Tag Archives: arizona state university

Staying Innovative as a One Man Operation

Arizona businesses win Spirit of Enterprise Awards

We all win when local companies grow, create jobs and help boost our still-recovering economy. Today, several of the state’s best businesses were honored for their positive role in our communities. They’re the winners of the 18th annual Spirit of Enterprise Awards from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

“We enjoy recognizing locally owned companies that introduce innovation, empower employees, impress customers, and make a real difference in Arizona,” says Sidnee Peck, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “This year’s Spirit of Enterprise Award winners are in a variety of industries, and they all meet a market need and have a great impact on the Valley.”

Hundreds of business and community leaders attended today’s awards luncheon at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix, where the winners were announced. The finalists’ impressive stories were shown on video, as the firms were lauded for ethics, energy and excellence in entrepreneurship.

The 2014 Spirit of Enterprise Award winners are:

• Ersland Touch Landscape – Overcoming Adversity Award. This state-of-the-art landscape maintenance company started as a one-man, one-mower operation run out of a garage. After 30 years in business, it now has a complete customer “feedback log,” an Adopt a Highway commitment, work with nonprofits, and more than 400 residences and 20 homeowner associations as clients.

• IO – Emerging Enterprise Award. This growing firm is focused on rethinking data-center technology, using software solutions, instead of just physical locations. It has more than 650 global clients, including Goldman Sachs and LexisNexis, as well as two patents and an emphasis on energy efficiency.

• I-ology – Gary L. Trujillo Minority Enterprise Award sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona. This woman-owned technology company offers Web design and related services. It features close client relationships, heavy community involvement, and no management hierarchy, offering all employees a chance to participate in revenue sharing, stock options, flexible schedules and industry events.

• Kitchell – The Hahnco Companies Special Achievement in Entrepreneurship Award. This 100-percent employee-owned commercial builder, developer and program manager launched 65 years ago. It now has more than 850 employees, international operations, an internal leadership program, significant charitable contributions, and a focus on enabling employee-driven innovation.

• Melrose Pharmacy – Innovation in Entrepreneurship Award. This independent pharmacy offers fast, highly personalized service; utilizes cutting-edge equipment; and supports charities like the March of Dimes and local community issues. It has also achieved a 119-percent increase in net income already for this year.

The other Spirit of Enterprise finalists this year were Clean Air Cab, Endless Entertainment, India Plaza/The Dhaba, The James Agency and Potter’s House Apothecary.

Also this year, the Spirit of Enterprise Student Entrepreneur Award went to Anthony Gonzales, a recent W. P. Carey School of Business MBA graduate. Gonzales is a finalist in Entrepreneur magazine’s College Entrepreneur of the Year competition with his grant-winning, ongoing development of FITGuard, a mouthguard designed to indicate levels of head impact for athletes, as well as a smartphone application that can provide data to a diagnosing physician.

The event also included its first-ever National Founder of the Year award. The honoree is Sam Calagione, founder and president of Delaware-based Dogfish Head Brewery. Calagione’s family-owned business started small and grew about 400 percent in just four years. He still experiments with new products, works creatively with other breweries and food companies, and has written books about his experiences as an entrepreneur.

The Spirit of Enterprise Awards are just one focus of the Center for Entrepreneurship, which helps hundreds of businesses each year. The center offers companies the chance to recruit and meet with top student talent, while also allowing students to get hands-on business-creation experience. The center recently introduced the Sun Devil Select competition to honor ASU alum-owned or alum-led businesses. The center is also self-funded and utilizes community sponsorships to sustain its activities. For more information, visit wpcarey.asu.edu/entrepreneurship.

stem.cell

ASU revises royalty policy, more proceeds to researchers

Arizona State University researchers with inventions licensed to existing companies or to form new startups will be entitled to a larger share of the proceeds under a new university policy developed by the Intellectual Property and Institutional Review Committee and approved by President Michael Crow.

Under the previous policy, net licensing proceeds (after administrative and legal fees) were split equally between the inventor(s), their lab(s) and the university. Effective as of Nov. 1, the “lab share” will be reduced so that a greater percentage of royalties flow directly to inventors.

“For the modern American research university, technology transfer is a critically important pathway for disseminating the knowledge needed to solve major societal challenges and boost our state and regional economies,” said Crow. “For the past decade we have reshaped our efforts in this area to engage more of the faculty in this process, speed the journey from lab to market and reward inventors for their time and effort.”

Technology transfer at U.S. research institutions is governed by the 1980 Bayh-Dole Act, which set consistent ground rules for inventions arising from federal funding. Prior to Bayh-Dole, the rights to most university technologies reverted to the funding agencies, with the result being that the government had successfully licensed fewer than five percent of the technologies represented by the 28,000 patents it had accumulated.

Bayh-Dole sought to spur innovation and increase the number of research discoveries that were translated into treatments, products or services that benefit the general public. Under its provisions, universities own these inventions and are required to share royalties with the inventors, though they have broad flexibility in how they structure the payouts.

“The changes to ASU’s royalty-sharing policy are designed to incentivize innovation and were adopted after an intensive process involving faculty input and deliberation,” said Sethuraman “Panch” Panchanathan, ASU’s senior vice president for Knowledge Enterprise Development. “The new model recognizes and incentivizes the transformational research being done by ASU faculty across every department and campus.”

For the first $10,000 in net income for a licensed technology: The creator(s) receive half of net royalties, with the lab receiving one-sixth and the university one-third.

After the first $10,000 in net income: The creator share varies by the number of listed inventors on a sliding scale from 40 percent for a solo inventor up to 50 percent for five or more. The university share remains one-third and the lab share adjusts accordingly. The lab share is capped at $2 million on an annual basis.

The full policy on royalty sharing is available here.

Arizona Technology Enterprises (AzTE) is a separate limited liability company formed in 2003 that acts as ASU’s exclusive intellectual property management and technology transfer organization. Funded by ASU, AzTE comprises industry and university professionals with extensive experience in technology evaluation, product development, marketing, capital formation, IP protection and licensing and commercialization.

ASU, through the activities of AzTE, is annually one of the top-performing U.S. universities in terms of intellectual property inputs (inventions disclosed by ASU researchers) and outputs (licensing deals and start-ups) relative to the size of the university’s research enterprise.

The Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) prepares an annual report collecting the technology commercialization results for almost 200 universities and research hospitals. In the past five years, among research institutions that achieved at least $300 million in annual research expenditures, ASU was one of just four schools to achieve top 10 rankings for licensing agreements, startups and invention disclosures per $10 million in research.

In FY14, ASU faculty working with AzTE set new record highs in invention disclosures (261), U.S. issued patents (56), startups (12), and licenses and options (90).
To date, more than 70 companies have been launched based on ASU discoveries. In just the last three years, these companies and their sub-licensees have attracted $163 million in funding from venture capital firms and other investors.

housing

Phoenix Housing Market in Low Gear Until Next Year

The Phoenix-area housing market is unlikely to see a significant boost until next year. That’s according to the latest monthly report from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

Here are the highlights of the new report on Maricopa and Pinal counties, as of September:

• The median single-family-home sales price was up 5 percent from last September, but that’s largely just because fewer sales are clustered at the bottom end of the market, not because individual home prices are rising much.
• The area has been experiencing sluggish demand and low sales activity for more than 14 months.
• Because there are fewer people buying, the rental market is hot, with both rents and construction permits for new multi-family housing rising.

After the housing crash, Phoenix-area home prices shot up from September 2011 to last summer. This year, prices leveled off and then rose somewhat. The median single-family-home price went up 5 percent from last September to this September – from $198,997 to $209,900. Realtors will note the average price per square foot rose 7 percent. The median townhome/condo price went up 15 percent.

However, the report’s author says the median increases happened primarily just because fewer sales are now clustered at the lower end of the market, with fewer foreclosures and short sales available. Only luxury homes above $2 million are seeing stronger-than-normal demand. Overall, the number of single-family-home sales is down 7 percent from last September to this September.

“Demand has been much weaker since July 2013 and still shows little sign of recovery,” says the report’s author, Mike Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “Supply is also fairly limited. We anticipate pricing will continue to move sideways over the next few months, and a significant increase in demand will be required to change things.”

Investors are unlikely to bring that increase in demand. They’ve largely lost interest in the Phoenix area, now that better bargains can be found in other parts of the country with more foreclosures. Investors accounted for only 14.4 percent of residential-property purchases in September — way down from the peak of 39.7 percent in July 2012.

“To get the market back to what we would consider normal will require a major recovery in demand from local first-time home buyers,” explains Orr. “The last quarter of the year is rarely one in which first-time home buyer demand takes off without some unusual stimulus, so it looks as though our hopes for a livelier market will have to rest on a stronger start to 2015.”

Orr says if lenders decide to lower their standards for home loans, then that might create some additional demand next year. Many people who went through foreclosure in 2008 will be allowed to enter the market again, after spending the required seven years in the credit “penalty box.”

Until then, the rental-home market is red hot, with fast turnover and a constrained supply of rental homes available. The Phoenix area has already seen a 5.7 percent boost in rents over the past 12 months. Construction permits to build new multi-family housing to meet the demand are also on a strong upward trend.

Those wanting more Phoenix-area housing data can subscribe to Orr’s monthly reports at www.wpcarey.asu.edu/realtyreports. The premium site includes statistics, charts, graphs and the ability to focus in on specific aspects of the market. More analysis is also available at the W. P. Carey School of Business “Research and Ideas” website at http://research.wpcarey.asu.edu.

