Flinn Scholars News

ASU tech commercialization programs in demand


Two new Arizona State University tech venturing programs are achieving considerable success in generating both interest and spin-off companies. The high demand for their services has driven them both to expand their programs.

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Two new Arizona State University tech venturing programs are achieving considerable success in generating both interest and spin-off companies.

ASU Technopolis, a program that provides educational and mentoring services to technology and life sciences entrepreneurs, has received so much demand for its Launch Pad program that it has decided to offer it on a continuous basis.

Its two other programs, Technology and Life Science Entrepreneurship and the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) workshops, have also drawn keen interest from the community. SBIR workshops, which train entrepreneurs in preparing award-winning proposals for the federal government's SBIR grants program, are offered in partnership with the Arizona Department of Commerce and the Arizona Technology Council.

"Phoenix has always had a reputation for being a great place to be an entrepreneur," said Rob Melnick, ASU's associate vice president for economic affairs and public policy. "We're very pleased with the early success of ASU Technopolis, which demonstrates that the region is full of excellent technology and life science ideas and entrepreneurs that want to 'make it happen'."

Technopolis was launched in October 2003.

ASU's technology commercialization entity, Arizona Technology Enterprises LLC (AzTE), continues to make significant strides in helping ASU researchers create spin-off companies to bring their discoveries to market. Peter Slate, chief executive of AzTE, told the Business Journal that he expects to spin-off five companies and a smattering of technology licensing agreements in 2003 alone. This compares to six spin-offs in the 10 years prior to AzTE's formation in April, the Business Journal reported.

AzTE takes a proactive approach, reaching out to university professors and educating them about the opportunities for commercializing their research. Slate told the Journal that the group is hoping to create a "culture change" at the university, teaching researchers to be mindful of commercialization opportunities as they create new technology.

Student involvement is a key goal for AzTE, and the company will launch the Technology Venturing Clinic this spring semester. The clinic will give 10-12 students from various colleges at ASU an opportunity to participate in the real word of technology venturing while earning college credit.

For more information:

ASU Technopolis

Arizona Technology Enterprises

"ASU Technopolis elicits strong response, participation," ASU News, 12/17/2003

"ASU Technopolis will up offerings to meet demand," Business Journal, 12/15/2003

"ASU tech-venturing office creates companies, positive buzz," Business Journal, 12/08/2003

"ASU tech-transfer firm makes gains in stroke-prevention research," Business Journal, 12/22/2003