The Richard D. Filley ‘Make A Difference’ Entrepreneurship Award

About The Richard D. Filley ‘Make A Difference’ Entrepreneurship Award

At Arizona State University – America’s Most Innovative University – entrepreneurship flourishes across the student body. This is especially true within the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, where undergraduate students and alumni have won a disproportionately high number of entrepreneurship and startup product and venture awards in university-wide, local, national, and international startup and entrepreneurship competitions.

This award is designed to continue this success by identifying promising candidates early in their studies, and through a competitive nomination and selection process, rewarding the winner(s) most likely to make a difference and change the world as an entrepreneur.

Through our existing ASU Venture Development programs, The Richard D. Filley ‘Make a Difference’ Award seeks to identify promising undergraduate engineering student candidates whose demonstrated entrepreneurial accomplishments and future startup potential merit recognition, encouragement, and a grant award. Selection of the individual winner(s) are made by a committee selected and convened by E+I @ Fulton administrators each spring.


  • Full-time undergraduate students, either online or resident
  • Any major within the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering
  • GPA 3.0 or higher
  • First- or second-year academic standing is strongly preferred, with at least one semester of full-time study at ASU already completed
  • Candidate nominations may come from:
  • Technology Entrepreneurship & Management (TEM) faculty members
  • Other Fulton Schools of Engineering faculty members
  • ASU Venture Devils competition judges
  • ASU E+I administrators and staff

Meet The Winners

Cora M. Greenisen, Spring 2023 Award Winner

Cora M. Greenisen
Spring 2023 Award Winner

Devarshan Patel, Spring 2022 Award Winner, standing next to Professor Richard Filley

Devarshan Patel
Spring 2022 Award Winner

Selection process

  • Financial need is not a consideration
  • Diversity is encouraged in the selection process
  • The entrepreneurial accomplishments of a student candidate considered for this award may include at least one of the following:
    • The launch of a new venture that is in revenue,
    • Has applied for (or holds) a patent(s),
    • The development of a new product or service with a working prototype and promising market potential,
    • Previous entrepreneurship competition success

Apply to Venture Devils to be considered for the next Make A Difference Award

About Richard D. Filley

Richard Filley
Richard Filley served as lead social entrepreneurship faculty in the technology entrepreneurship and management (TEM) program in the Polytechnic School within the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University. In this role he taught entrepreneurial students and startups of all types, and has pioneered innovative ways to teach entrepreneurship online to students located across the United States and around the world.

At various points in his career, Filley has founded and led a technology-based startup (All About You), been a part of a team of inventors developing new patented products (Mountain Safety Research), been an intrapreneur creating new programs at ASU (including EPICS at ASU, ASU Corporate Leaders Program, and the Global Futures Initiative) and mentoring and launching new social entrepreneurship ventures (such as the Digital Backpack Project).

His entrepreneurial students and teams have won a number of major national honors, including winning the 2012 Microsoft U.S. Imagine Cup (FlashFood), winner of the 2012 ASU 10,000 Solutions competition (SafeSipp), winner of the 2013 Ford Motor Company College Community Award (FlashFood), and the world’s top-ranked undergraduate team in the 2012 Dell Social Innovation Challenge (33 Buckets). In addition, G3Box, a team formed in one his entrepreneurship went on to win recognition as ‘2011 College Entrepreneurs of the Year’ from Entrepreneur magazine.

Filley was recognized with an honorable mention in the global 2012 Dell Social Innovation Education Awards, given for commitment to supporting and mentoring students involved in developing innovative solutions to social problems, fostering creativity in classroom teaching methods and dedication to building institutional support for social innovation education. He was selected from over 100 faculty nominees worldwide. He also regularly judges student entrepreneurship competitions, including the University of San Diego Innovation Challenge, the ASU Edson Student Entrepreneurship Initiative, and was a judge for the 2013 World Finals of the Dell Education Challenge.

Earlier in his ASU career, served as founding director of the international award-winning ASU Corporate Leaders Program. Prior to joining ASU he was an editor for Industrial Engineering magazine (published by the Institute of Industrial Engineers).

The successes of two high tech student community service programs he founded have been recognized: In 2002 with an award (presented to him by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate F.W. de Klerk) from the United Way International at their annual conference, held in Cape Town, South Africa. Also, in 1996, when Filley was selected as a “community hero” by the Valley of the Sun United Way and given the chance to carry the Olympic torch as it passed through the Valley headed for Atlanta.

Terry Obeng Ampomah

Join Professor Filley
in supporting the next generation of ASU student innovators