ASU's Arizona Center for Law and Society

ASU law school to break ground next week

The official groundbreaking for Arizona State University’s new $129 million law school building in downtown Phoenix, the Arizona Center for Law and Society, is set for Nov. 13.

The ceremony will take place at the northwest corner of Taylor and First streets starting at 8 a.m. Attending the ceremony will be ASU President Michael M. Crow, retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law Dean Doug Sylvester. Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and Phoenix Councilman Michael Nowakowski also are expected to attend.

“The Arizona Center for Law and Society is another wonderful addition to our growing campus in the heart of Phoenix,” Crow said. “Having the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law in Downtown Phoenix fits perfectly with ASU’s mission of building strong learning and career connections with media, health care, corporate and government organizations for the more than 11,500 students in the downtown campus.”

Construction on the Arizona Center for Law and Society began in July. The new building will be ready for classes by August 2016. The College of Law currently occupies its home of almost 50 years, Armstrong Hall, on the Tempe campus. ASU and the College of Law are committed to ensuring that the Armstrong name will be honored in the new law school.

The Arizona Center for Law and Society is being funded by the city of Phoenix — which is providing land and $12 million — construction bonds through Arizona State University and private donations. ASU Law has set a capital campaign goal of $50 million for construction of the building. The College has raised more than $34 million so far.

“This could not have been possible without the generosity of our alumni and connected legal communities,” Sylvester said. “We are particularly honored that long-time Phoenix attorney Leo Beus and his wife, Annette, recently made a $10 million contribution to the building’s capital campaign. ”

The building is planned to be approximately 280,000 gross square feet with two levels of underground parking. It will have 18 rooms in which classes will be regularly scheduled, including one large lecture hall dedicated to university undergraduate education. Features of the new law school include a high-tech courtroom and an active learning classroom.

“Not only will the new law school have state-of-the-art learning facilities, it also will provide our students with incredible opportunities,” Sylvester said. “The downtown location is near the courts and the city’s legal district, which will prove invaluable to our students in the form of internships, externships and networking.”

The Ross-Blakley Law Library, currently located in a separate building near the law school in Tempe, will be moved to the new building. The library will occupy multiple floors and create the main circulatory structure of the center. The first floor of the building will have retail space consisting of a school bookstore and a café.

The Arizona Center for Law and Society also will include space for two think tanks, multiple centers with cross-disciplinary focus and the new ASU Alumni Law Group, the first teaching law firm associated with a law school.

The lead architects on the project are Ennead Architects and Jones Studio, with DPR Construction as the lead builder.

phoenix

Arizona drops from Top 10 for job growth

We’re still slowly recovering from the staggering loss of jobs during the Great Recession, but some cities and states are rebounding faster than others. The job-growth numbers for the first three quarters of 2014 are now out. Research Professor Lee McPheters of the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University provides rankings and analysis of the winners and losers, based on the latest figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Top 10 cities and surrounding metro areas (1 million or more workers), for non-agricultural job growth — comparing January through September of this year to the same nine months last year:

Orlando, Fla. – up 3.7 percent
Houston – up 3.5 percent
Dallas – up 3.4 percent
Miami – up 3 percent
Portland, Ore. – up 2.9 percent
Riverside, Calif. – up 2.8 percent (tie)
Denver – up 2.8 percent
San Francisco – up 2.6 percent (tie)
Seattle – up 2.6 percent
10.  San Diego – up 2.4 percent

Top 10 states for non-agricultural job growth – comparing January through September of this year to the same nine months last year:

North Dakota – up 4.6 percent
Nevada – up 3.6 percent
Texas  – up 3.3 percent
Utah – up 3.1 percent
Florida – up 2.9 percent
Oregon – up 2.8 percent
Colorado – up 2.7 percent
Delaware – up 2.5 percent
California – up 2.2 percent (tie)
Washington – up 2.2 percent

Analysis:

The United States has added about 2.4 million jobs so far this year. The monthly average from January through September was 1.8-percent job growth nationwide. That pace is only slightly better than last year’s, when we saw an overall annual increase of 1.7 percent, so the recovery remains relatively slow.

On the state list, North Dakota has held the No. 1 spot every year since 2009, largely thanks to its oil and gas production. Nevada, Texas and Utah also topped 3-percent job growth this time, with Nevada’s economy receiving a big boost from building activity and impressive construction gains of more than 10 percent.

“Seven of the top 10 job-growth states so far this year are in the West,” says McPheters, director of the JPMorgan Chase Economic Outlook Center at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “Oregon and Delaware are new on the list this time, replacing Idaho and Arizona.”

Arizona actually fell out of the top 10 for the first time in two years. Even though it ranked No. 3 in health-care job growth and No. 5 in financial-activities job growth, the state has now dropped to No. 14 overall. Manufacturing, government and construction contributed to the decline.
The bottom 10 states so far this year are Michigan, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Maryland, Illinois, Vermont, Virginia, New Jersey, New Mexico and last-place Alaska.  Five of these states were also on the bottom in 2013: Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, New Mexico and Alaska.

McPheters notes very high interest in state economic performance right now because 30 governors are up for reelection, including those in top-10 states Nevada, Florida, Oregon, Colorado and California, as well as bottom-10 states Michigan, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Illinois, Vermont, New Mexico and Alaska.

On the top 10 cities list, Orlando holds the No. 1 position with 3.7-percent job growth, double the national pace.

“Eight of the top large cities for job creation are in the West,” explains McPheters, “However, Florida also did well, with two cities on the list.”

Seven of the top 10 cities are clustered in Florida, Texas and California. They include Orlando, Miami, Houston, Dallas, San Francisco, San Diego and Riverside, Calif.

The greater Phoenix labor market dropped out of the top 10, as its rate of job growth slipped from 2.7 percent in 2013 to a more modest 2.2 percent during the first three quarters of this year. Phoenix is currently No. 12 among labor markets with 1 million or more workers.

Still, seven large labor markets have job creation below 1 percent: Chicago, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, northern Virginia and lastly, Detroit.

The full rankings and other job-growth data from McPheters can be found at the W. P. Carey School of Business “Job Growth USA” website: www.wpcarey.asu.edu/jobgrowth. Use the “year to date” function for the current 2014 numbers.

dan_students_edit_2

ASU grant aims to transform global energy landscape

Changing the way the nation generates and consumes energy is at the heart of a multimillion dollar grant awarded to Arizona State University from the Department of Energy.

Under the grant, the university will develop an efficient and cost-effective carbon capture technology using an innovative electrochemical technique to separate carbon dioxide from other emissions originating from power plants.

In what could be an economically enabling breakthrough in the drive to reduce carbon emissions, ASU researchers will explore the real possibility of reducing energy and cost requirements by more than half.

Led by Dan Buttry, professor and chair of ASU’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the grant is part of a special Department of Energy program designed to pursue high-risk, high-reward advances in alternative energy research.

“Through this type of venture we are working to advance research and spur economic development in the areas of renewable energy and energy security to create solutions that address society’s grand challenges,” said Sethuraman “Panch” Panchanathan, senior vice president for ASU’s Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development. “This innovative project is a collaborative effort of faculty at ASU from multiple disciplines, as well as collaborators from Proton OnSite and the University of Colorado, who are all developing a new carbon capture technology.”

Where solutions happen

Arizona State University has been building its portfolio in alternative energy research for several years, and currently includes among its capabilities a center for research into electrochemistry for renewable energy applications; several advanced programs on solar energy research; one of the leading testing and certification centers for solar energy; and research into solar-generated biofuels, including advanced work on algae-based biofuels.

The university’s awarded grant of $2.9 million over two years follows an initial “seed” grant where the team demonstrated proof of concept of efficient and cost-effective carbon dioxide capture. ASU’s project was selected through a merit-based process from thousands of concept papers and hundreds of full applications.

The projects are based in 24 states, with approximately 47 percent of the projects led by universities – all supported by the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) program, which aims to develop clever and creative approaches to transform the global energy landscape while advancing America’s technology leadership.

Inspired by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, ARPA-E was created to support high-risk, high-reward research that can provide transformative new solutions for climate change and energy security.

“The potential of this project to advance solutions to the problem of excessive carbon dioxide in the environment is exciting, and we look forward to the team’s progress in this area,” said Gary Dirks, director of ASU LightWorks. “ASU is a place where the convergence of laboratory research and real-world application creates a unique environment where imaginative energy-related projects are fostered and encouraged.”

A new approach

The carbon capture program was initially supported by ASU LightWorks, which brings together the intellectual expertise across the university centered on leveraging the power of the sun to create solutions in the areas of renewable energy, including generating electricity, alternative fuels and preparing future energy leaders.

“We are extremely excited about this new grant from the Department of Energy ARPA-E program,” said Buttry. “The effort is focused on a key issue in fossil fuel-based energy production – how to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide emissions without consuming too much of the energy content of the fuel. We have recently developed a new approach to carbon dioxide capture that uses an electrochemical process with some design features similar to those in a fuel cell.”

Co-principal investigators on this project are Cody Friesen, School for Engineering of Matter, Transport & Energy one of ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schhols of Engineering; Vladimiro Mujica, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry; and Ellen Stechel, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and also deputy director of LightWorks. Buttry and Friesen previously worked on an ARPA-E project developing a radical new design for automotive batteries.

Mujica will use quantum chemical calculations to help understand the binding of carbon dioxide to the carrier compounds. Stechel is simulating the cell behavior, Friesen’s group is working on cell design, and Buttry’s on the chemistry and electrochemistry of the binding process.

