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That’s the Ticket: ASU, Lottery partner to ‘give back’


By David Medina

Arizona State University’s J. Orin Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute and The Global Sports Institute will be partnering with the Arizona Lottery and its Gives Back program. 

The partnership will help support ASU’s Global Sport Venture Challenge.

The J. Orin Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute at ASU was created to help new entrepreneurs push their ideas, not only in the Valley but all over the globe. 

According to a statement, The J. Orin Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute serves as a premiere connecting and collaborating conduit across ASU and throughout the world. The Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute helps propel entrepreneurial aspirations by way of opportunities to explore, share, test and advance ideas. 

As a central source of information, resources and people, engaging with the Edson E+I Institute is to develop an entrepreneurial mindset, engage with global and local events and communities, and launch an idea through mentoring, funding, spaces and commercialization.

The Global Sports Institute at ASU focuses on problems that are plaguing the world of sports. According to a statement from The Global Sports Institute, it is where diverse disciplines converge to thoughtfully examine critical issues impacting sport. 

It continues, as a cross-disciplinary enterprise, the institute’s efforts are integrated throughout the entire university — from engineering to sociology, the athletic department and beyond — rather than within a single concentration. With an emphasis on expanding research, sharing knowledge, supporting innovation and advancing education, the institute’s mission is to use sport to create positive change throughout the world.

Arizona Lottery’s Gives Back uses proceeds from Arizona lottery tickets and puts them toward higher education, health and human services, environmental conservation, and economic and business development. According to a study, the program gave over $287.8 million to Arizona communities in the 2021 fiscal year.

With these partnerships, ASU use these funds to encourage, educate and support young entrepreneurs building products and services focused on, but not limited to, venue innovation, immersive technology, fan engagement, athlete training and performance, mental health, sustainability, NIL, data analytics, sustainability and community relations/social impact, according to a statement from ASU and the Arizona Lottery. 

This is where ASU’s Global Sport Venture Challenge comes in. 

The Global Sport Venture Challenge is a pitch competition that helps young entrepreneurs with sports-related startups. The winners of the competition will get up to $50,000 in grant funding and additional resources like one-on-one mentorship and workshops.

Applications for the Global Sport Venture Challenge close on October 23. The pitch competition is December 3, as hybrid (virtual/physical) demo day, where executives from the Arizona Lottery and ASU will select the winners. 

“We are thrilled to bring on board the AZ Lottery to award our entrepreneurs grant funding to advance their innovative sport-related ventures that deeply impact our communities,” says Tracy Lea, director, venture development, J. Orin Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute at ASU.

“It’s through these partnerships that we’re able to grow the reach of the Global Sport Venture Challenge as part of ASU Venture Devils Demo Day connecting vital resources to our ventures.”

Jeff Kunowski, Global Sport Institute associate director of innovation programs, says he believes this is a special opportunity for the applicants and ASU.

“ASU’s focus on education, innovations and economic development align perfectly with the mission and values put forth through the AZ Lottery’s Gives Back program. We look forward to seeing all of the great ideas coming out of this year’s program,” Kunowski says. 

Applicants do not need to be affiliated with ASU to be eligible for the Global Sport Venture Challenge. Each applicant must submit a 5-minute video pitch, a one-page executive summary, and have a logo and website for his/her proposed pitch/startup. For more information, visit https://bit.ly/GlobalSportVenture.

Gregg Edgar, executive director of the Arizona Lottery, says he believes that this partnership will benefit the state in many ways.  

“We recognize the benefits that the business of sport brings to Arizona, and we want to foster the development of our next generation of entrepreneurs,” Edgar says, “As a significant driver of our state’s economy, the lottery is always looking for ways to help create jobs and generate revenue in Arizona for years to come.” CT


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