Entrepreneurship at ASU: A Permanent Revolution
Entrepreneurship at ASU
As a New American University, Arizona State University is guided by eight design aspirations that influence its growth and transformation. Among these guiding principles is a deep commitment to valuing entrepreneurship in all forms.
ASU is known for its unique and effective approach to growing an entrepreneurial enterprise within a public university system. Here entrepreneurship is not confined to a single college or school, nor is it housed in one center or institute. Valuing entrepreneurship means that it is more than just a class or a program; it is a mindset that is woven into the fabric of the university, permeating every activity. ASU students, faculty and staff in every discipline and at every level work to identify local and global needs, articulate how to meet them and implement entrepreneurial solutions.
Since President Michael Crow began creating the New American University more than ten years ago, entrepreneurship and innovation have been at the forefront of the transformation of ASU, from expanding entrepreneurial thought and education across all colleges and programs of study to creating student-led “Changemaker Central” locations to drive impactful social innovation.
As ASU grows and strengthens its entrepreneurial focus, its entrepreneurship classes, programs and initiatives continue to evolve and expand. One thing that remains constant, however, is the university’s unwavering commitment to valuing entrepreneurship. Indeed, entrepreneurship at ASU is truly a permanent revolution.
Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group
The Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group launched in October 2010 as ASU Venture Catalyst, a unit created as a joint initiative between the Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development and Arizona Technology Enterprises. Originally created to accelerate high-potential startup companies, Venture Catalyst grew over the past three years to encompass not just startup acceleration but a broad range of entrepreneurship-related activities across the university, the metro area and the state. In light of its broadened mission, the unit was renamed the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group in July 2013.
Led by Gordon McConnell, assistant vice president for innovation, entrepreneurship and venture acceleration, the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group is based at ASU SkySong in Scottsdale and supports students, faculty and staff as well as alumni and community members in their entrepreneurial endeavors. The group serves as a central point of entry for the ASU community to explore entrepreneurship and innovation and learn about the wide range of entrepreneurship-related classes, programs and resources available throughout the university and within the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
The group also helps entrepreneurs launch their for-profit, nonprofit and more-than-profit ventures through programs such as the Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative and the Arizona Furnace Technology Transfer Accelerator, which provide funding, incubation space and mentorship to high-potential startups.
In addition, EIG helps grow ASU’s entrepreneurial ecosystem by providing opportunities for students, faculty and staff with an interest in entrepreneurship to come together and share ideas and resources. The group also works to build Arizona’s entrepreneurial ecosystem with community-wide initiatives such as the Alexandria Co-working Network, a statewide network of collaboration spaces in public libraries.