Also collaborating on this grant are two researchers from the University of Colorado, Boulder; Doug Gin, in chemistry, and Rich Noble, in chemical engineering, who are helping to make very thin membranes for the separation process. Katherine Ayers of Proton OnSite, CT, will be involved with cell design and engineering.

The only proven commercially viable technology for flue gas capture uses compounds called amines in the so-called monoethanolamine (MEA) process. Several plant scale demonstrations use this old technology, first patented in 1930. The MEA process has several drawbacks, particularly the energy required for thermal regeneration of the amine capture agent. As discussed in a recent Department of Energy report (DOE/NETL-2009/1366), for typical conditions, the energy required for this process consumes roughly 40 percent of total plant output, and increases the cost of electricity by 85 percent.

Buttry predicts their innovative approach as having an overall efficiency far better than existing efforts.

ASU’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry ranks 6th worldwide for research impact (gauged by the average cites per paper across the department for the decade ending in the 2011 International Year of Chemistry), and in the top eight nationally for research publications in the journals Science and Nature. The department’s strong record in interdisciplinary research is also evidenced by its 31st national ranking by the National Science Foundation in total and federally financed higher education research and development expenditures in chemistry.

housing.prices

Could Looser Lending Standards Boost Phoenix Market?

Will banks start to drop their standards and let people with slightly lower credit scores and much lower down payments buy homes? That’s the big question, after the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and other agencies voted to approve new, looser lending rules this week. A well-known expert from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University says if the change happens, and the adjustments are reasonable, then it could be good for the Phoenix-area housing market, stimulating growth.

Here are the highlights of the school’s monthly housing-market report on Maricopa and Pinal counties, as of August:

• The median single-family-home sales price went up 11 percent from last August, but that’s largely just due to having fewer sales clustered at the bottom end of the market.
• Both supply and demand in the market remain relatively low.
• Lenders have been reluctant to expand the number of people eligible for home loans, which is helping to stunt market growth.

After the housing crash, the Phoenix area had a fast boost in home prices from September 2011 to last summer. This year, prices leveled off and then rose somewhat. The median single-family-home price went up 11 percent – from $192,000 to $213,500 — from last August to this August. The average price per square foot jumped 7 percent. The median townhouse/condominium price went up 10 percent. However, the report’s author explains the median gains are not reflective of higher home values across the board.

“The median went up largely just because we saw a big drop in sales clustered at the low end of the market,” explains Mike Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “The average price per square foot actually dropped last month. I expect prices to move sideways to slightly down over the next few months until supply and demand get back into balance.”

Both supply and demand are relatively low in the Phoenix-area housing market right now. Single-family-home sales activity dropped 15 percent from last August to this August. Investor interest, in particular, has dramatically fallen over the last year. The percentage of homes bought by investors in August was 14.4 percent, way down from the peak of 39.7 percent in July 2012. There aren’t a lot of cheap “distressed” homes to buy, with completed Phoenix-area foreclosures down 43 percent from last August to this August.

“Better bargains for investors can be found in other parts of the country,” says Orr. “Over the last three months, the percentages of homes bought by investors have been lower than we have seen for many years, confirming investors are no longer driving the market the way they did between early 2009 and mid-2013.”

Rental homes remain popular for those who don’t want to buy a house or who can’t qualify for a home loan. Fast turnover and low vacancy rates have already pushed rents up 5.8 percent over the last year in the Phoenix area.

Meantime, we’re seeing a lot of speculation about whether banks will lower their standards and start letting people with good – but not great – credit scores qualify for home loans. Also, conventional loan down payments could be dropped from 10 percent to as little as 3 percent. The chairman of the Federal Housing Finance Agency spoke in Las Vegas this week and indicated that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would likely still purchase and retain those loans, if the banks make them.

“Right now, funds are flowing only to a small proportion of potential buyers, who have excellent credit, which is contributing to weaker-than-normal demand for homes to purchase,” explains Orr. “Lenders are reluctant to take any unusual risks in an environment when Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac might take negative, profit-damaging action against the banks on loans sold to them. It appears it will take a major move by Fannie and Freddie to limit those risks before mortgage availability can get back to a normal level and support the next stage in the housing recovery.”

Orr adds, “Banks have to walk the line on their lending standards. They went from the porridge being too hot (standards too lax) to the porridge being too cold (standards too tight). It’s still a while until we get to ‘just right,’ but striking the right balance could move the Phoenix-area housing market toward more sales and more demand.”

Those wanting more Phoenix-area housing data can subscribe to Orr’s monthly reports at www.wpcarey.asu.edu/realtyreports. The premium site includes statistics, charts, graphs and the ability to focus in on specific aspects of the market. More analysis is also available at the W. P. Carey School of Business “Research and Ideas” website at http://research.wpcarey.asu.edu.

ItsGoTimeGlass

GoDaddy Opens Global Technology Center in Tempe

Ryan Companies today joined Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell, GoDaddy executives, Arizona State University, government and economic development officials and local business leaders to celebrate the opening of the GoDaddy Global Technology Center at ASU Research Park.

Ryan Companies is the developer for the project and provided design/build services along with its partner, the Smith Group. The GoDaddy facility was the 9th project constructed by Ryan Companies at ASU Research Park.

“The GoDaddy Global Technology Center is exactly the type of project for which the ASU Research Park was created – to provide a best-in-class environment for knowledge-based and technology companies to innovate and for their creative employees to flourish and succeed.  We welcome GoDaddy to the Park and look forward to their interactions with our leading research faculty and entrepreneurial students,” said Dr. Morgan Olsen, President of the Board at ASU Research Park.

“We are so proud to be a part of the team that brought another outstanding project to ASU Research Park. GoDaddy has really set the bar for corporate facilities that support their workforce with this unparalleled campus,” said Molly Ryan Carson, Vice President of Development at Ryan Companies.

The two-story, 150,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility was built to promote the creative and collaborative spirit that GoDaddy, the world’s largest technology provider dedicated to small businesses, is known for. The space includes a full-service kitchen with on-site chefs, a slide into the cafeteria area and plenty of opportunities for fitness and fun including a fitness area, locker rooms, an indoor climbing wall, a go-kart track, relaxation stations, a putting green, a yoga room, large outdoor areas, a shaded basketball and sand volleyball courts and a soccer field.

“I am thrilled to welcome GoDaddy and its employees to our city,” said Mayor Mark Mitchell. “This corporate expansion will ultimately bring hundreds of high quality technology jobs to Tempe and continue the tremendous level of quality job growth the city has experienced in the past year.”

The new GoDaddy facility will house engineers, developers, corporate staff and small business consultants. To date, 200 employees have been hired to work in the new Global Technology Center and 250 additional people will be hired in the coming months.

“This is a killer facility. It embodies our GoDaddy spirit, which is energetic, innovative and passionate. It also supports our company culture and values to be extraordinary, own outcomes and join forces,” said GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving. “We are here to help our customers succeed and it all starts at our core, with our own employees. This environment is collaborative, fun, open and stimulating – exactly what fuels creativity for our customers, helps us attract top-tier talent and gives us a competitive advantage.”

starbucks

More than 1,000 enrolled for Starbucks tuition program

Starbucks says more than 1,000 of its workers have enrolled for an upcoming fall semester at Arizona State University to take advantage of a program that helps pay for their tuition.

That’s from about 4,000 workers who started the application process, 2,000 who completed it, and 1,800 who were accepted by the school, according to Starbucks. The Seattle-based company said the most popular degree programs being pursued are psychology, organizational leadership, health sciences, mass communications and media studies and English.

Starbucks said it is too early to tell how much the company will end up paying in tuition reimbursement for the first batch of students. Reimbursements to workers will vary, with many employees expected to qualify for financial aid such as federal Pell grants because of their limited incomes. Over time, however, Starbucks said it expects to spend “tens of millions of dollars” a year on the tuition reimbursement as more workers take advantage of it.

The company is partnering exclusively with Arizona State University’s online school to offer the benefit.

The program was greeted with fanfare this summer because tuition reimbursement is a rare benefit for low-wage retail and food workers. Starbucks also isn’t requiring workers to stay with the company once they finish their degrees. Some of the program’s terms also drew criticisms, however, such as its requirement that students complete 21 credits before being reimbursed.

The program’s terms also vary depending on the student’s year.

For freshmen and sophomores, Arizona State University is giving workers an upfront discount of about $6,500 to cover the estimated $30,000 in tuition for two years, according to Starbucks. To cover the remainder of the costs, workers would apply for financial aid, such as Pell grants, and pay for the rest either out of pocket or by taking out loans.

Students will not be reimbursed for those first two years, meaning Starbucks won’t incur any costs.

For the junior and senior years, ASU is giving a discount of about $12,600 of the $30,000. Starbucks would reimburse whatever tuition workers have to pay for after the financial aid they receive.

On Tuesday, Starbucks was set to announce that 70 percent of the workers who enrolled in the program this fall are juniors or seniors, meaning they will get full reimbursement. About half the workers are baristas and 35 percent are shift supervisors. The rest have positions of assistant store manager or above, the company said.

The company said the most applications came from California, Washington, Arizona, Texas, Florida and Illinois.

classroom-update

Experts say quality education equals quality jobs for Arizona

The formula is simple: W = $. A well-qualified, educated workforce equals high-paying, deeply entrenched Arizona jobs and statewide economic growth.

“There are too many buzzwords and not enough solutions,” muses Rick Heumann, Chandler’s vice-mayor and a passionate education advocate. “If we don’t do something now, we’re going to lose an entire generation. The legislature cannot continue to starve schools and colleges and expect the economy to grow. Incentives will not overcome lack of qualified workforce.”

