Current News

Phoenix ARCS Scholar Plays Key Role in Launching One of ASU's Most Promising Start-Ups

Posted on Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Peter Firth, a 2016/2017 ARCS scholar and 3rd year PhD student, was recently recognized as one of ASU’s top student entrepreneurs when he was named as a finalist for ASU’s Innovation Open, a new technology venture acceleration competition. Firth’s company, Swift Coat, was one of four companies selected to present their business to a panel of judges for a shot at a $100,000 grand prize on April 2nd, 2017 (

Swift Coat ( uses ARCS-funded technology developed in the Holman Research Group at ASU ( to produce nanoparticle-based coatings used in applications like antibacterial clothing, ultra-high-definition displays, and medical sensors. The company was founded in May of 2016 after Firth won the New Venture Challenge, a business plan competition for graduate students, and was awarded $45k in seed funding ( The company’s success in the business world stems from the success in the lab. Swift Coat’s technology was recently used to produce a world record efficiency solar cell  ( and was awarded a $2.2M research grant from ARPA-e to use nanoparticles to improve the efficiency of single-pane windows (