Hear about real ideas and their results.

Idea Team Stories

An insightful experience

Bringing together ASU’s leading-edge faculty and staff with our sophisticated, successful, private sector Executive Leaders is a recipe for success.

Kay Faris, Senior Associate Dean, Academic Programs,

W.P. Carey School of Business, ASU

I would certainly recommend the Idea Enterprise to my colleagues – without question. The Executive Leaders brought a diversity of opinions to the table and their feedback and insights were thoughtful and helpful. What I appreciated most was the group’s candor. Their honesty and support gave my team the confidence to shift our mindset and explore new ways of working on our project.


Laura Hosman, Assistant Professor, School for the Future of

Innovation in Society and the Polytechnic School

“I found the Idea Enterprise experience extremely beneficial, from the preparation process to the valuable connections I made during the session. I approached IE when I was at a crossroads, but with the help of the Executive Leaders, I walked away with a clearer idea of what direction I needed to head in and how to get there.”

Bill Brandt, Director of Strategic Integration, ASU LightWorks

“I appreciated the format of the Idea Enterprise session and that it allowed for productive, free-flowing conversation. Our Idea Enterprise session brought useful feedback and valuable industry connections. Overall, it was a ‘homerun.’”

Douglas Sylvester, Dean, Sandra Day O'Connor College of

Law, ASU

“I was impressed by the level of engagement and commitment of the Executive Leaders. The insight provided by the ELs has really helped us crystallize what it is we are doing and prioritize what is most important to that mission.”

Gabriel Shaibi, Center Director, Center for Health Promotion and

Disease Prevention, College of Nurshing and Health

Innovation, ASU

“Our team appreciated the iterative process of drafting the briefing document for the Idea Enterprise. At first I found it a little frustrating. I didn’t understand why I was being asked to “sharpen the pencil,” but with the guidance of the IE team I realized that the reason we had to sharpen the pencil was because it wasn’t quite as sharp as we originally thought.”

Leah Gerber, Professor, School of Life Sciences, and Director,

Center for Biodiversity Outcomes (CBO), ASU

“My session with the Executive Leaders (ELs) was not only extremely helpful but quite fun as well. They approached our Idea from many different perspectives which kept us on our toes and made the feedback we received all the more compelling. In addition to the general insight on direction and strategy, the ELs provided us with actionable suggestions that we have been integrating into our business plan as we prepare to mobilize. The Idea Enterprise™ brings great value to ASU.”

Eric Hekler, Assistant Professor, School of Nutrition and Health

Promotion, ASU

“Working through The Idea Enterprise™ process was a valuable experience. We first worked with the IE team who helped us to hone our idea and specify, simplify and focus our writing. This process was not only valuable in its own right, but prepared us for a productive and revealing conversation with the ELs. What was most interesting about our time with the ELs was how it re-shaped our thinking. They helped us discover what it was we needed to focus on and helped us formulate the questions that needed to be explored right now, not in some vague and distant future. Overall, we received good actionable feedback that we have been actively building on.”

Heidi Blair, Director, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College Partner

Grants, ASU, PLL Leader

“As educators, the PLL Team lacks business knowledge and understanding. We believe our idea is sound from the education perspective, however, we were unsure of this from a business perspective. The Idea Enterprise™ provided us with an unprecedented opportunity to receive feedback and insight from an immensely talented group whose personal and collective business acumen is unmatched. The process of working with the IE team to prepare for our session with the panel served as a focusing experience that allowed us to explore more deeply our vision. We have moved toward our vision with greater success, than we could have if we had not participated.”

Christopher Wharton, Associate Professor, School of Nutrition and

Health Promotion, ASU

“Faculty aren’t necessarily business-minded simply because their training is research-oriented. Even so, it’s always important to connect our research whenever possible to real-world applications and solutions. The Idea Enterprise™ provides faculty with the unique opportunity to get out of our labs and start thinking in terms of solutions. And the Executive Leaders guide us in a direction where we can identify the tangible next steps that will help put our ideas into motion. I found bringing Middle Path Life to IE to be a deeply valuable experience.”

