The Edson Initiative has undergone several significant upgrades within the past year. Expressly, Gordon McConnell, ASU Assistant Vice President for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Venture Acceleration, has set a new vision for the accelerator by leveraging an expanded pool of industry-expert mentors and “pracademic” startup training resources. This reboot, coined “Edson 2.0,” has been designed to directly impact the Edson companies’ ability to successfully execute their business models, deliver valuable products or services, and most importantly, create local jobs. Tracy Lea, a Venture Manager within the ASU Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group, has been charged with leading the new Edson Initiative. You may learn more about the key aspects of the Edson accelerator by viewing the following video:
Giving ASU Students the Resources to Launch
Their Ideas and Make Them a Reality
The endowment provides a total of $200,000 annually in seed funding. Each year up to 20 ventures will be granted up to $20,000 to help subsidize expenses for developing their new venture. Money granted could be used for such things as market research, building a prototype, and legal fees to name a few.
Funded ventures will be provided office space at SkySong, located in South Scottsdale, through their award year. The SkySong facility provides a professional setting for early stage entrepreneurs to develop their ventures and also to interact and learn from peer entrepreneurs, local, and international businesses.
Training and Coaching
Throughout the award year Edson companies participate in a series of workshops with guest speakers that include successful entrepreneurs and professionals with expertise useful to start-up businesses. Furthermore, each venture is provided ongoing entrepreneurial coaching by the Venture Catalyst team and the Edson mentor network.
The Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative has been made possible by an investment of $5.4 million from Orin Edson to the Arizona State University Foundation. A lifelong boater, Mr. Edson started a small company out of his garage that he eventually built into Bayliner Marine Corp., the world’s largest manufacturer of pleasure and luxury boats. Mr. Edson sold his interest in Bayliner to Brunswick Corporation in 1986.
2. To give ASU students the opportunity to acquire entrepreneurial skills, knowledge and perspective.
3. To link ASU student entrepreneurs with successful private sector entrepreneurs.
4. To increase the number of new companies and products brought to market by ASU students.