Heumann, and other business leaders also say that the solutions are more than just funding. It’s a challenge through the whole system to create opportunities and relevance for today’s students to become tomorrow’s well-qualified workforce.

“Arizona education has to produce the talent needed to find a job and fill the gaps in the workplace,” says Steve Zylstra, president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council. “We need to create more robust opportunities to inform students about career opportunities and the need for education.”

The Arizona business community is finding opportunities and step-by-step trying to bring change to the state’s education system. This is a marked contrast from political attacks on Common Core that one business leader confided are demonstrations that the legislature just doesn’t understand education or economic development.”

“There’s too much rote and not enough reason,” sighs Joan Koerber-Walker, president and CEO of the Arizona Bioindustry Association, Inc. “America is a world power because we know how to think. We’re losing our edge. Not only does STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) need to be at the core of what’s being taught, students must see relevancy to real life and learn to be creative and critical thinkers. It amounts to a needed change in the way we teach.”

Student retention through high school

“Ensuring that all our students are graduating from high school is simply the biggest priority,” sums Cathleen Barton, Arizona education manager for Intel. “We need students to graduate and be career- or college-ready,” she adds.

Study-after-study shows that students need education to get ahead. Barry Broome, CEO of Greater Phoenix Economic Council says that education is part of good economic development. “Improving education is a long-term investment for Arizona. Right now, only a small percentage of high schools generate half our college enrollment. That needs to change,” he says.

“We’re losing students at an unacceptable rate,” worries Bob Enderle, director of community relations at Medtronic. “About a quarter of our students don’t graduate high school, and that rate is higher in ethnically diverse populations.”

“Making education connect; making it more relevant will help keep students in school,” echoes Dave Cano, the company’s senior manager for continuous improvement and a member of Grand Canyon University’s STEM External Advisory Board. “When students don’t graduate, they earn less, the spend less and the add more costs to the system.”

Heumann adds that workers in minimum wage jobs do not earn enough to cover the costs of their services. “We need to help our students qualify for better jobs and then we need to make sure we have the jobs in the market,” he says. “With a high-paying job, a worker adds more value to the Arizona economy.”

Better education means a better economy

Eve Ross, W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc., director of public policy and strategic initiatives Ross about the vicious cycle, “Students are not getting a connection between what’s being learned and how it applies to careers. There are many well-paying careers that require some college, but not necessarily a four-year or graduate degree,” she says. “We need a whole class of student understanding and interested in manufacturing. We’re not talking about a worker tightening bolts on a parade of black Fords. We’re talking about workers who can see how things are made, and come up with ideas to make it better.”

“It’s a simple formula for economic growth. If we can’t attract well-paying careers, Arizona is not going to collect tax revenue for basic services,” she says. “We need a workforce who can read and understand a workplace; students who can do the math and innovate.”

Arizona does education well, but in pockets, says Koerber-Walker, “Schools are short on resources and there are many gaps creating ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots.’ We’re at the bottom of the barrel in too many ways with education. Business will not come if kids are prepared for the jobs.”

The investment in education for tomorrow’s economy comes at a crucial time. Arizona has invested millions of dollars to ready the education system for Common Core standards. “Common Core came out of the business sector,” explains Broome. “Industry needs a uniform standard by which is can compare education achievement to the same standards in every state. This is going to create some concern in Arizona when the results start coming in.”

Building passion for learning

“The world is rapidly changing. Tomorrow’s workforce needs to be able to adapt to a rapidly changing world.” Hal Halladay is the chief people officer for Infusionsoft, “The system needs to focus on training and teaching students to love learning. Education does not end at graduation. Students must be able to continue to learn in order to be able to handle global change.”

Medtronic has jumped into the partnering role with education. It’s been incredibly rewarding and equally frustrating. “We tried to bring students to demonstrate relevancy between what they’re learning and career opportunities, but the process was filled with road blocks,” says Ederle. “We ended up bringing in teachers as interns. One of the science instructors going through the program said it would change the way he taught physics. That’s a success, as we see it.”

Connecting science and technology to something students understand is the key of generating a passion for education. Zylstra talks about the Arizona SciTech Festival, “We had a physics professor talk about the science of baseball. All of the sudden, the kids were seeing how math and physics are in the world relevant to their interests. It’s this type of change we need in education to connect students to learning.”

“We have a mismatch between skills and opportunity,” Barton emphasizes. “Jobs are changing too fast, and education is not changing rapidly enough to keep up. We need to take schools to the next level of teaching.”

Koerber-Walker is concerned that there has been so much focus on what needed to be learned to pass the standardized tests, students weren’t given an opportunity to understand how to use the learning. “There needs to be improvement in outcomes,” she explains. “Students are lacking in soft skills. They need to learn critical thinking, problem solving and an ability to write and communicate.”

“We’re getting good workers coming out of college,” comments Halladay. “The problem is that while the students have the technical skills, they are not getting training on how to function in a face-to-face environment. They need an ability to adapt to changes and creatively solve challenges.”

Partnership part of a solid solution

“This is not going to be resolved by just giving schools more money,” Zylstra says. “It start with motivating parents to be participants in their child’s education. It requires business to partner with schools.” Enderle and Cano at Medtronic, agree. Barton and Heumann cited examples in their conversation.

Heumann doesn’t mince words. “We’re not competing with Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi for jobs. We’re competing with Texas, California, Washington and New York. Our education investment needs to be at their levels, not the bottom of the heap.”

“We need to re-fund education. The way education is funded does not reflect the needs of business in Arizona,” suggests Koerber-Walker. “Teachers are spending major portions of their own incomes supplying classrooms. That has to stop. We need to invest some dollars to provide schools with the tools to teach the workers we want to offer new business.”

“We have a lot of thoughtful people involved in the process of bettering our schools and workforce. In business, we know that if you don’t invest in training, you start losing ground to competition.” Barton is listing off the solutions she’d like to see for schools. “We want teachers to have the resources to make the curriculum relevant to keep students engaged.”

“Charter schools need to have the same public accountability as public schools,” insists Heumann. “If we have a well-balanced education with pay encouraging bright and effective teachers into the profession, we’re going to do a lot better with students coming out.”

Halladay sums up what a good education system means, “When I try to recruit top-level knowledge workers for my company, the quality of schools is a big reason they will accept or walk away from the job offer. The inconsistency of education quality across the Valley is a major recruiting challenge.”

Heumann sighs, “We can spend millions on cutting taxes and offering incentives. If we don’t have good workers, we’re not going to get good companies locating here. It’s simple economics.”
A well-educated workforce equals strong economic development.

Not making the grade
Personal finance social network WalletHub conducted an in-depth analysis of 2014’s states with the best and worst school systems. WalletHub used 12 key metrics, including dropout rates, test scores and bullying incident rates to assess the quality of education in each state. According to the analysis, Arizona has the 9th worst school system. Here is where Arizona schools rank in individual categories (1=best):
35th – Dropout rate
8th – Champlain University High School Financial Literacy Grade
36th – Math test score
46th – Reading test score
49th – Student-to-teacher ratio

Executive Education
Here are the colleges and universities in Arizona that offer post-graduate programs:

Argosy University
602-216-3118
Website
Number of campuses: 1
Online classes: Yes
Highest degree offered: Doctorate
Leadership: Norma Patterson, associate vice president of academic compliance

Arizona State University
480-965-7788
Website
Number of campuses: 4
Online classes: Yes
Highest degree offered: Doctorate
Leadership: Michael Crow, president

A.T. Still University
480-219-6000
Website
Number of campuses: 1
Online classes: Yes
Highest degree offered: Doctorate
Leadership: Craig M. Phelps, president

Communiversity @ Surprise
480-384-9000
Website
Number of campuses: 1
Online classes: Yes
Highest degree offered: Master’s
Leadership: Todd Aakhus, Ph.D., director

DeVry University
602-870-9222
Website
Number of campuses: 4
Online classes: Yes
Highest degree offered: Master’s
Leadership: Craig Jacobs, metro president

Grand Canyon University
800-800-9776
Website
Number of campuses: 1
Online classes: Yes
Highest degree offered: Doctorate
Leadership: Brian Mueller, CEO

Midwestern University
623-572-3200
Website
Number of campuses: 1
Online classes: No
Highest degree offered: Doctorate
Leadership: Kathleen Goeppinger, president and CEO

Northern Arizona University
928-523-9011
Website
Number of campuses: 34
Online classes: Yes
Highest degree offered: Doctorate
Leadership: Rita Cheng, president

Ottawa University
800-235-9586
Website
Number of campuses: 3
Online classes: Yes
Highest degree offered: Master’s
Leadership: Dr. Kirk Wessel, dean of Angell Snyder School of Business

Thunderbird School of Global Management
602-978-7000
Website
Number of campuses: 1
Online classes: Yes
Highest degree offered: MBA
Leadership: Larry Edward Penley, Ph.D., president

University of Arizona
520-621-1162
Website
Number of campuses: 2
Online classes: Yes
Highest degree offered: Doctorate
Leadership: Ann Weaver Hart, president

University of Phoenix
480-557-2000
Website
Number of campuses: 5
Online classes: Yes
Highest degree offered: Doctorate
Leadership: Timothy P. Slottow, president

Jeff Kunowski, the founder of Illumin8, a Scottsdale-based company that provides innovative LED signage products, had 12 internships while he was a student at ASU.

Entrepreneur uses ASU grant to jump-start business

Not many people look at sign flippers or signs posted along the road and think they know how to improve those companies’ advertising. Jeff Kunowski went a step further and made it happen in a bright and eco-friendly way.

