Resources for innovators and entrepreneurs

Washington University in St. Louis provides a robust array of resources for innovators and entrepreneurs, from training to funding, mentorship and real-world experience. Learn more about them here.

For Women


Conferences |

The Simon Initiative | HER Summit

A multi-stage, collaborative initiative aiming to develop a distinctive ecosystem of women entrepreneurs, advisers, mentors and investors by connecting women in the WashU community to a network of seasoned female entrepreneurs and innovators.
Eligibility: Women in all WashU schools
Affiliation: Skandalaris Center

OWN IT

An annual leadership conference that unites like-minded women to share their wisdom and practical advice in a variety of professional areas, from business to STEM. The 2018 OWN IT conference is on Nov. 10.
Eligibility: Female students, faculty, women in the St. Louis community
Affiliation: Olin Business School

Student Groups |

Women’s Empowerment in Business (WEB)

 A new student-run organization whose mission is to connect and support women in business. WEB will help educate members to navigate the business world through community, group and one-on-one tailored discussions based on members’ career interests.
Eligibility: Women in all schools
Affiliation: Olin Business School

Society of Women Engineers (SWE)

The WashU chapter of SWE aims to connect female engineering students through networking, mentoring and social activities to create a supportive environment.
Eligibility: Women alumni and students of SEAS
Affiliation: School of Engineering & Applied Science (SEAS)

Programs by Schools |

Pam Kendall-Rijos Olin Women’s Mentor Program

The Sophomore Women’s Mentor Program pairs rising female sophomores with St. Louis businesswomen from a variety of industries. The student/mentor pairs meet twice per semester for events and activities that build professional skills. The Junior Women’s Mentor Program pairs rising female juniors with female industry leaders across the country. The student/mentor pair communicates via Skype or email. In addition to the mentor relationship, students are invited to join company site visits and networking events.
Eligibility: Female BSBA students
Affiliation: Olin Business School

Women & Engineering

Provides women alumnae the opportunity to network with each other and with current students. The group hosted its first Leadership Society Summit on April 7, 2018, to inspire and mentor female engineering students.
Eligibility: Women alumni and students of SEAS
Affiliation: SEAS

For Faculty |

Women in Innovation & Technology (WIT)

Educates female faculty members on how to navigate the commercialization process of intellectual property while connecting them to various resources in the St. Louis region. Also provides opportunities for networking and collaboration with fellow female faculty.
Eligibility: Female faculty
Affiliation: Office of Technology Management (OTM)

Academic Women’s Network (AWN)

Provides female faculty members with professional networking opportunities in science and medicine.
Eligibility: School of Medicine female faculty
Affiliation: School of Medicine

Association of Women Faculty (AWF)

Connects female faculty members to develop professional and social interactions between women to foster a culture of collaboration and support.
Eligibility: Danforth Campus female faculty
Affiliation: Danforth Campus

Other Opportunities


Entrepreneurship Centers, Offices | 

Skandalaris Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship

An interdisciplinary center inspiring and developing creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship at Washington University in St. Louis.
Eligibility: Students, faculty, staff and alumni at all levels and in all disciplines

Office of Technology Management (OTM)

Assists Washington University faculty in the transfer of technology from lab to marketplace.  OTM manages a wide variety of intellectual properties arising from research programs throughout the university and acts as a resource for faculty in the areas of patent prosecution, material transfer agreements, marketing and licensing.
Eligibility: Faculty

Student Groups |

Arch Hacks

A national healthtech hackathon that brings together more than 350 students from around the country for 48 hours of collaboration, problem-solving and prototyping. Students are also able to network with top tech companies and gain mentorship from professionals and academics as they work on projects.
Eligibility: All students. Application-based.
Affiliation: SEAS, corporate sponsors

BALSA Foundation

A volunteer-run organization of entrepreneurs, scientists, community leaders and young professionals. Focuses on empowering first-time entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses.
Eligibility: Graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, staff
Affiliation: BALSA Group

Biotechnology and Life Science Advising (BALSA) Group

Provides short-term consulting services to companies ranging from small startups to large corporations. It is a nonprofit organization founded and led by WashU graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.
Eligibility: Graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, staff
Affiliation: Washington University

Bear Studios

This program leverages undergraduate talent to provide high-quality and cost-effective design and strategy services to support diverse clients and student-run ventures with the tools they need to succeed.
Eligibility: Undergraduate students
Affiliation: Skandalaris Center, Olin Business School

