Skandalaris Center

The background image for the website. It is a multi colored mosaic.

Summer Internship Panel #6

Sydney Everett (Staff)
August 22, 2019

As part of the Summer Internship Program, the Skandalaris Center is hosting six panel discussions with St. Louis area startups who are hosting students through the program. These panel discussions are open to the public. We will recap the panels and share important insights from local ventures. 

For the final week of the Skandalaris Summer Internship Program St. Louis Venture Panels, four local venture founders shared their experiences with the summer interns. The following founders joined moderator Jin Han (SI), a summer intern at HiHo Mobility, for a discussion around developing and leading startups:

  • Mike Saigh, CEO of Equine Smartbit, a St. Louis based engineering company that developed the only patented technology which measures a horse’s biometrics through the mouth by utilizing a system of smart sensors.
  • Courtney Curtis, founder of Fanvie, an online sports-experience marketing company.
  • Janna Westbrook, CEO of Provider Pool, a company that connects healthcare organizations to healthcare professionals through an online marketplace.
  • Mike Tones, Head of Pharmacology at Pulse Therapeutics, a medical device company that has patented a technology to combat blood clots using the power of magnets.
  • Ben Haefele,  Co-founder and Head of Product & Ops at Adalo, a platform that makes creating apps as easy as putting together a slide deck.

The panel began with the venture hosts thanking their summer interns for the excellent jobs they were doing and the important roles they were playing for the ventures. Many were praised for their hard work, product development skills.

Many of the panelists came from ventures with a healthcare focus and answered questions related to competitive advantage, reception from healthcare clients, clinical trials, and intellectual property.

The panelists emphasized the importance of team culture. Many shared the value of finding the right people with different strengths and weaknesses, and letting individuals set the culture.

When asked to share their tips for students looking to found a startup, the panelists emphasized the importance of networking and getting connected.

As with all the panels, the panelists shared why they chose St. Louis. For Ben Haefele, St. Louis is where the team lives. For Janna Westbrook, St. Louis is a great market because it is affordable and not oversaturated. Mike Tones, sees the value of the ecosystem. Courtney Curtis grew up in St. Louis and was an elected official here. Mike Saigh also grew up here and appreciates the support and opportunities St. Louis provides.