Kunowski graduated from ASU in 2011 and received the ASU Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative grant, which helped jump-start his business, Illumin8, which offers portable LED signs in all shapes and sizes with rechargeable batteries.

“Being younger and starting a business out of college, it’s hard getting people to take you seriously,” Kunowski said. “But winning the award from ASU gave validation to the whole thing.” It also showed Kunowksi that there were people who not only believed in him, but also believed in his company.

Kunowksi’s ability to help Illumin8 pull big-name clients like Anheuser Busch, the Phoenix Suns and Live Nationcaught the attention of MK Solutions Group, a technology solutions provider for sports and entertainment venues and the two companies formed a strategic alliance to sell Illumin8’s products to venues nationwide.

Now that Illumin8 and MK Solutions Group are starting to grow, Kunowski looks forward to the future of his company. The challenge is no longer his age. but “time management and growth.”
His advice to other college students that are looking to start their own business: “Networking. Take all the opportunities that you can and use your student status to your advantage. You aren’t a threat if you want to learn about the industry.”

Deloitte Report Reveals Mid-Market Companies Expect U.S. Economic Growth

ASU helps honor ‘Most Accurate Economist’

While many Americans were still pinching every penny and praying for a faster recovery from the Great Recession, John Lonski, chief capital markets economist of Moody’s Analytics, understood what our country really faced in its uphill battle toward an economic comeback. He had the most accurate U.S. forecast among the nation’s top economists for the years 2010 to 2013. Accordingly, he will be honored Oct. 16 with the prestigious Lawrence R. Klein Award for his achievements.

“I am honored to receive this award on behalf of Moody’s Analytics’ Capital Markets Research team,” Lonski says. “Given the economic uncertainty, accurate economic analysis is more important than ever to help financial institutions quantify risk and opportunities and simulate the impact of policy adjustments.”

The W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University sponsors and judges the Lawrence R. Klein Award, one of the best-known and longest-standing awards in the economics profession. The annual award is named for the late Nobel Prize winner Dr. Lawrence Klein, and it goes to the individual or team with the most accurate economic forecast among the Blue Chip Economic Indicators survey participants for a four-year period. The Blue Chip newsletter has been published for almost 40 years and is regarded as the “gold standard” of business forecasts. Lonski beat out about 50 competitors for this year’s award.

“The biggest challenge of the 2010-to-2013 forecast period was to anticipate how the recovery would unfold,” explains Economics Professor Dennis Hoffman, director of the L. William Seidman Research Institute at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “John Lonski’s projections were particularly accurate for the last two years, when he called for a slow decline in the unemployment rate and nailed gross domestic product (GDP) growth at just over 2 percent.”

Lonski is an acclaimed forecaster, who contributes regularly to forecasting surveys from The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News, Reuters and the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank. He was named the top economic forecaster in The Wall Street Journal’s June 2004 survey, and he has done countless interviews for CNBC, The New York Times, Fox Business, Dow Jones, Bloomberg TV, National Public Radio and many other major media outlets. He contributes a quarterly editorial piece for Japan’s Nikkei Veritas newspaper and comments regularly in Moody’s “CreditTrends” and weekly “Market Outlook.” Prior to joining Moody’s Analytics, he worked for National Economic Research Associates.

At the Klein Award event, Lonski will deliver his 2015 forecast, “Goldilocks Redux: 2015’s Outlook for Business Activity, Inflation, and Interest Rates,” including these predictions:

• Another year of modest improvement for the U.S. economy is likely.
• The continued release of pent-up demand for autos and housing should underpin consumer spending.
• However, the subpar growth of employment income, the household-sector’s debt overhang, and the conflict between still-tighter mortgage loan standards and the diminished savings of middle-income households limit the upside for household expenditures.
• The unprecedented aging of both the population and the work force will weigh on income growth and spending.
• Ample global slack implies that a disruptive swelling of inflation risks is unlikely.
Year-end 2015’s expected ranges are .75 to 1 percent for federal funds and 3 to 3.25 percent for the 10-year Treasury yield.
• By mid-2015, the Fed should begin a measured tightening of policy.
• The heightened scrutiny of regulators may ward off the excesses of previous credit-cycle peaks.

Top industry professionals and others will attend the invitation-only award ceremony Oct. 16 at the University Club in New York, starting at 6 p.m.

VIPs expected to be in attendance include Randell E. Moore, executive editor of the Blue Chip Economic Indicators; Amy Hillman, dean of the W. P. Carey School of Business; Hannah Klein, daughter of the award namesake; and Trevor Bond, president and chief executive officer of W. P. Carey Inc. (NYSE: WPC).

Post Office, WEB

Adaptive reuse of Phoenix post office wins architecture award

Post Office 2Holly Street Studio Architects’ Diane Jacob’s infusion of Arizona State University’s 30KSF student center at a historic United States federal building in downtown Phoenix recently won a Crescordia award for historic preservation. Caliente Construction handled construction of the project.

Since the center’s opening in early 2013, students, faculty and the community at large have used the space for a multitude of purposes.

Adaptive reuse of the large-scale, centrally located structure revolves around four key ideas: open up to provide scenic views out and light in; embrace history through the structures expressed and skylights; engage the city with the park and align with existing patterns; and address the student with flexible and dynamic spaces for multiple endeavors.

The building’s mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems were modernized and tied to Phoenix’s NRG Energy Center, an energy-efficient and environmentally sound district energy and power plant serving major downtown structures. New clean-energy boilers eliminate electrical reheat systems, cutting building energy loads drastically and opening up additional usable square footage within the building.

The combination of a contemporary design within a well-worn masonry building begins a dialogue that is critical for environmental awareness in desert cities – creating greater awareness and inspiration for rethinking the way we inhabit our urban desert environment.

Postino Annex, Upward Projects

Postino opens newest location in 1950s art studio next month

Next Wednesday, Oct. 1, the latest Postino WineCafé location, Postino Annex (615 S. College Avenue) will open in Tempe inside a revamped former art studio just steps away from the ASU campus. Tucked into the historic ASU Art Annex building, this fourth Valley Postino location will help serve as a new gateway to ASU’s main campus as part of the all-new ASU Recruitment Walk on College Avenue. The project is also a special honor that’s very near and dear to the owners, as all four (Kris & Craig DeMarco and Lauren & Wyatt Bailey) are ASU alumni.

“It means a lot to us to return to our roots here in Tempe and ASU,” says co-owner, Craig DeMarco, “From our sharable menus to the open and communal layout, we really hope Postino Annex serves as a new neighborhood hub for this vibrant college community that helped shape our success.”

According to Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell, “On behalf of the City of Tempe, we’re excited to welcome a great local company like Postino to be a part of our community. Not only is it going to help anchor the new ASU Recruitment Walk, it will bring new life and vitality to College Avenue by restoring this beautiful historic building.”

Open daily for lunch and dinner with brunch every weekend, at Postino Annex guests will savor a compact yet craveable menu of bruschettas, from-scratch soups, fresh salads and hearty panini sandwiches – all made with the finest local ingredients. Plus, every Saturday and Sunday (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) Postino serves up farm-fresh brunch fare with a side of live music and $5 mimosas. Not to mention, Postino’s ever-changing selection of boutique wines and craft beers, including 16 beers on tap and two dedicated nitro taps.  Enjoy signature specials such as $5 Before 5 p.m., offered everyday on all wines by the glass and draft beer pitchers, and $20 Bottle & Board on Monday & Tuesday evenings.

Architecturally, this low-slung mid-century modern space has been artfully reinvented to create a light, airy yet stylish space that blurs the lines between the indoors and outdoors thanks to Postino’s trademark rollup garage doors leading to two lushly-landscaped patios. Here, guests can cozy up inside an intimate booth, settle in at the large indoor/outdoor walnut butcher block bartop, sip in the sun on the oversized outdoor sofa seats or make some friends at the various communal tables, all while soaking in the funky vintage furnishings and colorful custom artwork.

Postino Annex is located at 615 S. College Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85281 and open from Monday – Thursday 11 am – 11 pm; Friday 11 am – midnight; Saturday 9 am – midnight; Sunday 9 am – 10 pm.

Staying Innovative as a One Man Operation

Spirit of Enterprise Award Finalists named

Arizona is still recovering from the Great Recession, and many local businesses are playing a key role in the comeback. Today, some of the state’s best companies are being recognized as finalists for the 18th annual Spirit of Enterprise Awards from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

The prestigious awards recognize firms for creating jobs, boosting our economy and delivering great customer service. Past winners include well-known names like Cold Stone Creamery, Ollie the Trolley and Total Transit (Discount Cab), as well as fast-growing businesses, such as Infusionsoft.

“We look for Arizona businesses that demonstrate ethics, energy and excellence in entrepreneurship,” explains Sidnee Peck, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “We also want to see innovation, a positive internal culture, and an impact on both our economy and our local community.”