Professor Gregory B. Raupp, Director, Macro Technology Works

(MTW) Initiative, Office of Knowledge Enterprise

Development, ASU

“Often times when you are working so closely on an idea, you lose sight of other perspectives and are too focused on what you’re doing and the directions you are headed. Bringing IF-Tech to the Idea Enterprise was immensely valuable as it forced me to think in a different way and look at IF-Tech through the filter of another’s point-of-view and experiences. I have no doubt that the insight and feedback provided by the Executive Leaders will help to further IF-Tech advancement.”

Gregory Rodriguez, Executive Director of Zócalo Public Square, ASU

“The entire process of The Idea Enterprise™ (IE) was beneficial and very worthwhile. The ability to zoom out and look at Zócalo with a fresh set of eyes was extremely useful. The support we received from the IE team WAS PHENOMENAL, and the insight WE GOT from the Executive Leaders was VERY helpful to our trajectory. Because of our experience, we feel we are now better able to articulate our vision and know we are on the right path.”

Duncan Hoffman, CEO of NextPotential

The Idea Enterprise exceeded our expectations in every way – the session was well structured, organized, and professional. It has been an overwhelmingly positive experience to interact with this group of Executive Leaders who possess such keen insight and business acumen across a wide range of industries. The advice and feedback helped to validate our business model and sharpen our focus, which will help NextPotential as it moves forward and expands. Most importantly, this entire experience bolstered our team’s morale and provided a new sense of motivation as NextPotential continues to evolve.

Professor Cody Friesen, Director of Zero Mass Labs, ASU

My team and I brought our idea to the May 2014 IE session and found it extremely useful to advancing our idea and its eventual deployment. I highly recommend The Idea Enterprise™ to my ASU idea leader colleagues. The broad spectrum of Executive Leaders that May Busch has pulled together provide for an efficient and difficult-to-replicate source of feedback.

Lindy Elkins-Tanton, Director, School of Earth and Space

Exploration, ASU

My participation in The Idea Enterprise™ was a wonderful and productive experience. While the session itself was great and gleaning insight from the Executive Leaders was useful, what I found particularly valuable was the process of working with the IE team. With their guiding feedback, we sharpened our own understanding of our Idea and produced a smart and focused briefing document that successfully communicated Beagle Learning’s message and vision. This experience has been highly valuable in preparing us to move forward with our Idea.

Jake Pinholster, Associate Dean, Herberger Institute for Design

and the Arts, ASU

“Going through IE was like ‘idea boot camp.’ We felt challenged by the process at times, but it really pushed us to refine our Idea. As a result, our Idea was made far superior to what it would have been had we not participated. We now have a much stronger platform with which to move forward. Unquestionably, The Idea Enterprise served as a catalyst for moving our idea forward.”

Markos Tambakeras, former CEO of Kennametal

I have spent the last three decades in International business affairs but now that I have more personal time, education has become my focus. The Idea Enterprise™ is a trans-disciplinary initiative which intermingle business and education.  The Idea Enterprise™ is a significant opportunity for ASU ideas to receive valuable, strategic business insight.  I am proud to help ASU ideas take fruit and soar.

Gary Tooker, former CEO of Motorola

I am a proud ASU Alum and am pleased to be a part of this new Initiative.  The Idea Enterprise™ takes ASU’s big ideas and strategically evaluates them, in hopes that the idea, one-day, further contributes to ASU’s success and advancement.

Joie Gregor, Founder of JAG Advisors, LLC

The Idea Enterprise™ is a unique initiative in which interdisciplinary ideas are presented and analyzed.  The purpose of this initiative is of great interest as it allows me to take part in broad based problem-solving, helping a big idea to become a reality.

Phil Francis, former CEO of PetSmart

I serve on several boards that are directly involved in advancing the community, and The Idea Enterprise™ has similar goals. This initiative takes ideas that address various societal challenges and figures out the best way for the idea to advance forward. I am the biggest fan of ASU, its leadership and The New American University and it is a privilege to be a part of advancing ASU ideas to save the world, country and state.

Featured Testimonials

“The Idea Enterprise™ group posed tough questions that helped my team evolve our public service academy model and prepared us for future negotiations with donors and other stakeholders.”


Jacqueline Smith, Executive Director of University Initiatives, ASU

“This has a real potential to make a difference.”


Gary Dirks, Director, ASU LightWorks


“This was an extremely valuable experience… I wish this had been around six months ago when we were launching Furnace.”


Gordon McConnell, Assistant Vice President for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Venture Acceleration for the Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development, ASU