Eric Lehnhardt, co-founder and executive director of FlashFood, received a bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering from ASU's Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering in 2012 and is currently pursuing a master's degree in the same field. While an undergraduate, Lehnhardt and his classmates in the Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) course founded FlashFood, which works to reduce food insecurity and the environmental impact of food waste by connecting restaurants, caterers and others with perishable food to community organizations that serve the hungry. Donors use FlashFood’s mobile app to notify nearby community organizations when they have excess food to donate. The organizations coordinate pickup of the donations and alert community members via text message that food is arriving.
FlashFood, a two-time winner of ASU's Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative, is currently being piloted in the Phoenix area and anticipates a full launch in Phoenix by the end of 2013. The company, which recently received a $25,000 grant from the Ford Motor Company through the Ford College Community Challenge (FORD C3) program, has also garnered a number of honors in national and international competitions, including:
- First place, 2012 U.S. Microsoft Imagine Cup competition
- Best in Showcase, 2012 YUM! Global Sustainability Challenge
- People’s Choice Award, Dell Social Innovation Challenge
- Finalist, Inc. Magazine’s Coolest College Startup of 2013
The venture also was among winners of the ASU Innovation Challenge, the Entrepreneurs@ASU Elevator Pitch Competition and the ASU 10,000 Solutions Leap Day Challenge.
Jared Schoepf is a graduate student in chemical engineering at ASU and the founder of SafeSIPP, a water transportation and purification system.
Schoepf and his fellow ASU chemical engineering classmates Lindsay Fleming and Taylor Barker founded SafeSIPP to solve three critical problems facing rural communities in the developing world: transportation, purification and storage of drinking water. SafeSIPP was formed out of ASU’s EPICS (Engineering Projects in Community Service) class, where students are encouraged to use their training as engineers to solve real-world, crisis-level problems. In the EPICS program, Schoepf and his classmates developed a life-changing water transportation system that increases the amount of water that can be collected at a time to more than double the standard. Their unique system has made barrels of water so easy to transport that it has drastically reduced the amount of time it takes by 75 percent. The team also added a purification unit within the barrel so that as it is transported, the water is purified as it moves.
In 2013, Schoepf was named a top-five finalist in Entrepreneur Magazine's College Entrepreneur of the Year competition. SafeSIPP has been featured in the Huffington Post, Fast Company and the Phoenix Business Journal as well on NPR, CBS 5, 12 News and ABC15.
Amy Jo Martin founded Digital Royalty to help companies, celebrities and professional sports leagues, teams and athletes build, measure and monetize their digital universe. Digital Royalty also provides customized social media education programs through Digital Royalty University, which offers a comprehensive curriculum blending strategic and tactical training.
In October 2012, Martin published the New York Times Best-Seller "Renegades Write the Rules." She has nearly 1.3 million Twitter followers (@AmyJoMartin), and she travels the world to speak about the latest trends in social media, how to monetize various social platforms and how to successfully build a personal brand using social media. Her audiences have ranged from the Harvard Business School and National Sports Forum to the Design Leadership Summit in Venice, Italy.
Martin is also a regular contributor to news outlets such as the Harvard Business Review and Sports Business Journal. She and Digital Royalty have been featured in top-tier media outlets that include Vanity Fair, TIME, Forbes, The New York Times, Fast Company, ESPN SportsCenter, USA Today, MSNBC and Newsweek. Digital Royalty’s clients include Shaquille O’Neal, FOX Sports, The X-Factor and the Chicago White Sox.
Aaron Matos is the founder and CEO of Jobing.com. He has led the organization through a variety of new market startups and strategic acquisitions, creating an environment of unparalleled client service. In 2010, Aaron added Recruiting.com to the organization's acquisition history and developed a full line of software-as-a-service recruitment solutions. The company name officially changed to Recruiting.com in 2012 to signify the company's expansion as a provider of cloud-based recruiting solutions.
Aaron is a graduate of ASU's W. P. Carey School of Business, and he earned his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He is currently a board member of the W. P. Carey School's Dean's Council of 100, a national group of prominent executives who advise the school. In 2010, he was honored with the school's Distinguished Achievement Award. That same year, he was named one of the Valley's most admired CEOs by the Phoenix Business Journal for outstanding people practices.
Executive Director, Digital Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication
Retha Hill is the executive director of the Digital Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. The lab’s journalism and computer science majors create innovative products, including Web applications, social media tools and mobile apps, for media clients. Students also have opportunities to create their own media companies and products in the lab.
Hill, who also serves as a Fellow at the ASU Center for Games and Impact, joined the ASU faculty in 2007 after eight years at BET, where she was vice president for content for BET Interactive. In that senior role, she was in charge of content strategy and convergence with the television network. Before joining BET, Hill was executive producer for special projects at washingtonpost.com. She started her career as a reporter for The Washington Post and The Charlotte Observer.
She is a 2012 AEJMC/Knight Innovations Award grant winner and a 2010 Knight News Challenge winner for SeedSpeak, a platform she created for location-based collaboration She also received a grant from J-Lab Women Entrepreneurs in 2010 for a mobile app that uses augmented reality to find black history in cities across the country.
Hill received the New Media Catalyst Award from the National Association of Minority Media Executives. She also has been president of the Washington Association of Black Journalists and a fellow at the McCormick Tribune Management Program and the Al Fitzpatrick Leadership Development Institute. She was previously an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism.
Hill earned a master’s Degree from ASU in December 2012. She is writing a book on blacks and dementia and operates the site www.blackeldercare.com
Professor, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, and Associate Dean, Barrett Honors College
Mark Henderson is a professor of engineering, the associate dean of the Barrett Honors College and the founding director of GlobalResolve, an ASU social entrepreneurship program dedicated to reducing the effects of poverty in global and local communities. GlobalResolve is currently leading teams in Ghana, Mexico, India and Arizona in sustainable clean water, health and energy solutions, with the goal of improving quality of life and creating economic opportunity.
Henderson is co-founder of InnovationSpace, a multidisciplinary product-development course sequence, and a partner in DaylightSolutions, an LLC working in off-grid power for the developing world. He received a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Purdue University, and his research interests include design for the developing world, global teaming and technology development.
Professor, School of Film, Dance and Theatre, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts
Linda Essig heads ASU’s Pave Program in Entrepreneurship, which has helped develop 31 arts-based ventures in the Phoenix area and beyond since its inception in 2005. She was founding director of the School of Theatre and Film in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, where she also served as artistic director of the school’s MainStage Season from 2004–2010.
A professional lighting designer, Essig’s design for the ASU production of Suzan–Lori Parks’ “Venus” was part of the U.S. National Exhibit of theatrical design at the Prague Quadrennial, the largest performance design event in the world, in 2007. Essig has designed lighting for theatres throughout the country, including Cleveland Playhouse, Milwaukee Rep, Missouri Rep, Utah Shakespearean Festival, Skylight Opera, La Mama ETC, Pioneer Theatre, Madison Repertory Theatre and others. She currently works with the NEA-funded “Home in the Desert Project” on program evaluation.
Essig is the author of articles and book chapters on both arts entrepreneurship and lighting design as well as two books, "Lighting and the Design Idea" (published in a third edition in 2012 with co-author Jen Setlow) and "The Speed of Light: Dialogues on Lighting Design and Technological Change." She was a member of the boards of directors of the Phoenix Fringe Festival and the United States Institute for Theatre Technology.
Her blog, http://creativeinfrastructure.wordpress.com, covers arts entrepreneurship, arts policy, higher education in the arts and, occasionally, cooking. You can follow her on Twitter @LindaInPhoenix.
Sidnee Peck is the director of entrepreneurial initiatives for ASU's W. P. Carey School of Business as well as an entrepreneur, educator and advocate for entrepreneurship in Arizona. At ASU, she teaches entrepreneurship to students in all areas of study and has developed an interdisciplinary certificate in Knowledge Entrepreneurship and Innovation as well as a set of senior- and graduate-level courses in customer development and financing, enabling students of any passion, interest or skill set to explore entrepreneurship. She also serves as the business-faculty representative for Innovation Space, a product development course in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.
Sidnee earned a bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of New Mexico’s Anderson School of Management and an MBA from ASU. She has been trained by Steve Blank in Lean LaunchPad methodology and mentors and consults for young startup companies in the customer development and lean spaces. In 2009, she became a partner in the technology-based signature verification startup Alaris Inc.