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Mayo Clinic Joins the Arizona Furnace Technology Transfer Accelerator

Scottsdale, AZ (PRWEB) September 17, 2013

Arizona State University and Mayo Clinic announced today that Mayo will become a technology transfer participant to join Arizona Furnace, the startup accelerator that supports entrepreneurial teams using designated research discoveries and intellectual property as the basis for new companies.

As ASU and its current partners prepare to launch the second application season for AZ Furnace, Mayo Clinic will provide access to high potential technologies in their extensive intellectual property vault. These technologies, as well as those from ASU, Northern Arizona University and Dignity Health in Arizona, will be made available to entrepreneurs interested in using those discoveries to create products, services and new companies.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to have technologies conceived by Mayo Clinic staff vetted for startup opportunity potential through the AZ Furnace,” says Jim Rogers, chair Mayo Clinic Ventures. “We look forward to working together to shape the field of medicine for clinicians and ultimately for patients.”

Launched in September of 2012, AZ Furnace began as a pilot initiative to address the critical issue of improving the technology transfer process for public and private research institutions. In particular, the Furnace method in Arizona focused on research partners who wanted to offer their technologies to startups for commercialization. The successful AZ Furnace pilot program offered up more than 250 technologies for entrepreneurs to choose from. More than 50 teams applied to this first competition, and 22 of the most promising were invited to make a final pitch to a panel of judges from the various research and funding partners.

In November 2012, ten winning teams, made up of external entrepreneurs and internal staff and faculty, were announced by AZ Furnace and the two funding partners, Arizona Commerce Authority and BioAccel. Winning teams each received $25,000 in a seed funding grant, access to more than 250 top industry mentors and 6 months of acceleration support including access to designated incubation space throughout Arizona.

"Cultivating innovation is woven into the culture and heritage of Mayo Clinic,” says Wyatt Decker, M.D. Vice President, Mayo Clinic; CEO, Mayo Clinic in Arizona. “The AZ Furnace Program represents an opportunity to fuel innovation alongside our strategic partner, Arizona State University, as well as the other esteemed contributors. AZ Furnace is a truly powerful and well-designed incubator for such activities and we look forward to participating during this second cycle."

Funded by the Arizona Commerce Authority and BioAccel, the AZ Furnace Accelerator will officially launch in September of 2013. As a stimulant to the Arizona economy, the startup teams invited into AZ Furnace must incubate their new companies in the acceleration spaces being made available to them across the state.

“AZ Furnace has proven itself to be a valuable tool for the technology transfer offices of leading research institutions,” said Charlie Lewis, vice president of venture development for Arizona Technology Enterprises, the technology transfer arm for ASU. “By providing entrepreneurial teams with access to top technologies in both the physical and life sciences areas, new companies are being launched that will allow the benefits of these discoveries to be realized by society.”

The goal for the second round of AZ Furnace is to increase the number of startup teams that apply to, and are funded by, the accelerator. “Bringing on additional technology transfer participants, like Mayo Clinic, will increase the number of cutting-edge, high-potential intellectual properties available for interested entrepreneurs who are looking to capitalize on research discoveries to create viable businesses,” said Gordon McConnell, associate vice president for entrepreneurship and innovation within ASU’s Office of Knowledge Enterprise.

AZ Furnace is a state-wide initiative to drive economic development through the creation of high-potential, research based startups. AZ Furnace is supported by Northern Arizona University, the University of Arizona, Dignity Health, Thunderbird School of Global Management, and Science Foundation Arizona. Furnace is run by the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group at ASU, the university unit created as a joint initiative between the Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development and Arizona Technology Enterprises, to accelerate high-potential startup companies.

Meagan Garrett
Marketing and Communications Manager
Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group at ASU
Ph: 480 884 1724
Email: meagan.garrett(at)asu(dot)edu

About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit worldwide leader in medical care, research and education for people from all walks of life. For more information, visit or

About the Furnace Technology Transfer Accelerator (
The Arizona Furnace Technology Transfer Accelerator is a startup accelerator designed to launch new companies created from technologies and intellectual property licensed from Arizona’s premier research institutions. Arizona Furnace is the first accelerator in the world to offer the most commercial research and discoveries from universities and other research organizations to external entrepreneurs on a competitive basis. It is a public-private partnership among the Arizona Commerce Authority, BioAccel and the technology transfer offices of Arizona State University, Dignity Health in Arizona, and Northern Arizona University.

About Arizona Technology Enterprises (
Arizona Technology Enterprises (AzTE) is the exclusive intellectual property management and technology transfer organization for Arizona State University. It works with faculty, investors and industry partners to speed the flow of innovation from research laboratory to the marketplace. AzTE was established in 2003 as an Arizona Limited Liability company with the ASU Foundation as its sole member.

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