Grad Students Seek Business and Community “Pain Points”

Real-world issues sought – to be addressed in new one-year graduate program at ASU focusing on innovation and venture development

What’s the biggest, most urgent or most complicated problem facing your local or regional community, your business category, the nation or even the international scene?

Leaders of a new graduate degree program at Arizona State University (ASU) are seeking pain points – critical issues facing the business and community leaders.

Your submission of a specific pain point may be the foundation of a new enterprise beginning this fall semester, as students will work in teams to create new business ventures that help solve some of society’s most urgent problems.

The 12-month Master of Science in Innovation and Venture Development (MSIVD) program is a cross-disciplinary partnership between the ASU Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, W.P. Carey School of Business and Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

“New challenges, unimaginable just a few months ago, are now top of mind. We’re asking leaders and exciting thinkers to share the challenges they’d like MSIVD teams to address – a pain point, a need, what they hope someone will invent to solve a problem,”

says Chery Heller, MSIVD program director.

The pain points submitted by business and community leaders in Arizona will be evaluated, ranked and presented to the student teams as possible projects to work on.

Pain point issues can be submitted by completing a short online questionnaire at no later than Friday, July 31.

“Teams may work to solve a full spectrum of challenges, from for-profit to non-profit, social ventures to digital innovation, local problems to international,” Heller added. “Students literally become entrepreneurs the first day they walk into the MSIVD program.”

The only academic degree of its kind in the U.S., combining resources from three separate schools, the MSIVD program is funded by a gift from ASU alumnus Tom Prescott, former president and CEO and current director of Invisalign Technologies.

“We’re challenging each student to grow in their ability to lead, innovate and create solutions to issues facing businesses and communities in today’s world,” says Prescott. “Since each student team will have the opportunity to present their venture to potential investors before graduation, we believe many will have a good chance to be funded.”

To learn more about the MSIVD program, visit

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For More Information, Contact:

Ed Brachocki, MSIVD Advisory Board Member


Questions? Email