About the eSeed Challenge

The eSeed Challenge is part of ASU’s Innovation Challenge program, a series of competitions that are defined and led by the University’s colleges and schools. The ASU Innovation Challenges engage students in the New American University design aspiration of valuing entrepreneurship and providing entrepreneurial experiences to all ASU students. The Fulton Schools of Engineering eSeed Challenge enables students to win up to $6,000 in seed funding and an all-expenses paid innovation field trip to advance their entrepreneurial ventures. The eSeed Challenge is open to all ASU students 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 student ventures that may be well suited to compete for and win other ASU, local, national, and global entrepreneurship competitions. The eSeed Challenge also helps all supported ventures to develop repeatable and scalable business models, regardless of follow-on funding or support opportunities.

How it works

The eSeed Challenge features three highly competitive phases. In Phase One, 30+ challenge teams are selected from entries across ASU and given $1,000 to validate or reject their key business model hypotheses. In Phase Two, the challenge teams present the status of their ventures and compete for admission into the eSeed Accelerator where 10+ of the 30+ teams will each be awarded an additional $5,000 to increase traction within their target markets. Finally, in Phase Three, 12 of the eSeed Accelerator team founders will be selected to participate in an all-expenses paid innovation field trip, hosted by Mr. Tom Prescott, the eSeed Challenge’s lead benefactor.

About Tom Prescott

Tom Prescott

Mr. Tom Prescott, an ASU Engineering alumnus, believes that all ASU students are capable of becoming impactful innovators. Mr. Prescott has catalyzed the eSeed Challenge with a generous gift to the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering to support early stage student ventures.

Tom was the former President, CEO, and Director of Align Technology Inc. Prior to Align, Tom was the President and Chief Executive Officer and a Director of Cardiac Pathways, a pioneer in treating dangerous cardiac arrhythmias with cooled ablation technology. Mr. Prescott led the turnaround, recapitalization and ultimately the sale of this interventional cardiology company to Boston Scientific Corporation.

Prior to Cardiac Pathways, Mr. Prescott held various general management and executive roles at Nellcor Puritan Bennett, a company with nearly $1 billion in revenue and a leader in respiratory products and pioneer of pulse oximetry for patient safety monitoring. Mr. Prescott also held various management positions at GE Medical Systems, a global leader in diagnostic imaging and transformational medical technologies.

In addition, he served in sales, marketing and management roles at Siemens, one of the world’s largest electrical engineering and electronics companies. He earned his Master’s degree from Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University and his Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Arizona State University.

Student and Team Eligibility 

  • All full- or part-time students at Arizona State University may participate.
  • Individual students or teams are eligible. Multidisciplinary teams are preferred.
  • The team leader must be a full-time or part-time undergraduate or graduate degree-seeking student during the program period. Finalist applicants will be asked to provide proof of enrollment and winners must be in good academic and disciplinary standing at the time awards are presented.
  • Although teams should seek advice from mentors, the project, prototype, venture, or partnership idea must be student-led.
  • As mentioned, applicants are encouraged to incorporate members and/or mentors from different departments or colleges within the university. Teams may also have members who are not affiliated with the university (e.g., friends, family, work colleagues, etc. who are not ASU students).

Apply to Venture Devils to be considered for the next eSeed Challenge