The 18th annual Spirit of Enterprise Award finalists are:

• Clean Air Cab (Mesa) – a family-owned, eco-friendly cab fleet with consistent 100-percent annual growth and a Happy Ride consumer guarantee, sourcing more than 83 percent of its business needs from local providers and donating to local charities, including the ONE Community Foundation for advancing the rights of the LGBT community.
• Endless Entertainment (Tempe) – an events production and consulting company started by a college entrepreneur at ASU that has been lauded by Inc. magazine, has a strong customer-service focus, and has worked with a range of clients from San Diego Comic-Con and the X Games to the American Cancer Society, Autism Speaks, Target and Zappos.
• Ersland Touch Landscape (Phoenix) – a state-of-the-art landscape maintenance company with more than 30 years of experience, a complete customer “feedback log,” an Adopt a Highway commitment, work with nonprofits, and more than 400 residences and 20 homeowner associations as clients.
• India Plaza/The Dhaba (Tempe) – a small, minority-owned one-stop shop for all things Indian, including an award-winning restaurant, a marketplace and an education center, with a low staff turnover rate, a no-questions-asked return policy, and vegetarian, gluten-free and environmental initiatives.
• IO (Phoenix) – a firm focused on data-center technology, services and solutions that are defined by software, instead of physical locations, with more than 650 global clients, including Goldman Sachs and LexisNexis, as well as two patents and a focus on energy efficiency.
• I-ology (Scottsdale) – a woman-owned technology company offering Web design and related services that features close client relationships, heavy community involvement, and no management hierarchy, where all employees have the chance to participate in revenue sharing, stock options, flexible schedules and industry events.
• The James Agency (Scottsdale) – a boutique, full-service advertising and public relations agency specializing in high-end brands, which was started by a 25 year old and now boasts flexible work schedules, no outsourcing, annual pro bono clients and last year’s revenue of more than $2 million.
• Kitchell (Phoenix) – a 100-percent employee-owned commercial builder, developer and program manager launched 65 years ago, which now has more than 850 employees, international operations, innovations like virtual construction, an internal leadership program, significant charitable contributions, and a focus on safety, work quality and customer satisfaction.
• Melrose Pharmacy (Phoenix) – an independent pharmacy that offers fast, personalized service, contributions to the March of Dimes and other charities, and involvement in community issues, as well as achieving business goals of $2.7 million in sales by its third year in business and a 119-percent increase in net income so far this year.
• Potter’s House Apothecary (Peoria) – a pharmacy specializing in compounding, with its own continuous-quality-improvement program and patient seminars, which reached its three-year business plan projections in just 18 months and became one of fewer than 15 Arizona pharmacies with accreditation from the Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board.

The finalists from the W. P. Carey School for the Student Entrepreneurship Award are:

• Anthony Gonzales/Force Impact Technologies – Gonzales, who just graduated with his MBA, has made headlines as a finalist in Entrepreneur magazine’s College Entrepreneur of the Year competition with his grant-winning, ongoing development of FITGuard, a mouthguard designed to indicate when an athlete should be removed from a game for possible head injuries/concussions, as well as a matching smartphone application that can provide results to a diagnosing physician.
• Paige Corbett/PetSitnStay – Corbett was working as a kennel assistant and attending business school, when she came up with the idea to start an online service to connect pet owners with pet sitters and in-home care options as an alternative to less personal commercial boarding facilities.

Winners will be announced at a luncheon Friday, Nov. 21 at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix. Hundreds of business and community leaders attend the annual event. Also, new this year, an entrepreneurship workshop will be held right before the awards luncheon. There, top W. P. Carey School faculty members will talk about what tools and techniques you can use to advance your business.

For more information on sponsorship opportunities or to attend, call (480) 965-0474, e-mail wpcentrepreneurship@asu.edu, or visit www.wpcarey.asu.edu/spirit.

The Spirit of Enterprise Awards are just one focus of the Center for Entrepreneurship, which helps hundreds of businesses each year. The center recently introduced the Sun Devil Select competition to honor ASU alum-owned or alum-led businesses, as well as the Sun Devil Igniter Challenge to help fund student businesses. The center also offers companies a chance to recruit and meet with top student talent, while allowing students to get hands-on business experience. It is a gateway to access other ASU business resources. The center is self-funded and utilizes community sponsorships and volunteers to sustain its activities.

photo

Leadership Forum: ‘Eyes of the world will be on Arizona’

The partnership between Starbucks and Arizona State University stirs up the way people can pay for college, have a family, and work at the same time.

Today, the 2014 Arizona Leadership Forum started off with the main message of, “We need you to lead us,” specifically speaking to attending business leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs. For quite some time, people have had the wrong impression of Arizona, but that’s about to change.

“Soon the eyes of the world will be on Arizona,” said Jathan Segur, executive vice president of National Bank of Arizona, referring to the 2015 Super Bowl, which will be played at University of Phoenix Stadium. “We will have the chance to talk about what’s right about Arizona.”

Segur’s speech set the tone of hope and optimism for the Leadership Forum.

Among those messages of hope, was one about the American dream to receive a high-quality college education. Unfortunately, it seems an unreachable dream for most. College tuition costs have risen 80 percent in the past 10 years. Therefore, only a select few can afford to go to college, and even fewer get to finish.

The Starbucks College Achievement Plan is the first of its kind, where a national company is taking the initiative to partner with an educational institution to give employees a second chance to live out their American dream. Due to the increasing college expenses, less than 50 percent of college students complete their degree.

“We employ a generation hit hard by our recession,” said Dervala Manley, vice president of global strategy at Starbucks Coffee Company.

Starbucks part-time and full-time employees from around the globe can now apply to receive funding towards their degree from Arizona State University. Freshman and sophomores attending ASU will be given a partial scholarship, accompanied with financial aid depending on their needs. Juniors and seniors will be given full tuition reimbursement with each year they continue to finish their studies. Students will have no obligation to stay at Starbucks after graduation.

Philip Regier, executive vice provost and dean of ASU online and extended campuses emphasized on how ASU wants to give everyone, no mater what their background, an equal chance to get a high-quality education. ASU has all 40 majors online as well as in person, making it more convenient for the working class.

“We did it [partnership] because we had a set of shared values,” Regier said.

This partnership between ASU and Starbucks is a leading example for an innovative state of mind in Arizona. Through the voices of the people, partnerships can form to benefit this generation. This partnership has created a way for aspiring college students to reach their highest potential in life.
“The face of Starbucks is not Howard Schultz, it’s the barista,” Hanley said.

scottsdael.kids

ASU is 11th in Teach For America corps members

Arizona State University ranked 11th in the nation among large universities for its number of graduating seniors joining Teach for America this year. Teach For America recently released it’s ranking of colleges and universities that contributed the greatest number of graduates to its 2014 teaching corps.

ASU moved up three spots from number 14 in 2013. It had 50 students commit to joining Teach for America. ASU is included in the “large schools” category among universities having 10,000 or more undergraduates.

“At ASU, students develop a commitment to change making,” said Nikki Gusz, strategic initiatives director in ASU’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. “It is hard to think of a role where someone can impact lives more than that of a teacher. We are inspired to see so many current students and alums continually drawn to making a difference in the lives of all students.”

Teach For America works in partnership with communities to expand educational opportunity for children facing the challenges of poverty. Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding college graduates and professionals who make an initial two-year commitment to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the movement to end educational inequity.

This fall, 10,600 corps members will be teaching in 50 urban and rural regions across the U.S. while 37,000 alumni work across sectors to ensure that all children have access to an excellent education.

Teach for America has partnered with ASU since 2006, when President Michael Crow helped launch a shared commitment to developing and supporting future education leaders. ASU’s Teach for America partnership received the ASU President’s Medal for Social Embeddedness in 2008. The partnership is institution-wide with its coordination headquartered in Teachers College, Gusz said. The organizations work on new innovation together, such as the Changemaking in Education class, focused on education innovation and offered in partnership with the Teachers College and Barrett, the Honors College.

Teach For America said this year’s teaching corps – which numbers 5,300 – is the most diverse in its history.

The organization said effective teachers come from all backgrounds and academic interests, and bring diverse perspectives and experiences to the classroom. Teach For America also has found that maximizing diversity supports its effort to attract the top talent our country has to offer.

Among the new corps members 50 percent identify as people of color (compared with less than 20 percent of all teachers nationwide), 47 percent received Pell Grants (an indicator of low-income background), and one-third are the first in their families to attend college.

Teach For America is known for attracting individuals with impressive professional, academic and leadership experience, and has long recognized the potential of teachers who share students’ backgrounds to serve as critical classroom leaders and role models.

For more information on Teach For America and other opportunities to Make Your Impact, visit https://eoss.asu.edu/makeyourimpact.

college graduates

Arizona State Credit Union rewards grads

Arizona State Credit Union awarded $38,000 to 19 deserving students and alumni of Arizona universities and colleges through its Community Leaders Scholarship and Loan Reduction Grant program.

The seventh annual grant and scholarship program supports the Credit Union’s ongoing commitment to provide financial assistance to students and alumni of in-state colleges and universities.

“The Credit Union’s cooperative culture stems from our focus on what we can do to help Arizona residents and community members,” said David E. Doss, President/CEO of Arizona State Credit Union. “Our scholarship program has been in place for seven years, and is one of the many ways we give back to the community. We are proud to once again reward students and alumni for all of their hard work.”

All 19 recipients hail from Arizona’s student and alumni population and are affiliated with one of the following schools: Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, the University of Arizona, South Mountain Community College, the University of Phoenix, Yavapai College, Estrella Mountain Community College and Coconino Community College.

The Community Leaders Scholarship helps students attending state universities, colleges and vocational schools pay for various expenses, including tuition, books and other academic necessities.

The Loan Reduction Grant assists graduates in paying on their student loans, a significant financial burden that affects many students upon graduation. The grant was awarded to graduates who exhibited strong academic prowess and active participation in community efforts.

For information regarding 2015 scholarship and grant applications, visit us online at azstcu.org.

