SkySong touts massive growth in FY18 reporting

If you live in the Valley, you’ve probably driven by SkySong dozens or even hundreds of times, depending on your commute, and may not know what exactly goes on there. Its tautly stretched white tent-like canvas juts up and out, making it look like the campus is being attacked by a giant Bourgeois-esque sculpture. But, aesthetics and design aside, SkySong has actually been a hotbed for innovation and technology since its inception in 2005. And now, a baker’s dozen years after it was announced, SkySong is touting massive and unparalleled growth and advancements.

In fact, so far this year, SkySong has had a banner year. Researchers are touting that 285 inventions have been disclosed to SkySong Innovations, a limb in Arizona State University’s Knowledge Enterprise. This is a record number of disclosures (i.e. ideas and projects with the potential to become commercial developments) for SkySong, which continues to position itself as a landmark of tech research and advancement.

Altogether, SkySong is also touting big numbers in technology commercialization, with 123 U.S. patents issued in 2018, 78 license and option agreements signed, and 17 new startups launched.

“We want to allow students to upgrade their skills and build up tech transfer here. We believe that by having all these activities in a physical location provides connectivity for companies,” says Sethuraman “Panch” Panchanathan, executive vice president and chief research and innovation officer of Knowledge Enterprise Development at ASU. “A lot of ideas are moving and being incubated at SkySong. This is going to be an evolving place for innovation.”

One of the outcomes of all these patents being processed and startups, well, starting up, is a positive economic impact. The operations from SkySong Innovations and 40 ASU-related companies have helped the state’s economy in a cumulative $403 million in gross state product, $272 million in labor income, $36 million in state and local tax revenues, and more than 4,000 job-years. Combined, this comes out to a projected economic impact of more than $1 billion by 2022.

This meteoric rise in productivity has garnered attention from would-be investors looking to link up with SkySong projects. ASU-linked companies pulled in more than $50 million in total revenue funding, adding to the nearly $750 million total funding raised by ASU startups.

In FY18, SkySong Innovations introduced a new acceleration program for ASU-linked projects. These startups go through a 14-week mentorship program to help shape their overall direction, with up to six startups being selected for $20,000 worth of seed investment at the end of the program.

“What we’re expecting is more growth,” adds Panchanathan. “We have a strong group of programs, like engineering and business, that are necessary for a company, like an Oracle or Infusionsoft, to be successful.”

This year has also highlighted the fact that SkySong Innovations’ reach goes beyond just in-state projects and development. The offsite, California-based wing of SkySong became the only non-local university member of the Alliance for SoCal Innovation, a group that bridges innovators to capital and experienced operators throughout the Golden State. A recent event held by the Alliance featured only four presentations from more than 90 university startup applicants, one of which was ASU startup Charlot Biosciences.

Here’s a list of other startups that hit the ground running in FY18:

  • Vantronics, LLC 
    Vanishing electronics for biological monitoring and treatment
  • Mastrik, LLC
    Portable laser-based measurement system
  • Obeo Wellbeing, LLC 
    Transforming mental health science into consumer-focused solutions to improve youth, family, and community wellbeing
  •, LLC 
    Contact-free, biometric identity management and physiological data acquisition for health monitoring
  • Xtretch Technologies, LLC 
    Stretchable battery technology for wearable electronics
  • Pricewise Analytics, LLC 
    Algorithms that calculate optimal pricing for businesses that market complex product lines
  • CyNET, LLC 
    Cybersecurity, network intrusion detection, and intelligent security in virtual network systems
  • GreyDyne, LLC 
    Seizure detection and prediction
  • NodRive, LLC 
    Integrated device for automated detection of pathogenic E. coli
  • Teuvonet Technologies, LLC 
    Integrating machine learning and artificial intelligence with the Internet of Things
  • IDTX, LLC 
    Diagnostic devices embedded with biomolecular computing, initially targeted to combat the Zika virus
  • Nanobot Biosciences, Inc. 
    Robotic drug delivery platform
  • Precient Technologies, LLC 
    Bioreactor membrane able to remove and harvest Platinum Group Metals (PGMs)
  • Artis Looking Glass, LLC 
    Proprietary machine learning and artificial intelligence for online and social media sources
  • Hoolest Performance Technologies 
    Drug-free technologies that reduce performance anxiety treatment
  • Indie Financials, LLC
    Financial modeling tool for independent filmmakers

Nick Esquer

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