The Arizona Tribune

Arizona State University Gets Its First Accelerator Program from SparkLabs

The SparkLabs Group is one of the world’s leading startup accelerators and venture funds that have successfully worked with hundreds of startups across the globe. However, the company also wants to groom and promote another fresh crop of startup founders, and to that end, they have set up accelerator programs at different universities. The program in question is known as the SparkLabs Frontier, and the first one is going to be launched at the Arizona State University in July of 2019.

The program which has been christened as SparkLabs Frontier-ASU will be open to applicants from three schools in the university, the Thunderbird School of Global Management, the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering and W.P. Carey School of Business. However, it is also important to add that it will be open to alumni as well and that allows this program to draw talent from a wide pool of students. The deadline for applications will start on the 13th of May. According to the co-founder of SparkLabs group Frank Meehan, the ASU has made giant strides under the leadership of Michael Crow, the current president of the university. In an e-mail, Meehan said, “ASU has grown into the most innovative school in the U.S., risen quickly up the national research rankings, leading a deep-space NASA mission for the first time and has heavily integrated entrepreneurship throughout its campus and schools.” 

This is, without a doubt, a huge opportunity for gifted and entrepreneurial students at ASU. The program is quite comprehensive and starts off with a training program that helps students in learning how to develop their business ideas and then to pitch it to potential backers. The training period is supposed to last for 12 to 16 weeks, and once that is completed, the proper accelerator program commences. In the main program, no more than six to eight start ups are accepted and needless to say, it is a highly competitive environment in which the students will find themselves. However, at the same time, it is important to keep in mind that this is going to be different from other programs that are run by SparkLabs and applicants should not expect seed funding straightaway. Meehan stated in his e-mail,  “The pre-accelerator program will be to develop ideas, talent and teams, so we don’t even expect these individuals to have co-founders or colleagues at this stage.”

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