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Hatchery Class Final Presentations

Sydney Everett (Staff)
May 6, 2019

Students from the Hatchery Class recently presented their final business ideas to members of the St. Louis startup and business community, many of whom had previously taken the Hatchery course themselves.

The Hatchery final presentations began with a short introduction from Cliff Holekamp, Olin Business School Professor of Practice in Entrepreneurship. This year’s presentations mark Holekamp’s 25th and final time teaching the course. In his introduction, he shared fond memories from his time taking the class in 2001 and described the value of having real business leaders coming to judge the course and providing students the opportunity to engage with the broader startup and business community.

Eight teams presented their detailed business plans to the judges outlining their market potential, financials, and other factors that make them stand out from the competition. Following are brief descriptions of the business ideas, along with the students comprised the presentation team.

Ryzer – A mobile app that provides users a daily proprietary mix of music, human-narration based messaging & encouragement, and text-to-speech reminders to help people complete daily tasks. [Team members: Zach Solomon (PM), Tyler Mey (PM), Kristina Schmelter (BU), Camille Keane (BU)]

Illumino* – A surgical lighting company with a flexible, low-profile lighting option that provides more illumination for the surgical field compared to current light sources. [Team Members: Cassie Davis (SI), Michael Almisry (LA), Sahil Mehta (ME), Justin Shin (BU), Eva Xu (GB)]

Just Ride – India’s first premium indoor cycling brand. [Team members: Akshat Goel (LA), Alex Gerson (LA), Brian Winston (LA), Ryan Medelson, Aaron Zephir (BU)]

Awaken English – Interactive, participatory English tutoring classes for students in Asian countries. [Team members: Dillon Seals (LA), Jasmine Liu (SW), Yoko Wu (SW), Jason Yuan (SW), Chris Zhang (SW)]

Pupil* – A SaaS education technology company that uses computer vision, data analytics, and artificial intelligence to enhance the classroom experience of both students and educators. [Team members: Joshua Gelbard (GM), Zandy Schorsch (GM), Daniel Sequiera (PM), Mariel Sokolov (LA)]

MyEHR – An organization designed to transform the way that electronic health records are transferred, empowering patients and providers in the healthcare system. [Team members: Max Gillespie (EN), Chris Colon (LA), Brad Hodkinson (EN), Beverly Pagone (PM), Julia Smith (EN)]

The Confluence* – St. Louis’ first true holistic restaurant incubator that reduces risk and increases capacity for food industry entrepreneurs via a three-pronged approach of (1) affordable B2C restaurant retail space, (2) industry-specific technical training, and (3) interactive community support. [Team members: Danielle Wilsey (PM), Matt Richard (PM), Jiayin Song (SW), Jiyu Wang (BU), Victor Yang (GB)]

Good Soul Company* – Imports a TigerNut food snack from Nigeria under the name Good Soul TigerNuts to increase market access to African farmers. [Team members: Ony Mgbeahurike (GM), Mike McGilly (PM), Noah Hechtman (BU), Nadia Irvin (BU), Jonah Lillioja (FA)]

About the Hatchery – The Hatchery is the oldest entrepreneurship course in the United States. In the class, student teams pursue their own business idea or support community entrepreneurs by researching, writing, and pitching business plans for new commercial or social ventures. To learn more visit

*Team was a finalists in the 2019 Skandalaris Venture Competition.