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Engineering  |  Entrepreneurship + Innovation

Amazon Alexa Venture Challenge


Amazon Alexa Venture Challenge is part of ASU’s Startup Funding Network, a suite of startup funding tracks that are defined and led by the University’s colleges and schools. The ASU Funding Network is designed to activate the New American University’s design aspiration of valuing entrepreneurship and providing entrepreneurial experiences to all ASU affiliates.

The Amazon Alexa Venture Challenge, powered by the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, enables practicing entrepreneurs to win between $1,000 and $10,000 in seed grant funding, along with professional Venture Mentorship and additional startup support offerings.

The Amazon Alexa Venture Challenge is open to all ASU-affiliated entrepreneurs who aim to prove or disprove that there is valid demand for a prototyped solution (product or service) beyond an initial beneficiary or customer. Organized by Entrepreneurship + Innovation @ Fulton Schools, this bi-annual competition aims to strategically develop early-stage technology ventures that may be well suited to compete for and win other ASU, local, national, and global entrepreneurship competitions. The Amazon Alexa Venture Challenge also helps all supported ventures to develop repeatable and scalable business models, regardless of follow-on funding or support opportunities.


About the Amazon Alexa Innovation Fellowship


The Amazon Alexa is a virtual assistant developed by Amazon, used in the Amazon Echo and the Amazon Echo Dot smart speakers developed by Amazon. It is capable of voice interaction, music playback, making to-do lists, setting alarms, streaming podcasts, playing audiobooks, and providing weather, traffic, sports, and other real-time information, such as news, and more.

The Alexa Innovation Fellowship inspires and enables student entrepreneurs to enhance their products with voice. As conversational AI advances, we will increasingly interact with technology using voice. Since technology innovation and entrepreneurship starts on college campuses, Amazon has partnered with leading university entrepreneurship centers to help student-led startups across all industries supercharge their innovations with voice. Dr. Brent Sebold, the director of Entrepreneurship + Innovation at ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, is one of 10 national entrepreneurship faculty members selected for the 2018–2019 Alexa Fellowship. Sebold’s Fellowship award powers ASU’s Amazon Alexa Venture Challenge.


How it Works


The Amazon Alexa Venture Challenge features several highly competitive phases. First, competitors must apply to the ASU Venture Devils program. Venture Devils applications are accepted and processed five times per year, coinciding with the Fall A+B, Spring A+B, and Summer C session start dates.

Applications must be submitted exactly one week before classes begin for any given Fall A+B, Spring A+B, and Summer C session in which you aim to participate. This application deadline cycle is essential to ensure that we are able to review your application information and match you with an appropriate Venture Mentor and Funding Network track prior to the start of the session. See the ASU Academic Calendar for future Fall A+B, Spring A+B, and Summer C start dates and be sure to apply at least one week prior.

Next, once your startup joins the ASU Venture Devils family, you will be invited to participate in our bi-annual Pitch Playoff and Demo Day events. During the Pitch Playoffs each October and March, several volunteer evaluator panels will determine which ASU-affiliated startups are worthy of an array of available seed grants, ranging between $1,000 and $10,000 in value.

Finally, during the Demo Day events each December and April, an Amazon Alexa Venture Challenge judging panel will determine which ASU-affiliated technology startups are worthy of seed grants ranging between $1,000 and $10,000 in value.

Apply to Venture Devils to be considered for the next Amazon Alexa Venture Challenge