Venture Accelerants

Venture Accelerants is designed to give all students an opportunity to engage with entrepreneurship, by turning ASU-led Ideas into sustainable businesses. Whether you are a founder or an Innovator, this program is a great way to apply your entrepreneurial mindset. Click a link below and join us.

Pakis Social Challenge

Social entrepreneurs see a better future for our communities and know that creating a solution with a scalable, sustainable model is the best way to achieve that future. They may build non-profit organizations or they may pursue a for-profit venture to achieve their goals. A social entrepreneur seeks to understand the needs of a community (local or global) and builds solutions to best fit those needs. Are you a social entrepreneur?

The Pakis Social Entrepreneurship Challenge is open to all ASU students who wish to make change in the world through the creation of new ventures. The winning team receives funding and close mentorship from the Pakis Center for Business Philanthropy at the Arizona Community Foundation, and will automatically be granted acceptance into one of the SEEDSPOT programs within the next 12 months.

The Pakis Challenge features two highly competitive phases:

  • Phase One - three finalist teams will be selected from entries across ASU during the Venture Devil Pitch Playoffs and given $7,500 each to enhance and improve their idea (to be announced at Venture Devils Demo Day).
  • Phase Two - the finalists will present their concept live, with one winner awarded $20,000 in grant funding and mentorship to transform their idea into reality during the Venture Devils Demo Day.

Challenge winners

  • REACT $20,000
  • Dext Technologies $5,000
  • New Trails Navigators $2,500

All funding competitions, including the Pakis Social Entrepreneurship Challenge, are now being facilitated through the Venture Devils program. Please apply to become a Venture Devil to be considered for funding.

Venture Devils

Venture Devils supports all ASU student, faculty, staff, and community-based entrepreneurs. Dedicated mentorship from Venture Mentors is paired with an optional online Venture Devils course, which is designed to challenge, monitor, and advance the venture development process. As part of Venture Devils, founders may receive direct access to ASU funding opportunities and venture development spaces.

All ASU-affiliated founders who are committed to commercializing an impactful new product or service by launching or growing a for-profit, more-than-profit, or non-profit enterprise are welcomed into the ASU Venture Devils family.

Demo Day

Twice a year, ventures compete for funding at Demo Day, a showcase for top ASU-affiliated ventures in several categories to deliver investor-style pitches as they compete for over $250K in funding and support. All community members are invited to watch all the pitches and support their favorite idea.

New Venture Challenge

The New Venture Challenge is a graduate-level course and competition designed for ASU graduate students and their co-founders who seek to advance a new venture concept to the next stage. The course gives graduate students across ASU the opportunity to further develop core aspects of their business model and fine-tune pitch messaging with feedback from experienced entrepreneur faculty and mentors, and provides an entry point into the competition.

New Venture Challenge is offered in session B of the spring semester and meets once per week on Monday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m. You will spend a significant amount of time pitching ideas and receiving tailored feedback and guidance to improve your business model, strategy, and approach, while learning effective ways to communicate.

How to apply

To apply for New Venture Challenge, teams must complete the application and satisfy the following considerations:

  • Teams must have material ownership and responsibility assigned to one or more ASU graduate or doctoral student(s).
  • Other members of the team may include other students in any program or individuals outside of the university.
  • All graduate level ASU team members must enroll in the New Venture Challenge course. Concerns or conflicts can be discussed with instructor.
  • All teams in the New Venture Challenge must sign the terms and conditions of the investment should they be selected.
  • All teams enrolled and actively participating in the course will be considered as finalists invited to pitch for the New Venture Challenge prize.

Deadlines and downloads

2019 New Venture Challenge Timeline

  • Monday, Nov. 26 — NVC info session
  • Wednesday, Jan. 16 — NVC info session
  • Thursday, Jan. 31 — NVC written applications due
  • Friday, Feb. 1 and Monday, Feb. 4 — NVC live pitch application days
  • Monday, Feb. 25 — NVC orientation pre-class session
  • Monday, Mar. 11–Monday, April 29 — New Venture Challenge course (MGT 594 & FSE 598)

Download the New Venture Challenge application

Download a sample Simple Agreement for Future Equity (SAFE), which is an agreement between an investor and a company that provides rights to the investor for future equity in the company.


The top teams from the course will be invited to the New Venture Challenge pitch day for the chance to receive over $50,000 in seed investment funding and key services to launch and grow a company. After being selected, the winning teams will be guided and advised by their mentors and will have access to office space to run their company.


Congratulations to the 2019 New Venture Challenge winners! Ten teams joined the New Venture Challenge last year and received access to dedicate industry expertise, curriculum, and elite mentorship opportunities. Top participants then competed for their share of $50k. Last year's winners were:


Scott Wald  |  President and CEO  |  Romar Services, LLC

Named one of “America’s Hot Young Entrepreneurs” by Fortune and an “Entrepreneur of the Year” by INC. Magazine, Scott Wald is currently the founder and President of Romar Services, LLC, a private family office and investment firm. Wald is also the founder, and former president and CEO of ASAP Software Express. Wald sold ASAP Software to Corporate Express, a multi-national distributor with revenues in excess of $10 billion. Dell purchased ASAP from Corporate Express.

Wald is also co-founder of SurePayroll, the nation’s largest provider of payroll services to small businesses over the Internet. He helped spearhead that firm from three employees to over 30,000 customers and its sale to Paychex. Scott also participated in the growth of the third most installed software package on the Windows platform. He was involved in InstallShield’s early stage development through to its sale to MacroVision, as an active member of the board of directors.

Scott began his career in the marketing department of the New York-based Flagstaff Corp., which later became Triarc. After working as the assistant to the president, Scott returned to ASU to complete his MBA. Upon graduation, Hewlett Packard recruited Scott, where he received his grounding in the computer industry. Crain’s Chicago Business named Wald to their list of 40 outstanding Chicagoans who’ve made it to the top of their fields before their 40th birthday. The University of Illinois also inducted Wald into the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame Award for Outstanding Achievement. Scott was inducted into Arizona State University’s Hall of Fame for exhibiting exceptional professional success and service to the community. Scott currently is the founding instructor of New Venture Challenge (NVC) at Arizona State University. The NVC is taught to graduate level business and engineering students. Scott also serves on the Board of Directors of Arizona State University Foundation.