Frequently Asked Questions
- What is a new venture?
A new venture can range from an early-stage service or product concept to an established company or a nonprofit organization. This program is intended for students who want to explore entrepreneurship as a career option, as well as those who already have entrepreneurial experience.
- Where can I go for help in preparing my new venture concept proposal and after my new venture is funded?
There will be information sessions that will explain the program as well as review basic new venture concepts. Please see the calendar for more information. You may also visit the Resources page for coaching sessions information and a sample concept proposal.
- Can I receive course credit for participation in this program?
At this time the program does not have agreements in place with ASU academic units to provide course credit, but it is a future goal.
- What are the important dates and schedule of events?
Please visit the Calendar to learn more about the timeline.
- Do I have to form a company or a nonprofit organization before I can apply for funding?
No. In fact, we believe that many ASU teams will take advantage of this program to determine the feasibility of a business concept. We do encourage companies selected for the program to form their company in the first quarter.
- If the awards are granted on the calendar year, what if I graduate in the spring or summer? Can I still apply for the program?
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. That means that seniors graduating in May are encouraged to apply as the venture can be worked on after graduation.
- What are the primary objectives of the program?
The objectives of the Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative are:
- To generate interest in building new ventures and entrepreneurship as a career path among ASU students.
- To give ASU students the opportunity to acquire entrepreneurial skills, knowledge and perspective.
- To link ASU student entrepreneurs with successful private sector entrepreneurs.
- To increase the number of new companies and products brought to market by ASU students.
- To generate new ventures that provide economic, social and/or financial returns.
- What will be the judging criteria?
Judging will be based on the team's business strategy, market analysis, budget, entrepreneurial qualifications, and its return on investment potential. The Judging Criteria page has more details.
- When and how will award money be distributed? Does a team get an award check at the beginning of the program?
Typically award letters are sent out within a month after award notification. The award letters are the official agreement between the responsible student and the University.
The letter will cover how much money is awarded to the venture, by when the funds need to be spent, whether the venture will receive space in the facility, IP issues, and the flow of funds. Briefly, here's how the money will flow:
- Student receives award letter that outlines general amounts and uses of funds (in accordance with their budget, plus subsequent changes that might be made as a result of their interviews).
- Students procure services and products.
- Students verify services have been completed.
- Edson Initiative staff receives invoices from product/service providers and authorizes payment.
- Award money is not disbursed directly to the student venture. Award money is disbursed to the team leader for the venture.
- Can my team be funded for more than one year?
Concept Proposals should focus on only those activities that can be completed during the award year. If the nature of the venture requires a longer time frame, it should be justified in the Concept Proposal. Awards will be given annually, but ventures will be permitted to apply for funding in subsequent years.
- Where is the program located?
The Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative is located on the second floor in SkySong at 1475 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, Arizona, on the SE corner of Scottsdale Rd and McDowell Rd.
- Who is the benefactor behind the Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative?
Orin Edson donated $5.4 million to the Arizona State University Foundation to fund the Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative. A lifelong boater, Mr. Edson started a small company out of his garage that he eventually built up 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.
- Who will own the rights to the new ideas that are funded through the Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative?
Receiving an award from the Edson Initiative does not automatically transfer your intellectual property (IP) to ASU. However, if a student, whether graduate or not, uses substantial University resources to commercialize a technology, the rights to that technology will be owned by the University, and if revenue is generated, the inventors will receive a portion per Arizona Board of Regents policy. If this is not the case with your venture, the IP remains yours as the inventor.
View the following policies on the Arizona Board of Regents website:
Policy on IP and Tech Transfer Policy
- Can I be a member of more than one team? Can I be the team leader of more than one venture?
- Do I have to have a team or can I submit my venture alone?
You can submit alone, however we recommend forming multi-disciplinary teams of around 3-5 people.
- Do all of the members in a team need to be ASU students?
Not necessarily, but keep in mind that the intent of the program is to encourage ASU entrepreneurs.