Mortenson, DLA Piper Joins Forces with ASU and Arizona Coyotes Venture Challenge to Bolster Funding and Resources
$60,000 in grant funding, legal services, and other resources available to sport-focused startups
AZ Coyotes Venture Challenge

TEMPE, Ariz. - The Arizona Coyotes, the Global Sport Institute at Arizona State University (ASU), and the J. Orin Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute at ASU, have announced new program partners for the upcoming Arizona Coyotes Venture Challenge, Mortenson and DLA Piper.

The Arizona Coyotes Venture Challenge will help establish new and innovative sport concepts that can be launched, piloted, and scaled within the Coyotes’ various facilities. This program will provide a launchpad for aspiring entrepreneurs while keeping the Coyotes on the forefront of new sport-related innovation. The call for applications will open Sept. 13, 2021 and close on Oct. 24, 2021, it will culminate with a hybrid virtual/live pitch competition in early December 2021 at ASU Demo Day.

Mortenson and DLA Piper have signed on as corporate sponsors of the Venture Challenge. Mortenson will be donating $20,000, access to office/conference space for locally based ventures, and marketing support through their Marketing department for the winner(s) of the competition.  DLA Piper will be providing up to 15 hours of legal services for the winning venture and conducting a legal workshop for the competition finalists. 

“We are honored to support this important initiative in continuing to advance technology and innovation in our community and across these organizations,” said Ben Goetter, vice president and general manager at Mortenson. “We have so much respect for Arizona State University and the Coyotes for pushing the envelope when it comes to technology and setting new standards for the industry. We are eager to collaborate with the entrepreneurs to identify opportunities for these sports-related innovations to be applied to the construction industry – impacting the industrial athletes in the field on a daily basis.”

“As we collaborate with and innovate with our clients across sectors, we do so by providing them not just with the advice and counsel they need to grow and prosper, but by equipping them with the tools to evolve and anticipate change in a dynamic global business environment,” said Travis Leach, a partner in DLA Piper’s Emerging Growth and Venture Capital practice, based in the firm’s Phoenix office. 

Executives from the Coyotes, Mortenson, and DLA Piper will be evaluating the submissions and will help select the winner(s) of the venture challenge. The Coyotes will provide an opportunity for the winning venture(s) to beta-test their product/service within the Coyotes’ organization. The Global Sport Institute and the Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute will supply the winner of the venture challenge with promotional resources, workshops, and 1:1 mentorship. The entities have also committed to providing up to $60,000 in funding to the winning venture(s).

"We are very pleased to work with Arizona State University, Mortenson and DLA Piper on this exciting venture challenge," said Arizona Coyotes President & CEO Xavier A. Gutierrez. "It’s imperative that professional sports teams develop and leverage cutting-edge technologies to engage fans in and out of their arenas, deliver unique and compelling content, and operate as best-in-class business enterprises. This challenge aligns with our key focus on innovation, and we look forward to providing young entrepreneurs with an opportunity to launch their innovative sports concepts." 

The venture challenge will be focused but not limited to startups working within venue innovation, immersive technology, fan engagement, athlete training & performance, data analytics, and community relations/social impact. The program framework will be provided through Edson E+I Institute’s Venture Devils program and will conclude with a virtual/live demo day pitch competition in December 2021. 

Applicants do not need to be affiliated with Arizona State University to apply. Those interested in applying can learn more about this opportunity:

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