On Monday, April 20, 2020, nine teams pitched their new venture ideas for a chance to win up to $22,500 in the Skandalaris Venture Competition (SVC). These finalists were evaluated by judges from the international and WashU startup community. Later that evening, the winners were announced via Zoom to the Washington University entrepreneurial community of supporters, founders, and students.
The Skandalaris Venture Competition proudly awarded prizes to three teams. The first-place winner, of $10,000, is Pareto. With Pareto, Mitchell Lynn (GM, ME), Rachel Heymach (SI’20), and Kelley Coalier (UG’15, PM’20) are developing a device to eliminate the problem of wasted infusion drugs. The device ensures sterile handling of medication vials, keeping drugs viable for extended periods. Read more about Pareto in our finalist feature.
In second place Honeymoon Chocolates, won $7,500 to support their venture focused on chocolate bars sweetened with raw honey. This award will have an immediate impact on Honeymoon Chocolates’ production process, ability to scale, and reach new stores around the country. The team is Cameron (PM) and Haley Loyet. Read more about Honeymoon Chocolates in our finalist feature.
Rounding out the winners in third place is Caralyst, a healthcare innovation startup, focused on increasing the quality of healthcare by matching patients and physicians based on preferences like communication style and personal characteristics, won $5,000. The Caralyst team includes Havisha Pedamallu (LA’21, BU’21), Matthew Millet (ME), and Owen Zhang (EN’23, BU’23). Read more about Caralyst is our finalist feature.
Winning SVC provides these ventures with the resources to take the ventures to the next level. After the announcement, Pareto shared, “When our team name was announced as the winner of SVC, we were shocked and thrilled- while we knew our project was on to something, winning this competition showed that others believe it too. With everything that’s going on in the world right now, the funds from SVC will allow us to continue working on our project and make our company a reality that will one day change the medical industry. Thank you to all of our professors and mentors who supported us from the very beginning and thank you to those who organized, funded and ran the Skandalaris Venture Competition for the opportunity you provide to early venture teams.”
The second year of SVC presented new challenges and opportunities. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the competition switched to a virtual format to accommodate the team meetings, mentoring, and presentations.
“We are thankful for everyone who participated,” said II Luscri, Managing Director of the Skandalaris Center and Assistant Vice Provost for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at WashU. “Competitions like the SVC allow new ventures the chance to showcase their ideas, and we think a platform like that is important, now more than ever. Supporting WashU ventures continues to be our top priority, and shifting to a virtual platform allowed us to maintain a strong connection with ventures and high-quality judges.”
The Skandalaris Venture Competition would not be possible without the generous support of Skandalaris National Council member Kishore Kanakamedala.
Through SVC, startups receive expert mentorship to ready them for commercializing their ideas, launching their ventures, and pitching to investors. “The SVC finalists are great examples of the community of innovative and entrepreneurial students we are building at WashU. We are proud to support all of the student founders that participated in SVC along their entrepreneurial journey”, Mike Seper, Associate Director of the Skandalaris Center.
The Skandalaris Center looks forward to next year’s competition and encourages anyone with a venture or idea to connect with us at https://skandalaris.wustl.edu/get-connected/.