The Skandalaris Center for Interdisciplinary Innovation and Entrepreneurship hosted two separate business plan competitions this semester: The Skandalaris Center Cup (SC Cup) and The Social Enterprise and Innovation Competition (SEIC). The awards presentation for each of these competitions was combined into a single night of celebration on April 19th on the WUSTL campus. Awards totaled $170,000 given to eight teams. Awards were as follows:
Skandalaris Center Cup:
Social Enterprise and Innovation Competition:
- The Skandalaris Center awarded Mavuno
- Luthern Foundation Of St Louis awarded Table Wisdom
- Jewish Federation of St. Louis awarded Rozzy Learning Company
- Missouri Foundation for Health (MFH) awarded IDEA Labs
- YouthBridge Community Foundation awarded ElevatED
- Missouri Foundation for Heatlh (MFH) awarded Louis MetroMarket
The SC Cup is a long-standing competition at WUSTL. It began in 2003 as the Olin Cup, but in 2015, the name changed to “Skandalaris Center Cup.” SEIC is made possible through a partnership between the Skandalaris Center and The Mission Center. For SEIC, there is not a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place award; instead, teams are selected by specific donors and foundations for whatever amounts the donors/foundations choose to give. Both competitions awards startups whose founding members include WUSTL students, post-doctoral candidates, or alumni.
In both the SC Cup and SEIC, teams go through six months of mentorship and training. This is a crucial component of the competitions, as the teams speak very highly of this coaching period. When asked about the training offered to his team, Rey Castuciano of Table Wisdom commented, “[The training we received] balanced my mindset that we need to be financially sound to continue ‘to do good,'” further adding, “Hands down, [it was] a gamechanger!”
Emre Toker, Managing Director of the Skandalaris Center, commented on the two competitions, “We are delighted to see both SEIC and SC Cup applicants focusing on social impact, in addition to financial sustainability and scalability.”
Chris Miller, Founder of The Mission Center L3C, echoed Mr. Toker’s comment by saying, “The Skandalaris Center has been an international leader in the fields of entrepreneurship and innovation for over a decade now precisely because of its recognition of the blurring of the lines between social and commercial startups.”
Pro-Arc Diagnostics commercializes a diagnostic test that will prevent a fatal neurological disorder in immunocompromised patients.
PerfecTemp develops and produces a high-end modular insulation—primarily for use in clothing—that dynamically adjusts thermal properties to provide maximum comfort to the user over a broad range of ambient temperatures.
Mavuno is a nonprofit organization that empowers village leaders to end extreme poverty in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Mavuno’s solutions are designed by Congolese villagers, so our work looks different in each village. Our role is to equip local leaders to end extreme poverty in their own communities. That’s why we start by listening, and we plan our exit from the beginning.
Table Wisdom (TW) is a unique & one‐of‐a kind 501 (c) (3) social enterprise that provides an online platform connecting isolated native English‐speaking seniors to younger English language learners for social and conversational English sessions by video‐chat and in‐person meetings. It improves the elders’ sense of purpose, helps the students speak English, and is convenient. Mentored by the Gateway Venture Mentoring Services (Pete Peters, Harvey Gershenson, and Joseph Jordan) and by The Mission Center, we’re running the pilot program in St. Louis with AARP Missouri, St. Andrews Senior Services, Lutheran Senior Services, Parkway/Rockwood District Adult English as a Second Language (ESL) Education, Saint Louis University ESL Department and St. Louis
Rozzy Learning Company
Rozzy Learning Company is an education company developing STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) curricula and children’s books for children ages 2-9. Rozzy’s mission is to introduce STEAM to the youngest learners, make STEAM affordable for schools, offer teachers training and resources, and engage parents in their children’s learning. Rozzy advocates for a focus on STEAM careers in early childhood education because STEAM-based careers are the fastest growing, highest paying careers in the world. By preparing children in STEAM from the beginning of their schooling (PreK-K), children will have more opportunities and are more likely to feel confident in pursuing STEAM careers.
IDEA Labs is a student-driven, nonprofit medical technology incubator developing an earned income structure to support our platform, enabling multidisciplinary teams to solve medical problems by providing the resources, mentorship, and capital needed for growth.
ElevatED will elevate the field of early childhood education by providing a cost-effective process to qualify and assess applicants in pursuit of high quality educators, reducing the turnover rate in the field, and improving outcomes for children and families.
The St. Louis Metro Market
The St. Louis MetroMarket is a non-profit mobile farmers’ market that will serve all St. Louis area food deserts by providing direct access to fresh and affordable produce, meat, and staple goods and by advocating on the behalf of these communities on issues related to food justice, hunger, and health.