SkySong brings together university research with entrepreneurial community

Unusual in that it straddles the line between academia and private enterprise, ASU SkySong made a major directional shift in 2010 from a university department intended to spark student interest in entrepreneurship to one directly charged with creating jobs, bringing to market the fruits of ASU research and contributing to statewide economic development.

Arizona State University’s SkySong business-development program has undergone dramatic changes in its first four years of existence. In some respects, the program is still trying to define its proper role in the community.

Founded in 2008, ASU SkySong opened in the middle of a recession as an effort to connect Arizona State University’s pool of intellectual talent with the Phoenix area’s vibrant but fragmented entrepreneurial community.

Program administrators are now pushing even harder to encourage entrepreneurs and businesses to license and market a variety of ASU-developed inventions that include an anti-nerve gas, a plant-based antibody for West Nile virus, security improvements to mobile cloud computing, tunable microchip-based microphones and a 3-D face-recognition system.

by J. Craig Anderson

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