On Friday, Nov. 18, the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University held its 20th annual Spirit of Enterprise Awards at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa. The award winners were chosen because of their passion to innovate and improve the lives of their community.
Originally the Spirit of Enterprise was known by the name of the Arizona State University Center for the Advancement of Small Business. It was started in 1995 by Shirley Schmitz, an Arizona State University student who graduated in 1949.
“Schmitz believed that students needed to be more involved with the practice of entrepreneurship,” said Tara Montoya, the program manager at the Center for Entrepreneurship at ASU’s W.P Carey School of Business. “We continue to grow the program because we know how important it is to promote and celebrate the companies in Arizona that are working 365 days a year to support the economy.”
Over 80 awards have been given out to local businesses in the past 20 years. Awarding the finalists is a two-step process. The first round consists of nine judges reviewing all the applications received and narrowing it down to the top 20 companies. In the second round, held on a different date, the top 20 companies give a 15-minute pitch on their company to four judges who then choose the finalists and winners.
The award winners and finalists included:
BBVA Compass Innovation in Entrepreneurship Award
The award was given to TASER International, a company located in Scottsdale that creates and sells smart electrical weapons, body cameras and evidence management software to law enforcement.
Tanga.com, a Chandler-based company that provides deals on wholesale name brand items was a finalist for the award.
Social Impact Award
Coplex, a startup studio located in Phoenix and Los Angeles that helps startups become successful by using collaborative product design, development and growth strategy, took home the award.
“Coplex is focused on being engaged not only with our clients but also on the community. We want to make sure that we are present and engaged. Winning the social impact award has given us confirmation that we are on the right track,” said Elizabeth Campbell, a Coplex team support member.
Willmeng Construction, a Phoenix-based construction company that completes large and small construction projects and claims never misses a substantial completion date was a finalist for the award.
Emerging Enterprise Award
The award went to CampusLogic, a company located in Gilbert that uses cloud based technology to simplify financial aid for students.
eVisit a Mesa-based company that provides telemedicine software to healthcare and hospital officials to increase patient flow and revenue was a finalist for the award.
Gary L. Trujillo Minority Enterprise Award, sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona
The award went to CO+HOOTS, a Central Phoenix-based community-supported, collaborative workspace that helps entrepreneurs grow by offering events, workshops and a space where designers, entrepreneurs, etc. can get together to create.
Scottsdale-based Sentinel Fence and Contracting, which provides valuable and cost efficient services and has had zero worker’s compensation claims since its inception, was a finalist for the award.
Hahnco Companies Special Achievement in Entrepreneurship Award
The award was won by Tiempo Development a Tempe based company that creates innovative and easy to use software for businesses with near-shore partnerships. Meltmedia a website and app developer based in Tempe was a finalist for the award.
Student Entrepreneur Award
Scottsdale-based startup EpiFinder provides doctors and healthcare professionals with an iPad app and software tools that will help correctly diagnose epilepsy syndromes. The startup won the award.
“We are very grateful to ASU, ASU Skysong, SeedSpot and W.P. Carey for hosting us and for the celebration,” said Neel Mehta, the co-founder and strategy officer for EpiFinder. “We are on the right track and we have to keep going forward.”
Tempe-based 33 Buckets was a finalist for the award for their work to bring clean water to communities that don’t have access to clean water.