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How to Apply

New Venture
Deadline: April 1, 2014 by 11:59 pm

The Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative (ESEI) seeks to encourage entrepreneurially oriented students to develop and grow new ventures based on their own concepts.

All student teams are expected to abide by the specific rules provided below, but ESEI realizes that there are situations that may require close examination. ESEI does reserve the right to disqualify any team that violates the rules, regulations, or the spirit of the Initiative.

Three Easy Steps to Apply

1.     Read through ALL six of the application-related web pages linked on the left-hand side of this page.  These pages contain important information meant to improve your chances of winning.
2.     Be sure that your proposal(s) align exactly with the Judging Criteria, which is detailed on the web page linked on the left-hand side of this page.  We recommend that you also use the Edson Proposal Suggested Template (PDF), which is also linked to the left, to properly format your proposal(s) prior to submission.

3.     Upload your finished proposal(s) to the competition via the iStart platform by 11:59 pm on Tuesday, April 1, 2014.  

PLEASE NOTE: Each individual proposal must be linked to different emails. See the New Venture Application Form linked on the left-hand side of this page for detailed instructions.  Be sure to allow at least 30 to 40 minutes to complete the iStart application process prior to the deadline.

Venture and Team Eligibility Guidelines 

• The Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative supports student created, managed, and owned ventures.
• The Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative is open to all students across the university. The team lead of the venture must be an ASU student at time of award. This means that seniors graduating in May are eligible and encouraged to apply as the venture can be worked on after graduation.
• The team leader can be enrolled in any ASU program as either an undergraduate or graduate student. 

Team Composition

There is no restriction on team size, however three to five people on the team is suggested.
Multi-disciplinary teams are highly encouraged.
Non-students may be members of the venture’s management team, however only enrolled ASU students are eligible to apply as the team leader.

Nature of Ventures 

The Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative is seeking new, independent ventures in the seed, start-up, or early growth stages.  Generally excluded are the following: buy outs, real estate syndications, tax shelters, and franchises.

Application Workshops

Attending an Application Workshop will give you a better idea of what goes into planning a new venture and how to write a competitive new venture concept proposal. It will also give you an opportunity to meet fellow students who may have similar venturing interests. See the Calendar for more details about Application Workshops, office hours and other ESEI events. Attendance at a workshop is NOT required to submit a New Venture Concept Proposal but is highly recommended.

If you are unable to attend an in-person workshop or office hours, you may view the “how to apply to Edson” video on the Resources section of the Startup Bowl web page. 

Start developing your new venture concept

After attending one of the Application Workshops and finding a team, start developing your venture concept. Be sure to review the judging criteria, as well as the rules for use of funds.

Seek advisors and/or mentors

Once a general plan has been developed, seek out advice from those familiar with your chosen industry, both on and off campus.

Submit your New Venture Concept Proposal and Team Application 

The Concept Proposal is a written conceptualization of your new venture. Teams not meeting the submission deadline will not be qualified for review. The proposal should be a clear and concise representation of your ideas for the judging panel. There is no set page limit for your proposal submission; however, a length of 5-10 pages is suggested. When you are ready to submit your application please read the terms and conditions below, and then follow the link to our new online application. 


By submitting an Application and New Venture Concept Proposal (“the Proposal”) to the Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative (“the Initiative”), each applicant listed above agrees to the following conditions:

·   Each team member has reviewed the Initiative Guidelines and agrees to abide by the Guidelines.  Failure to do so will result in entry disqualification and/or forfeiture of funds.

·   It is the team’s responsibility to protect any highly confidential or trade secret information.  Proposals will be handled confidentially.  The legal protection of the ideas and plans submitted by the applicants to the Initiative is otherwise the sole responsibility of the applicants.

·   Once submitted, the Concept Proposals become part of the Initiative and will not be returned.  Applicants are advised to keep their own copies for reference.

·   All decisions made by the judges on all matters relating to the Initiative will be final and not open to appeal or negotiation.

·   The Initiative reserves the unrestricted right to interpret these rules, and to alter, amend or change them, at its discretion.

·   Each Applicant understands that the Initiative’s co-sponsors, judges, mentors, co-organizers (the “Initiative Officials”) and its directors, officers, partners, employees, consultants and agents (collectively “Organizer Representatives”) are volunteers.  In consideration for their time, expertise and other resources, each Applicant hereby voluntarily releases the Initiative, each Initiative Official and each Organizing Representative from any further liabilities, responsibilities, and accountabilities relating to or arising out of such Officials or Organizer Representative's participation in the Initiative.

After Proposals are Submitted

All proposals submitted on time that meet qualifications will be reviewed and select proposals will be advanced to the semifinalist round.  Semifinalists will go through a second review process, from this pool a group of finalists will be selected to present in mid-May 2014.  Please do not contact the Edson office regarding your proposal status.  Emails will be sent to team leaders providing status on the team’s advancement to the next round.

Prepare for finalist presentations

Selected finalists will be invited to give presentations to an ESEI judging panel in mid-May 2014.  Upon completion of the presentations, the judging panel will make their award decisions based on the written proposals and presentations.