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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 (https://asunow.asu.edu/20170221-asu-innovation-open-finalists-announced-groups-will-compete-100000-top-prize).

Swift Coat (www.swiftcoat.com/) uses ARCS-funded technology developed in the Holman Research Group at ASU (http://faculty.engineering.asu.edu/holman/) 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 (https://asunow.asu.edu/20160512-entrepreneurship-asu-entrepreneurs-find-big-success). 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  (https://asunow.asu.edu/20170220-discoveries-asu-and-stanford-researchers-achieve-record-breaking-efficiency-tandem-solar-cell) and was awarded a $2.2M research grant from ARPA-e to use nanoparticles to improve the efficiency of single-pane windows (http://www.cbs5az.com/story/32118535/new-technology-at-asu-hopes-to-lower-your-air-conditioning-bill).