Bio-entrepreneurship Core

A multidisciplinary organization aimed at fostering and promoting scientific innovation at WashU. Hosts seminars, networking sessions and coffee hours to connect members and the community to bio-entrepreneurial resources.
Eligibility: All students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty, staff
Affiliation: Skandalaris Center, Office of Technology Management (OTM), School of Medicine, Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences, Lieberman Graduate Center

Design For America (DFA)

A group of makers, thinkers and doers who solve problems using human-centered design. DFA develops a pipeline of innovation leaders and creates impact through the implementation of DFA projects.
Eligibility: All students. Application-based.
Affiliation: Skandalaris Center

Engineers Without Borders

Partners with developing communities to improve their quality of life through the implementation of environmentally sustainable, equitable and economical engineering projects, while developing internationally responsible engineers and engineering students.
Eligibility: All students
Affiliation: Washington University

Designing Global Health

Inspires, educates and empowers young engineers and scientists to use their skills to improve global health.
Eligibility: All students
Affiliation: Skandalaris Center

Entrepreneur and Venture Capital Association

A student professional club that raises awareness about the realities of entrepreneurship; provides opportunities to work and network with entrepreneurship and venture-capital leaders in St. Louis.
Eligibility: Graduate students
Affiliation: Olin Business School

Intellectual Property Law Society

Focuses on the study of intellectual property law. Sponsor events throughout the semester such as a speaker series, study breaks, movie nights and happy hours.
Eligibility: Law students
Affiliation: School of Law

Net Impact

Organizes events, activities and other opportunities around sustainability, corporate responsibility and social entrepreneurship. Leverages members’ skills and education to lead positive change on the WashU campus, in the local community and in workplaces.
Eligibility: All students
Affiliation: Olin Business School

Olin Venture Fund

Raises awareness about venture capital and provides members with the opportunity to experience venture capitalism through working with the Skandalaris Center.
Eligibility: Undergraduate students
Affiliation: Olin Business School, Skandalaris Center

Sling Health

Identifies and designs solutions to problems in health care through small, interdisciplinary teams during an aggressive, 14-week design process. Outcomes include patents, conference and journal papers, licensing deals and start-ups.
Eligibility: All students. Application-based.
Affiliation: Skandalaris Center

Washington University Entrepreneur Society

Promotes entrepreneurship through workshops, events featuring startup and venture-capital leaders, and participation in startup competitions throughout the U.S. Empowers members to pursue their own ventures and secure seed funding through the society’s relationships and resources.
Eligibility: All students. Application-based.
Affiliation: Skandalaris Center

Washington University Student Investment Fund

A student-run investment club that seeks to manage a diversified portfolio of securities efficiently and professionally. The fund provides students with practical financial experience and teaches both basic and advanced investing principles.
Eligibility: All students
Affiliation: Olin Business School

XCCELERATE

Hosts an innovation challenge. Students develop an idea into a market-ready product or service over the course of a semester. Throughout the process, students are supported by a series of tailored workshops designed to build skills. XCCELERATE also brings in WashU student and alumni entrepreneurs to speak about their successes and connect members with the greater St. Louis entrepreneurial community.
Eligibility: All students
Affiliation: Skandalaris Center

Work Opportunities |

StEP: Student Entrepreneurial Program

Allows students to own a business that supports the WashU community, while gaining professional experience.
Eligibility: Undergraduate students in all schools
Affiliation: Skandalaris Center

Summer Entrepreneurial Internship Program

A paid 10-week summer program in which students work at a St. Louis startup to gain experience in innovation and entrepreneurship.
Eligibility: Undergraduate students in all schools
Affiliation: Skandalaris Center

inSITE Fellowship

A prestigious fellowship available to graduate students who demonstrate a passion and drive for innovation, entrepreneurship and/or venture capital. InSITE (Investments from Student Interaction with Technology and Entrepreneurs) pairs teams of graduate student consultants with early-stage startups.
Eligibility: Graduate students in all schools
Affiliation: Washington University

For-credit courses |

The Hatchery (Business Planning for New Enterprises)

This interdisciplinary course gives teams the opportunity to pursue their own business ideas or support community entrepreneurs by researching, writing, and pitching business plans for new commercial or social ventures. At the end of the semester, students present to a panel of outside judges, including venture capitalists and experienced entrepreneurs.
Eligibility: Undergraduate, graduate students from all schools, entrepreneurs in the St. Louis area
Affiliation: Olin Business School

