the public good, and ASU assumes major responsibility for the economic, social and cultural vitality of the communities that surround it.


Press Releases

ASU, Intercollegiate Tennis Association form strategic alliance

Governing body moves headquarters to Tempe

Arizona State University and the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA), the governing body for college tennis, announced a strategic alliance that will leverage the resources of a research-based university to grow the sport of tennis locally, nationally and globally.

The ITA will move its headquarters, currently located in Princeton, New Jersey, to the ASU Tempe campus. In addition to moving its headquarters, the ITA will work with Sun Devil Athletics to expand community outreach and accessibility, develop research-based initiatives and create a new collegiate tennis model centered on advancing the sport. The logos of Sun Devil Athletics and the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Download Full Image

“As the New American University, we are always looking for innovative ways to advance the experience of our student-athletes and the promotion of Olympic sports, and this alliance with the ITA is an opportunity to elevate Sun Devil tennis and grow the sport as a whole,” said Ray Anderson, vice president of University Athletics. “We are looking forward to collaborating with the ITA in all facets and disciplines Arizona State University has to offer.”

“The ITA is thrilled to be entering into this alliance with Arizona State,” said Timothy Russell, ITA chief executive officer. “The ITA and Arizona State are both forward-thinking and innovative, and share many of the same core values. The ITA looks forward to calling Tempe home as we serve college tennis and create the leaders of tomorrow.”

The ITA and Arizona State University strategic alliance holds the potential to transform the Valley of the Sun into the leading tennis community in the West. This collaboration will also demonstrate how a college campus can become the new ecosystem for growing American tennis, while also becoming an innovative, research-based global sports leader.

The alliance will focus on enhancing tennis participation and accessibility through community outreach, including the development of tennis programs for individuals of all ages, talent levels and socio-economic backgrounds Valley-wide. There is also a need to provide a site for elite athletes to train after they graduate from college. The average age of the Top 100 tennis professionals is approximately 26 for women and 27 for men, and this alliance will help address that training gap. ASU and the ITA will also utilize their resources to make the Valley a hub of tennis and sport technology research activity.

“The alliance between ASU and the ITA reinforces Ray Anderson’s and Sun Devil Athletics’ commitment to the enrichment and advancement of Olympic sports,” said Larry Scott, Pac-12 commissioner. “This multifaceted approach with its emphasis on the ASU community only serves to grow the sport and make it more accessible to future student-athletes.”

By aligning the forward-thinking vision of America’s most innovative university (according to U.S. News and World Report) with that of a creative leader in the world of intercollegiate athletics, ASU and the ITA will provide leadership for a new model for sport in a fast-paced and ever-changing world.

“Tennis has a great and rich history and is a global sport,” said Russell. “Tennis is a sport of a lifetime. At the ITA we really want to emphasize the wellness benefits that the sport brings to a community. While our mission is to serve all of college tennis, we also want to encourage those in the community to pick up a racket and embrace all of the benefits our sport has to offer.”

About the ITA

The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) is the governing body of college tennis, overseeing women's and men’s varsity tennis at NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and Junior/Community College. The ITA administers a comprehensive awards and rankings program for men's and women's varsity players, coaches and teams in all divisions, providing recognition for their accomplishments on and off the court. For more information on the ITA, visit the ITA website at, like the ITA on Facebook or follow @ITAtennis on Twitter.

About ASU

Arizona State University has developed a new model for the American Research University, creating an institution that is committed to access, excellence and impact. ASU measures itself by those it includes, not by those it excludes. As the prototype for a New American University, ASU pursues research that contributes to the public good, and ASU assumes major responsibility for the economic, social and cultural vitality of the communities that surround it.

ASU In the News

Mastercard Foundation awards $22M grant to ASU to help Ghana students

Phoenix Business Journal published a story about Arizona State University's $21.9 million grant from the MasterCard Foundation.  The grant is going to support 150 students from Ghana. 