Congratulations to:

• Aaron Burger – Northern Arizona University
• Alyssa McGregor – University of Arizona
• Angela Towner – University of Phoenix
• Blake Koolick – Arizona State University
• Brandon Quezada – Arizona State University
• Clarence Cleveland Jr. – Arizona State University
• Connie Berry – Arizona State University
• Delaney Scanlan – South Mountain Community College
• Heather McCrea – Yavapai College
• Lauren Meyer – University of Arizona
• Maria Pina – Arizona State University
• Natasha Kukowski – Arizona State University
• Nathan Eyde – University of Arizona
• Nicole Porter – Northern Arizona University
• Rianne Gibson – Northern Arizona University
• Saumya Gupta – Arizona State University
• Sergio Copus-Nunez – Estrella Mountain Community College
• Spencer Forsberg – Yavapai College
• Taylor Richards – Coconino Community College

angel

Bioscience innovators will pitch at White Hat Investors

Bioindustry Associations from across the Rocky Mountain Southwest Region are coming together to present an opportunity for Angels, Venture Capitalists and Strategic Investors to connect with the biotech and healthcare investment opportunities from across the Rocky Mountain Southwest states at White Hat Investors 2014 in Phoenix, Arizona on September 17 and 18, 2014.

“The West was won by innovators, investors, and prospectors who understood the value of discovery and accepted the challenge of investing in new frontiers,” shared Joan Koerber-Walker, president and CEO of the Arizona Bioindustry Association (AZBio). “Now, industry leaders and accredited investors have the opportunity to meet a new generation of biotech and healthcare pioneers at White Hat 2014, the first annual biotech and healthcare investor conference that showcases the best of the Rocky Mountain Southwest Region.”

White Hat Presenting Companies were selected from the region’s emerging innovation leaders in the fields of Diagnostics, Therapeutics, Medical Devices, and Health IT. Presenting companies are developing lifesaving and life improving innovations that will benefit people today and for generations to come while addressing some of our greatest health challenges including cancer, cardiovascular and pulmonary disease, neurological disorders, infectious disease, and more.

On September 17th, over 400 life science industry leaders will gather to view a company showcase, browse a student discovery zone and listen to presentations from local life science entrepreneurs on the BioAccel Best of the Best Stage from 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. in the North Ballroom of the Phoenix Convention Center. Free and open to the general public, it presents an opportunity for members of the community to connect with the region’s fastest growing innovation sector. The public pre-event will be followed at 6:00 p.m. by the AZBio Awards gala (registration required) honoring life science pioneer Roy Curtiss, III, PhD; Charles Arntzen, PhD, the Arizona State University Researcher who, with his team, played a key role in the development of ZMAPP, the experimental Ebola drug given to two health workers who were sickened by the deadly virus earlier this year; W.J. “Jim” Lane, Mayor of the City of Scottsdale for his work in developing the Scottsdale Cure Corridor; innovative educator Miles Orchinik, PhD of the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University; Jack B. Jewett of the Flinn Foundation for leadership of the longest running statewide bioscience development initiative in the United States; emerging technology leaders SenesTech, Pinnacle Transplant Technologies, and Cancer Prevention Pharmaceuticals along with the 2014 Arizona Bioscience Company of the Year, Insys Therapeutics, Inc.

White Hat events continue on September 18th at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Phoenix with presentations by privately-held life science companies presenting to attending representatives of family offices, investment funds, corporate investment/business development professionals for life science oriented firms (strategic investors), granting foundations, venture capital firms, and accredited investors. In addition to great company presentations in the areas of Medical Devices, Diagnostics, Therapeutics and Health IT, White Hat includes THREE general sessions featuring panel discussions on the investment environment from the perspective of Angels, Strategic Investors, and VCs.
Presenting Companies were selected from the Rocky Mountain Southwest’s emerging innovator leaders in the fields of: Diagnostics, Therapeutics, Medical Devices and Health IT and include:

• Aviratek, LLC
• Breezing
• Calimmune, Inc.
• CardioCreate, Inc.
• Convoy Therapeutics
• DiscGenics
• Elutin Vascular Inc.
• EndoShape, Inc
• Fluonic
• Imagenonics LLC
• Iron Horse Diagnostics
• INanoBio
• Kalos Therapeutics
• Kulira Technologies
• Meditope Biosciences, Inc.
• MSDx
• NeuroRecovery Technologies, Inc.
• NuvoMed
• NuvOx Pharma
• Pediatric Bioscience, Inc
• Portable Genomics, Inc.
• MedTalk Companion (Real Phone Corp)
• Recursion Pharmaceuticals
• RiboMed Biotechnologies
• Savoy Pharmaceuticals
• SenesTech
• Skylit Medical
• Sonoran Biosciences
• T-MedRobotics
• Valley Fever Solutions
• ValveXchange
• ViroCyt
• VisionGate
• Yolia Health

WPCarey-School-Sign

W. P. Carey School Ranks Top 30 Again

U.S. News & World Report announced its highly anticipated annual rankings for undergraduate business schools. Once again, the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University is honored among the nation’s Top 30. This is the ninth time in 10 years the school has made the prestigious Top 30.

“We’re proud to strive for and achieve excellence year after year, thanks to our dedicated faculty, staff, students and alumni,” says Amy Hillman, dean of the W. P. Carey School of Business. “This ranking is determined by deans and senior faculty members at peer schools, who understand what it takes to create and maintain a fantastic business program.”

In addition to the No. 29 ranking overall, the undergraduate business program is also among the top 10 in the West. The school’s acclaimed supply chain management program ranks No. 3 nationwide in the specialty category for its field. In addition, the school has several other programs in the Top 30 in their specialties – accounting at No. 30, entrepreneurship at No. 19, management at No. 20, management information systems at No. 15 and marketing at No. 23.

The W. P. Carey School and its programs have achieved many other recent Top 30 rankings, as well, including:

• U.S. News & World Report ranks the school’s full-time MBA program No. 27 in the nation.
• U.S. News ranks the school’s online MBA No. 2 nationwide and the school’s evening MBA No. 18 among part-time MBA programs.
• Britain’s Financial Times ranks the school’s online MBA program Top 10 worldwide.
• The Financial Times ranks the school’s China-based executive MBA program No. 28 worldwide.
• The University of Texas at Dallas ranks the W. P. Carey School Top 30 worldwide for business-school research productivity.
• The Center for World-Class Universities at Shanghai Jiao Tong University ranks the W. P. Carey School No. 22 in the world for economics/business.

For more information about the W. P. Carey School of Business, visit www.wpcarey.asu.edu.

bioscience

ASU’s Arntzen Named Bioscience Researcher of the Year

image003Charles J. Arntzen, PhD, the founding director of the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, has been named the 2014 Arizona Bioscience Researcher of the Year. The award is given annually to the life science researcher in Arizona who has made the most significant contribution to the advancement of knowledge and the understanding of biological processes.

“Charlie was instrumental in helping create an experimental drug called ZMapp that was recently used to treat U.S. aid workers infected with Ebola this summer,” says Joan Koerber-Walker, president and CEO of the Arizona Bioindustry Association. “His work has put Arizona on the map in new ways as people all over the world are fascinated by the idea that it is possible to produce medicine inside a plant.”

“Charlie’s work represents some of the best and brightest of Biodesign,” says Raymond DuBois, executive director of the Biodesign Institute. “By erasing traditional boundaries between the sciences, we are able to deliver unexpected solutions.”

Arntzen’s primary research interests are in plant molecular biology and protein engineering, as well as the utilization of plant biotechnology for enhancement of food quality and value, and for overcoming health and agricultural constraints in the developing world. He has been recognized as a pioneer in the development of plant-based vaccines for human disease prevention, with special emphasis on needs of poor countries, and for disease prevention in animal agriculture. His work developed the technology by which human proteins (such as ZMapp) can be expressed in and harvested from plants.

Arntzen is the Florence Ely Nelson Presidential Endowed Chair and Regents’ Professor in ASU’s School of Life Sciences. He serves on the board of directors of Advanced BioNutrition and is on the advisory board of the Burrill and Company’s Agbio Capital Fund and the Nutraceuticals Fund.

Prior to coming to ASU in 2000, Arntzen was president and CEO of the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research. He also served on President George W. Bush’s Council of Advisors on Science and the National Nanotechnology Oversight Board.

Arntzen will be honored at the AZBio Awards Gala on Sept. 17 at the Phoenix Convention Center. The AZBio Awards ceremony celebrates Arizona’s leading educators, innovators and companies. Each year AZBio honors bioindustry leaders from across Arizona illustrative of the depth, breadth and expertise of the state’s bioscience industry.

Past winners of the Arizona Bioscience Researcher of the Year Award include: Leslie Boyer, MD (The University of Arizona), Paul Keim, PhD (Northern Arizona University and TGen-North), Jessica Langbaum, PhD (Banner Alzheimer’s Research Institute), Milton Sommerfeld, PhD, and Qiang Hu, PhD (Arizona State University), Bruce Rittman, PhD (Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University), Rod Wing, PhD (Arizona Genomics Institute at the University of Arizona), and Roy Curtiss, III, PhD (Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University).

housing

No Housing Bubble Right Now in Phoenix

The Phoenix-area housing market is NOT creating another housing bubble to pop anytime soon. The latest monthly report from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University shows a lack of enthusiasm from both buyers and sellers. Here are the latest details on Maricopa and Pinal counties, as of July:

• The median single-family-home sales price went up 8 percent from last July, but forward price movement is greatly slowing down.
• Activity in the market was also much slower this July than last July, with the number of single-family-home sales down 19 percent.
• The W. P. Carey School is launching an enhanced-content website where those interested in more in-depth housing-market statistics can get customized views of what’s happening.