The CEL Entrepreneurial Consulting Team (CELect)

WashU undergraduate and graduate students work in teams with local entrepreneurs to develop innovative solutions to early-stage business challenges.
Eligibility: Undergraduate and graduate students from all schools
Affiliation: Olin Business School

Business of Engineering

Introduces students to the fascinating and complex process of bringing new technologies from the concept stage to the marketplace. The course draws on experiences of successful entrepreneurs and industry professionals to address some of the most important elements of the technology life cycle.
Eligibility: Undergraduate students
Affiliation: SEAS

Technology Entrepreneurship

A class for undergraduate students who desire an entrepreneurial perspective with a particular emphasis on information technology. In addition to an introduction to business and technology fundamentals, course topics will include business ethics, opportunity assessment, team formation, financing, intellectual property and technology transfer.
Eligibility: Undergraduate students
Affiliation: SEAS, Olin Business School

Degree Programs |

Minor in Entrepreneurship

The Olin Business School offers five courses for non-business students to earn a minor in entrepreneurship. The minor educates students in the business fundamentals of entrepreneurial ventures.
Eligibility: Students in SEAS, Arts & Sciences, Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts
Affiliation: Olin Business School

Major in Entrepreneurship

Equips students with the skills needed to become a business innovator, whether they want to start a business or help an existing business move forward by developing new products or services. This concentration draws together coursework in business with electives from SEAS and Arts & Sciences. As a capstone to this major, students develop business plans for new ventures.
Eligibility: All students
Affiliation: Olin Business School

MBA in Entrepreneurship

Concentrations within the MBA entrepreneurship platform include commercial entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship. Students will be equipped to think entrepreneurially about small businesses, family businesses, nonprofit management and consulting. Skills even scale to corporations, as well as venture capital or private equity firms.
Eligibility: Graduate students
Affiliation: Olin Business School

Master of Engineering in Biomedical Innovation

A 12-month intensive, hands-on program for students seeking to hone their engineering skills and acquire the entrepreneurial skills necessary to convert great ideas into products that benefit people. This professional training program allows students to develop a well-rounded skill set comparable to engineers with multiple years of industry experience.
Eligibility: Graduate students
Affiliation: SEAS

Pitches/Competitions/Funding opportunities |

Discovery Competition

Allows undergraduate engineering students to explore their entrepreneurial interests by developing business solutions to current societal issues.
Eligibility: Undergraduate engineering students
Affiliation: Skandalaris Center

Global Impact Award

Provides funding to ventures that will positively and sustainably impact society.
Eligibility: Open to all WashU undergraduate and graduate students, postdocs, residents and alumni who have graduated less than 10 years prior
Affiliation: Skandalaris Center

Leadership in Entrepreneurial Acceleration Program (LEAP)

Provides training and funding to WashU community members with translational research and inventions. Teams receive mentorship from experts in their fields. At the end of each LEAP cycle, teams present to industry-relevant investors and representatives and have the potential to win funding to progress their inventions toward commercialization.
Eligibility: All WashU community members
Affiliation: Skandalaris Center

Skandalaris Center (SC) Cup

The SC Cup provides mentorship and funding for scalable, for-profit ventures to prepare them to launch and commercialize.
Eligibility: WashU students, postdocs, recent alumni
Affiliation: Skandalaris Center

Holekamp Seed Fund

Offers students the opportunity to win $1,000 in seed funding for their startups based on a successful application and professional pitch to fund directors.
Eligibility: Junior or senior undergraduate and graduate students who have completed a full semester of Olin courses
Affiliation: Olin Business School

Social Enterprise Accelerator

Provides members of the St. Louis community the opportunity to develop a socially conscious business plan and receive mentorship from the Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation Lab (SEI Lab).
Eligibility: Members of the St. Louis community
Affiliation: Olin Business School, Brown School

IdeaBounce®

An online platform and event giving members of the WashU community an opportunity to pitch ideas and receive feedback while networking with peers.
Eligibility: All students and faculty
Affiliation: Skandalaris Center

Legal Support |

Entrepreneurship and Intellectual Property Clinic

Offers business and transactional legal advice and services to new and emerging nonprofit and qualifying for-profit organizations. Under the supervision of experienced transactional and intellectual property attorneys, student attorneys work directly with entrepreneurial organizations serving our community.
Eligibility: All law students. Qualifying nonprofit and for-profit organizations are accepted as clients.
Affiliation: School of Law