The students will spend two years studying at ASU.  They will earn undergraduate and master's degrees that will help them support Ghana's economy, growing infrastructure and industries. Download Full Image

The goal is that these students will be returning to Ghana to help strengthen the community and economy.

Article Source: Phoenix Business Journal
ASU In the News

ASU receives $10 million NASA grant to develop new science education courseware

NASA is awarding a $10 million on a grant to Arizona State University, intended to encourage the development of next generation online courseware in science education.  

The grant will fund a five-year project and be led by faculty members at Arizona State.  Faculty will be building personalized, adaptive science courses, which respond to individual learners.  Download Full Image

Article Source: Inside Higher Ed
Press Releases

ASU receives $10 million NASA grant to develop the next generation science education courseware

March 28, 2016

Arizona State University has received a $10.18 million grant from NASA’s Science Mission Directorate Education Community to develop next-generation digital learning experiences that incorporate NASA science content.   Digital Science Courseware Download Full Image

Principal Investigator Lindy Elkins-Tanton and Deputy Principal Investigator Ariel Anbar of ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration (SESE) will lead the development and evaluation teams for this grant.

During the five-year program, ASU-based teams will work with the Inspark Science Network and ASU’s Center for Education Through eXploration (ETX), to develop a new way of learning and teaching through exploration of the unknown, at scale, via a digital learning design platform.

The Inspark Science Network is a joint initiative of ETX and adaptive learning pioneer Smart Sparrow, designed to promote active learning and teaching science through exploration.

The Network was launched in 2015, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to create new digital courseware that incorporates online simulations, virtual field trips and adaptive learning analytics to help students who typically fail science courses succeed.

“SESE is known for combining the creative strengths of science, engineering and education, setting the stage for a new era of exploration,” says Elkins-Tanton. “With this grant, we can promote a greater public understanding and appreciation for science, and inspire a new generation of explorers. We hope to share the exciting world of NASA science in a way that is both approachable and interactive.”

Of particular focus will be the “active and adaptive” approach to science education, where learning becomes interactive and the platform can be modified for different audiences and teaching goals. 

“The aim is to help learners become problem-solvers capable of exploring the unknown, rather than just mastering what is already known,” says Anbar. “It is learning science as process and as a universe of questions rather than as a dusty collection of facts.”

The ASU team is also led by Co-Investigators Steven Semken and Sheri Klug-Boonstra as well as ASU professor of practice and Smart Sparrow CEO Dror Ben-Naim. Other co-investigators include SESE’s Erik Asphaug, Jim Bell, Philip Christensen, Scott Parazynski, Meenakshi Wadhwa, Sara Imari Walker, David Williams and Patrick Young.

Together with Smart Sparrow, this team will develop personalized and adaptive learning experiences centered on astrobiology and “small bodies” such as Saturn’s moon Enceladus, Jupiter’s moon Europa, and asteroids. These are specific areas of expertise among the NASA subject matter experts on the ASU team.  

“By pairing the best of learning technology and design with NASA’s groundbreaking research and experience, educators will be able to inspire students in new ways,” says Ben-Naim.

In the near term, the focus will be on independent self-learners of science. In the longer term, the team seeks to expand the program to formal K-12 education, in coordination with NASA’s new education strategies. 

“This grant brings together education powerhouses – ASU and NASA, together with a trusted edtech partner – to promote STEM education through exploration," said Sethuraman “Panch” Panchanathan, chief research and innovation officer and executive vice president at the ASU Knowledge Enterprise. “This opportunity helps ASU engage and empower learners from all backgrounds and proficiencies to master concepts, ask open-ended questions regarding what’s next, and prepare to explore the unknown with the help of technology.”

NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD) Education Community vision is to share the story, the science, and the adventure of NASA's scientific explorations of our home planet, the solar system, and the universe beyond, through stimulating and informative activities and experiences created by experts, delivered effectively and efficiently to learners of many backgrounds via proven conduits, thus providing a direct return on the public's investment in NASA's scientific research.