Phoenix-area home prices dramatically recovered from the housing crash, quickly rising from September 2011 to last summer. This year, prices dropped a little, leveled off, and then finally, the median single-family-home price rose this summer. The median jumped 8 percent — from $194,000 last July to $210,000 this July. Realtors will note the average price per square foot also went up about 8 percent. The median townhouse/condo price went up about 6 percent to $130,000. However, don’t expect much more upward momentum.

“Most of the median-price increase over the last 12 months is because a greater percentage of the homes being sold are in the luxury market, not because home values overall are increasing,” says the report’s author, Mike Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “We anticipate pricing will move sideways or slightly down over the next few months until supply and demand get back into balance.”

At the moment, both demand and supply are low in the Phoenix area. The amount of single-family-home sales dropped 19 percent from last July to this July. (The only bright spot is new-home sales, which increased their market share from 9 to 12 percent.) Investors have focused on other areas of the country with better bargains, so the percentage of residential properties they bought in July was just 13.6 percent, down from the peak of 39.7 percent in July 2012. Orr says other home buyers aren’t stepping in, and supply isn’t rebounding.

“Usually, when demand is weak for an extended period, supply starts to grow, as it did in the second half of 2005 and throughout 2006 and 2007, heralding the collapse of the housing bubble,” Orr explains. “However, this summer, supply is slowly weakening. It appears that the lack of enthusiasm among buyers has spread to sellers, instead of causing them to panic. Many sellers clearly have the patience to wait for better times and are unwilling to drop prices to dispose of their homes.”

Orr adds the choices for anyone who wants to buy a Phoenix-area house for less than $175,000 are pretty slim. For example, bargain foreclosures are few and far between. Completed foreclosures on single-family homes and condos are down 45 percent this July from last July.

The limited options at the low end of the market are also contributing to the booming demand for single-family rental homes. Orr says fast turnover and low vacancy rates have already pushed the rent on single-family homes in the most popular areas up 7.5 percent over the last 12 months. Affordable apartment and condo rentals have also become hard to find.

In order to better serve the public with more insight on the Phoenix-area housing market, Orr and the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W. P. Carey School of Business are launching a new enhanced-content website today. In addition to the free news releases distributed by the school, those wanting more housing data can subscribe at www.wpcarey.asu.edu/realtyreports. The premium site includes statistics, charts, graphs and the ability to focus in on whatever interests you most about the market.

“Though we’ve already had a great response to our housing reports, we wanted to make our real estate information even more useful to people,” says Orr. “With the enhanced site, you’re able to customize your view to more closely examine data in particular price ranges, specific parts of the Valley, and even certain transaction categories. We think the real estate community will be really pleased with the new tools.”

tempe-graduate

New hotel brand launching in Tempe

AJ Capital Partners announced the launch of Graduate Hotels, with the opening of Graduate Tempe. The new hotel collection will target college markets across America that celebrate each respective town’s local culture and history. Located directly across from Arizona State University, the 141-room boutique hotel will offer an intellectual return to the glory days of college and will feature two food and beverage concepts, The Normal and Tapacubo.

Graduate Tempe is slated to open in late September.

Opening alongside sister hotel Graduate Athens in Georgia, this fall marks the inaugural semester for the novel new hotel brand. Created for travelers who seek memory-making stops, Graduate Hotels are part of a well-curated, thoughtfully crafted collection of hotels that reside in the most unique college towns across the country. Additional locations including Oxford, Miss.; Madison, Wis; Charlottesville, Va.; and Bloomington, In. are slated to open in the next year.

“A hotel is typically your first and last impression of a city, and most hotels give an uninspiring
picture of its surroundings,” says Ben Weprin, Founder of AJ Capital Partners. “Graduate Tempe
certainly sets the stage for the community and captures today’s rhythm of the community.

“Most hotel brands want you to wake up and know what brand you are staying with,” says Christian Strobel, President of Graduate Hotels. “At Graduate we are looking to create an experience where you wake up feeling the vibrancy and energy of the town you are staying in. Our goal is to capture Tempe’s unique spirit throughout the hotel.”

The Normal, the hotel’s diner-chic restaurant, will serve breakfast all-day, along with sandwiches, salads, La Colombe coffee and shakes with signature menu items such as the Minimum Wage Meal and Hayden Mills Blue Corn Pancakes. The Normal will be a nostalgic, warm venue ideal for guests of all ages, especially those with a playful sense of humor.

Tapacubo, the hotel’s Mexican street food outpost, will feature a bar made of 38,000 Mexican
pesos, mid-century garage-inspired furniture and margaritas served from gas pumps. The menu will celebrate south of the border fare items such as tacos, arepas and guacamole along with a beverage menu of Mexican craft beer, margaritas and micheladas. Additionally, there will be rooftop bar on the fourth floor that overlooks the ASU campus.

Graduate Tempe, formerly the Twin Palms Hotel, was designed with passionate travelers in mind and will commemorate the youthful optimism of school days. Inspired by ASU’s groundbreaking work in the study of human origins and life sciences, the hotels’ interiors are decorated with a sense of adventure and will feature an array of primitive and Native American artwork, many sourced locally by the ASU Art Department. Upon arrival, guests will be greeted at the front desk created from a digital print of Charles Darwin’s Origin of the Species, as well as a large-scale ant farm created in partnership with ASU’s School of Life Sciences, Social Insect Research Department.

The Graduate Tempe serves discerning alumni, current and prospective students, parents,
professors, visitors and business travelers alike, providing gracious settings for social events and group meetings. The 1,800-square-feet of flexible meeting space can handle anything from
boardroom meetings and reunions to weddings and events.

For more information about Graduate Hotels, please visit www.graduatehotels.com.

Conquering Concussions

ASU, TGen Team Up for Concussion Research

Riddell, the leader in football helmet technology and innovation, and the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), a leader in cutting-edge genomic research, today announced that the Pac-12’s Arizona State University and its Sun Devil football program will again participate in a genetic research study designed to advance athlete concussion detection and treatment.

Now in its second year, the joint research project will combine molecular information and head impact data from Sun Devil football student-athletes to identify whether the effects of sub-concussive hits are identifiable. The researchers will monitor the players’ changing molecular information throughout a season of typical head impact exposure associated with football practice and games. Representatives from the Sun Devil medical team and TGen will collect the molecular samples from the participating athletes, all of whom volunteered to partake in the study.

“This partnership represents another dynamic and innovative step toward ensuring that the health and well-being of our student-athletes remains our most important goal,” Vice President for Arizona State University Athletics Ray Anderson said. “Sun Devil Athletics continues to serve as a pioneering force in this important issue and is proud to participate in this world-class research study for the second consecutive year with two outstanding industry trendsetters in Riddell and TGen.”

Arizona State’s preferred helmet and protective equipment provider, Riddell, has again deployed its Sideline Response System (SRS) to obtain real-time head impact data from Arizona State football student-athletes. Riddell SRS provides researchers with a wide range of valuable information on the frequency and severity of head impacts a player receives during games and practices. Data gathered from the system will be combined with genetic information from players that experience concussion, with the objective of helping physicians diagnose concussion and better identify when a player might be expected to recover and return to the field.

“Player protection has become an essential part of football, and this cutting-edge partnership sets ASU apart from not only the rest of the conference, but every collegiate football program in the nation,” ASU Head Coach Todd Graham said. “We are not only looking out for our student-athletes while they are enrolled at ASU, but for the rest of their lives. You become a part of the brotherhood once you put on the maroon and gold, and that doesn’t end at graduation.”

Riddell will also utilize the player head impact data collected from the ASU and TGen research partnership to inform the development of new football helmets and further refine updates to smart helmet technologies like Riddell SRS and its recently launched Riddell InSite Impact Response System.

“We’re impressed by the enthusiasm exhibited by our partners, Arizona State University and TGen, as we enter the second season of our important research collaboration,” President of Riddell Dan Arment said. “They have matched our level of passion for football, and we are all committed to better protecting those that play the sport we love. We are left encouraged following the first year of our project and look forward to continuing on the path towards advancing concussion detection and treatment of athletes.”

The researchers at TGen are exploring whether the effects of sub-concussive hits are identifiable through blood-based molecular information. Their findings could prove pivotal to the game of football and other sports. Similar to last season, during this phase of the study the TGen faculty and staff are on the sidelines collecting samples and data. A baseline sample was collected from all participating players prior to their pre-season workouts. Since then, the researchers have followed the team through their daily workouts and will continue throughout the season.

Through the collection of samples over various points in time and the data generated by Riddell SRS, the goal is to identify the genomic changes in athletes exposed to routine head impacts during practice and games, athletes with diagnosed concussions that recover on both a routine time scale, and athletes with persistent symptoms following concussion that require additional treatment.

“As the mother of a young son who has played football, I’m keenly aware of the need to improve the current standards in place today for dealing with this issue,” said TGen Associate Professor Dr. Kendall Van Keuren-Jensen, whose technique for studying the collected samples drives this unique partnership. “As a researcher whose daily work looks for ways to determine the early warning signs of head injury, I get to see first hand how committed Arizona State University and Riddell are to student-athlete safety, and their determination to improve the game at all levels.”

Following the season long campaign, the researchers will gather post-season data and begin the analysis process with their colleagues at Barrow Neurological Institute and A.T. Still University. During this process, TGen will work closely with Barrow, whose B.R.A.I.N.S. (Barrow Resource for Acquired Injury to the Nervous System) program treats patients who have sustained a traumatic brain or spinal cord injury. The Barrow data will provide the researchers with additional concussion data and allow for comparison between data sets.