Avnet and Arizona State University to Host Inaugural ASU Innovation Open

Finalists will compete for $100,000 at final round pitch competition
on April 2

PHOENIX–(BUSINESS WIRE)–$AVT #IoT–As part of its ongoing partnership with Arizona State University (ASU)
to drive technology innovation and entrepreneurship, Avnet (NYSE:AVT)
is sponsoring the inaugural ASU Innovation Open (ASUio). The final round
of the ASUio, the ASUio Demo Day, will take place this Sunday, April 2
at Arizona State University’s Beus Center for Law and Society, from 1:30
to 4:00 p.m.

The ASUio is a highly competitive challenge that draws dozens of
student-led teams from across the United States, including Arizona,
California and Hawaii, to design innovative technologies that leverage
the Internet of Things (IoT) and help address the world’s most complex

Four teams of finalists will compete for a grand prize of $100,000,
sponsored by Avnet. The winning team will use these funds to continue
developing their new technologies. Participation was open to all current
university students from any academic discipline and required an
application process, including a video submission and a live Q&A session
with a panel of evaluators. All entries were narrowed down to 15
semi-finalists who were then invited to participate in a VIP experience
that included tickets to the Waste Management Phoenix Open and a second
round of pitching to a panel of judges. The top four finalist teams were
then selected and received $5,000 from Zero Mass Water to further their
innovations, and the opportunity to win the $100,000 grand prize at the
ASUio Demo Day event.

“The ASU Innovation Open demonstrates our support of entrepreneurs and
startups, big and small, through every step of the product lifecycle,
starting with an idea and taking it all the way to production and
distribution,” said MaryAnn Miller, senior vice president, chief human
resources officer, and global marketing & communications for Avnet.
“Avnet is preparing for tomorrow’s economy today and turning new ideas
into marketable realities. We are proud to sponsor the ASU Innovation
Open as part of our longstanding commitment to supporting technology
development and STEM education.”

Teams competing in the Open include:

  • Nunami
    : University of Arizona (U of A) Kory Chinn, Ryan
    Leeper and Scott Marshall developed sensors to enhance how
    self-driving cars detect surroundings, a technology which could
    potentially make roads and highways safer.
  • RepWatch:
    John Ikudaisi, Robert Kyler and Alexis Schomer from California
    Lutheran University designed wearable technology that corresponds with
    a mobile app to allow someone recovering from an injury to easily
    track physical therapy and fitness activities and recover as quickly
    as possible.
  • Somatic
    : Shantanu Bala, Ajay Karpur and Jake Rockland–
    from ASU and U of A – built a wearable device called ‘Moment,’ which
    uses touch cues via haptic feedback to communicate alerts such as GPS
    navigation and caller ID to the user.
  • Swift
    : Peter Firth and Zak Holman, from ASU, developed a
    coating, inspired by graffiti art, which can range from one
    nanoparticle-monolayer thick to more than one millimeter, offering new
    solutions for the solar, glazing, filtration, display and sensor

Each of the four finalist ventures will have five minutes to present
their project to a five-judge panel, comprised of industry leaders and
subject matter experts including: MaryAnn Miller, senior vice president,
chief human resources officer, and global marketing & communications for
Avnet; Therese Bassett, chief strategy and innovation officer for Avnet;
Cody Friesen, ASU Associate Professor and CEO of Zero Mass Water;
Michael Hool, managing partner, Hool Coury Law; and Dean Duncan, senior
director of strategy, Salt River Project. The finalist teams will then
respond to judges’ questions for a period of seven minutes. After the
presentations conclude, judges will deliberate to select a winner.
Avnet’s Hackster.io
– the fastest growing, online community for learning and creating
hardware – plans to receive and tally votes online,
the results of which will factor into the selection process.

“The Innovation Open represents ASU’s commitment to valuing
entrepreneurship in all of its forms,” said Dr. Kyle Squires, dean of
the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at ASU. “Arizona State
University has been honored to collaborate with Avnet, along with many
other dedicated sponsors and ASU colleagues, to make this inaugural
competition a success. We are thrilled to provide an impactful
experience for all the participating students who have come to compete
from all over the Southwest and beyond.”

Avnet’s sponsorship of the ASUio builds on the company’s ongoing
partnership with ASU. Last year, Avnet and ASU launched the Avnet
Innovation Lab
to enable aspiring entrepreneurs to advance their
innovations. The lab continues to provide critical business consultation
and venture support to entrepreneurs developing new technology.

The ASUio will be open to the public; however, registration
is encouraged.

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About Avnet

From idea to design and from prototype to production, Avnet supports
customers at each stage of a product’s lifecycle. A comprehensive
portfolio of design and supply chain services makes Avnet the go-to
guide for innovators who set the pace for technological change. For
nearly a century, Avnet has helped its customers and suppliers around
the world realize the transformative possibilities of technology. Learn
more about Avnet at www.avnet.com.


Maureen O’Leary, 480-643-7499
Partners, for Avnet
Jamie Ernst, 480-308-0286