Startup Village: An entrepreneurial residential community on ASU's Polytechnic campus

From Facebook to Google, college is where many entrepreneurial students start their own businesses from scratch.

At ASU, these aspiring entrepreneurs now have the opportunity to live and work together on the University's Polytechnic campus in a residential community known as the Startup Village.

The community is a cul-de-sac of small, two-bedroom houses filled with students of many majors, though that will likely change as more entrepreneurial students join the Startup community.

Each resident of the village has created a startup of their own, and works to build his or her business up with the help of peers and ASU faculty mentors. Alex Gomez, a graphic information technology junior, lives in the Startup Village.

"The Village brings students with similar interests together to help each other with their different expertise and viewpoints," he said.

Members of the village have weekly meetings where they discuss issues related to the community and hear from various faculty members and professionals from the entrepreneurial field.

Amir Harris, a technological entrepreneurship and management sophomore living in the Startup Village, started a clothing business called Honorable Guilty Uth.

He started the business his junior year of high school, when he said he walked around school and realized that everyone was wearing the same thing and no one looked like their own person.

He said he wanted to create a clothing line that “brings out the individual and inspires you to be different" because he believes clothing is an important part of how people express themselves.

“The first words that a person hears from you aren’t from your mouth," Harris said. "They’re in what you wear.” 

He said he wants to create a brand that allows each person to be unique and that ASU has given him the opportunity and the support to do that.

Harris has two new plans to expand his brand: to create a carbon fiber skateboard and to take over Greek life apparel.

The carbon fiber skateboard will be made out of recyclable material that will last for around 4 years longer than the average skateboard. Not only will it be good for the environment, but it will be more sustainable for the users as well.

“It will be like a luxury skateboard," Harris said. "You have luxury cars, you have luxury clothes— but no one has luxury skateboards."

As for Greek life, Harris said sororities and fraternities often wear shirts with their Greek letters on them. Harris plans to collaborate with Greek organizations on their clothing.

Harris said collaborating with Greek life would help him to expand his brand, and would bring ASU campuses together, uniting students from the Polytechnic campus with students from other campuses.

Students interested in living in the Startup Village next year can apply online before the March 1 deadline.

Related Links:

ASU Polytechnic Startup Village creates a residential community for like-minded entrepreneurs

Tech Devil: ASU Startups Deserve Credit


Reach the reporter at aegeland@asu.edu or follow @alexisegeland on Twitter.

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