Jump-starting the start-ups – ASU program (funded by local entrepreneur) encourages student entrepreneurs

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In the race to develop new technology-based products, the Valley lags years behind other parts of the country.

But a $5.4 million donation to Arizona State University might help the region catch up.

The money is funding a program to cultivate student business start-ups. It is part of a trend at business schools nationwide to help good ideas become moneymaking ventures.

ASU’s Edson Student Entrepreneurship Initiative, created with money from retired boat manufacturer Orin Edson, the founder of Bayliner Boat Co., will be one of the best-financed university entrepreneurship programs in the country, experts said.

Edson, who started his own business while still in college, owns a house in the Valley.

Each year, students will compete for a total of $200,000 in grants ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 apiece. The grants will fund the efforts of students who want to start a business while still working on their degrees.

Matt Hanson
The Arizona Republic

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