About Arizona State University

Arizona State University has developed a new model for the American Research University, creating an institution that is committed to access, excellence and impact. ASU measures itself by those it includes, not by those it excludes. As the prototype for a New American University, ASU pursues research that contributes to the public good, and ASU assumes major responsibility for the economic, social and cultural vitality of the communities that surround it.

ASU In the News

D&D, theater collide in 'She Kills Monsters'

The play "She Kills Monsters," by Qui Nguyen, is an action-packed, '90s-themed romp through the fantasy world of Dungeons & Dragons that one critic calls “a much-needed exploration of girl geek culture.” Lance Gharavi, the ASU School of Film, Dance and Theatre professor who’s directing the play later this month at ASU’s Paul V. Galvin Playhouse, as part of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts’ Mainstage Season, says that it’s “a fun, zany, goofy piece of work that does, at the core of it, have something very serious. 

ASU’s production of “She Kills Monsters” has drawn the attention of Wizards of the Coast, the company behind Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering; recently, Trevor Kidd and Greg Tito, hosts of a podcast produced by Wizards of the Coast, interviewed Gharavi, along with the play’s star, Antoinette Martin-Hanson, an ASU freshman who also happens to be a trained stunt woman. She Kills Monsters The play "She Kills Monsters," by Qui Nguyen, is an action-packed, '90s-themed romp through the fantasy world of Dungeons & Dragons that one critic calls “a much-needed exploration of girl geek culture.”
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Listen to the Wizards of the Coast podcast here.

Find more information about ASU's presentation of "She Kills Monsters" and buy tickets here.

Article Source: Wizards of the Coast
Deborah Sussman Susser

Communications and media specialist, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts


Press Releases

Arizona State University climbs in American City Business Journals Rankings

ASU ranked top university in Arizona

Tempe, Ariz., February 26, 2016 Arizona State University has climbed nine spots in this year’s rankings from American City Business Journals, the parent company of  business publications across the country including the Phoenix Business Journal.  The rankings examine 477 public universities and colleges to determine which institutions offer the best educational experience to students.  Download Full Image

ASU ranked 57th and was the top-ranked university in Arizona, coming ahead of both the University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University.

Comparing these results with last year’s ratings, Arizona State University was up nine, while UA fell by 20, coming in at No. 99.  NAU was not in the top 250 listed schools last year but ranked No. 192 this year. 

The rankings are based on the latest data from the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.  Recent college rankings from Forbes, Kiplinger’s and U.S. News & World Report were also considered.  These results take into account selectivity of admissions, retention and graduation rates, reputations for prestige, resources, tuition affordability, housing costs, faculty and student diversity, and economically robust communities

To read the more about the rankings, please consult the Phoenix Business Journal article.


ASU In the News

ASU alum combines electronics, music and Mason jars

Herberger Institute grad Cristóbal Martínez (BA, Studio Art, 2002; BFA, Painting, 2002; MA, Media Arts & Sciences, 2011) plans to use a $5,000 artist research and development grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts to expand and reinvent the artists’ collective he directs at the Pueblo Grande Museum.

Two other Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts alums also received artist research and development grants for 2016 from the commission: Carla Keaton (BFA, Painting, 2009) and M. Jenea Sanchez (BFA, Intermedia Art, 2007; MFA, Intermedia Art 2011). Download Full Image

A digital media artist who lives in Mesa, Martínez leads Radio Healer. He describes it as an indigenous electro-acoustic performance of experimental music composed for, and played on, traditional and electronic indigenous instruments.

Radio Healer’s members are all Chicano or Native American artists.

Martínez is also a member of the Indigenous interdisciplinary arts collective Postcommodity, which has collaborated with the ASU Art Museum several times, most recently in the fall of 2015, when Postcommodity erected a two-mile “repellent fence” of tethered balloons that bisected Arizona’s border with Mexico.

Article Source: East Valley Tribune
Deborah Sussman Susser

Communications and media specialist, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts