Named for its location on First Avenue and its fusion of performing and visual arts, fashion, and entrepreneurship, Fusion on First offers a way to engage students interested in those academic programs and provides connections to creative entrepreneurship opportunities. Fusion on First is one of the many creative spaces available to entrepreneurs provided by the J. Orin Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute.
At Edson E+I, we believe that ideas in their early stages thrive with access to resources and funding opportunities. The Fusion on First Innovation Fund is an exclusive opportunity available to Fusion on First coworking space users who are full-time students at ASU. Students have the opportunity to apply for $250 to advance their entrepreneurial, innovative, or creative experience at ASU. This funding can be applied to ideas, projects, ventures, and experiences related to entrepreneurship, innovation and creative endeavors.
For the Fall 2023 cycle, we were able to award three students with funding to pursue their entrepreneurial endeavors. Amrit Singh Johal was one student awarded $250 to support an upcoming tabling campaign for his venture, ShareEZ.
With the right support and, in many cases, access to funding, student entrepreneurs have the potential to build some of the most impactful businesses and create brands we all recognize and admire.
A Conversation with Fusion on First Innovation Fund Awardee
In honor of International Day of Education, Fusion on First Community Manager, Jesus Lopez, sat down with Amrit to learn more about his venture and path ahead. The conversation is a great example of how students are an impactful necessity to our communities.
Jesus: Hi Amrit, Can you introduce yourself and give us a brief introduction to your venture?
Amrit: My name is Amrit Singh Johal. I lived at Fusion on First during my freshman year and currently reside in Tempe. Currently, I’m a sophomore where I am majoring in molecular biosciences and biotechnology with two minors in psychology and sustainability.
ShareEZ is an online platform that helps students move off campus more easily. Our mission is to make the transition from a dorm or on-campus living situation to independent living more seamless. Currently, many students juggle different platforms and communications channels, like Facebook and Discord, to find housing opportunities. We also recognize that students find it hard to connect with potential roommates from these services. Even with these platforms, it’s a gamble on the accommodation, the roommates, and the safety of it all.
Jesus: What sparked the inspiration to start ShareEZ?
Amrit: Up until this past August, I was living on-campus and struggled with meeting people to coordinate an off-campus living situation. As an introvert, I struggled to create those relationships. This is my first time living on my own and living in another country, I struggled with being able to secure housing that was more affordable than the on-campus options. In my current area, there are housing complexes everywhere, but being able to cut through all the information that each complex provides becomes overwhelming. This is what sparked my interest in creating a platform where students like me could find verified, safe and affordable accommodations which are based on their personal interests. The platform would pull all the different information provided by apartment complexes into an easy-to-access platform. Hopefully simplifying the process will allow students to focus on what is really important – their academics.
Jesus: How will you use the funding you received from the Innovation Fund?
Amrit: Again, thank you so much for awarding my application the reward. I aim to use the funds to help further community input into my venture. I will be purchasing materials to use this upcoming semester to have a table at various events. I still need student input on what they want to see in a product like mine. I’m also still looking for team members to support this product. This funding will help me achieve the next step in my journey.
Visit the Space and Get Started
Entrepreneurship isn’t just a lucrative career path for graduates; it’s a mindset that brings benefits to all. Whether you’re considering starting your own venture as a student or right after college, Edson E+I at Fusion on First is here to help you find the support you need.
The Fusion on First team is excited to continue to provide a variety of opportunities for workspace users. Come by and meet with our staff!