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Arizona Lottery and ASU Global Sport Institute Partner to Host ‘Demo Day’ for Sports Entrepreneurs

Candidates to showcase their startups in competition to receive up to $50K grants.

PHOENIX (November 22, 2022) – The Arizona Lottery has teamed up with the Global Sport Institute (“GSI”) at Arizona State University (ASU) to host a “Demo Day,” where entrepreneurs showcase their innovative sports business ideas to receive funding for their startups. Similar to the popular television show “Shark Tank,” panelists will host the Global Sport Venture Challenge on December 3rd at SkySong Innovations to decide which entrepreneurs will receive up to $50,000 in grant funding.

This $25,000 Arizona Lottery Gives Back sponsorship will support GSI’s efforts to educate and empower sport-minded entrepreneurs as part of GSI’s broader mission to leverage sport to create positive change throughout the world. The Arizona Lottery uses money from ticket sales to support nonprofit programs and organizations that contribute to Arizona’s communities in four key areas: Higher Education, Health and Human Services, Environmental Conservation, and Economic and Business Development.

The Global Sport Venture Challenge is a funding track offered by GSI and supported through ASU’s Venture Devils program, which receives funding through ASU Foundation, a non-profit 501(C)(3). Previous Demo Days put on in conjunction with other GSI-sponsored funding tracks were supported by industry sponsors including the Arizona Coyotes, Sun Devil Athletics and the M.A. Mortensen Company, giving entrepreneurs access to beta testing opportunities in sport.

“The Arizona Lottery is honored to invest in Arizona by investing in these entrepreneurs in partnership with ASU and their Global Sport Venture Challenge,” said Arizona Lottery Executive Director Gregg Edgar. “The Arizona Lottery is all about making dreams come true and we are excited to help these budding entrepreneurs realize theirs by providing them with the tools necessary to innovate and succeed.”

Gregg Edgar and Raynie Hosto, Arizona Lottery Deputy Director of Customer Service & Sales will serve as panelists for the event alongside Dr. Scott N. Brooks, Director of GSI and Dr. Casey Sechler, Associate Director of Research at GSI.

“A strong economy means a better Arizona for everyone,” Edgar added. “That’s why, during the 2022 fiscal year, the Arizona Lottery transferred $3.5 million to the Arizona Commerce Authority’s “Arizona Competes” fund, to grow and retain businesses and jobs across our great state.”

Earlier this year the entrepreneurs were able to apply to the ASU Venture Devils program. After the startup has made its way through the application process, they are invited to participate in the Demo Day event. 

“The Global Sport Institute is grateful for our partnership with the AZ Lottery,” said Jeff Kunowski, the associate director of innovation programs at the Global Sport Institute. “At GSI, we measure ROI in terms of impact created through our venture challenge programming, and this partnership enables us to add a significant amount of value to these early-stage startups as they pursue their entrepreneurial endeavors.”

In addition to the $50,000 prize, the Global Sport Institute and J. Orin Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute will provide promotional resources, workshops, and one-on-one mentoring to the venture challenge winners.

With these funds, the selected entrepreneurs will be able to make their ideas come to fruition and create opportunities to expand and build upon their businesses. 

To learn more about Arizona Lottery Gives Back program, click here.