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Seven Skandalaris Venture Competition Finalists Chosen to Compete in November

Nancy Nigh
October 21, 2021

Seven WashU student and recent alumni ventures have been chosen as finalists in the fall 2021 Skandalaris Venture Competition (SVC). On October 20, 2021, 14 semifinalists gave their best pitch – first to a panel judges, then in an open IdeaBounce® – to the crowd that gathered to watch and cheer on their peers. The judges voted for which teams should progress into the finals

II Luscri, Managing Director, Assistant Vice Provost for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, announced the finalists at the end of the evening saying, “I absolutely want to thank all of the teams who stepped forward and participated in this competition. We are here to support all of the teams, no matter what.”

On November 17, 2021, these finalists will pitch to a distinguished panel of judges for a chance to win up to $22,500 in awards to launch or expand their ventures. SVC is made possible through generous support from Skandalaris National Council member, Kishore Kanakamedala.

The fall 2021 Skandalaris Venture Competition (SVC) finalists are:

ClosetSwitch: an online clothing trading platform made for college and high school students. Chiara Munzi (LA ’23)

Easy Speak: a software solution that advances upon current dictation technology from speech to text, to speech to action in the medical chart. More specifically, they aim to use dictation-based automation to increase the efficiency of time-consuming, repetitive, click-intensive tasks. Kai Skallerud (MD/MBA ’23), Maxwell Popper (LA ’22), Chris Callan (MBA ’22), Quan Khuc (EN ’23), Afam Obioha (BU ’22), Mitchell Sampson (EN ’25), Adam Mofid (BU ’23).

Mozi: an app that brings value in creating a stronger community and increased student happiness. Moreover, it brings value to small businesses by promoting the usage of local businesses for these in person activities. Minju Lee (EN ’22)

Octavo: a blockchain-based platform for sending and receiving academic credential. Ian Welsh (BU ’22), Zack Meyer (LA ’22)

Oystar: a platform where students and universities can finally connect meaningfully and effectively for higher education opportunities. Using a university fit algorithm and data analytics, they are improving traditional university recruiting strategies, and how students find educational opportunities. Lungile Tshuma (MBA ‘21)

UpSkilr: helping build a more efficient and equitable labor market by closing the skills gap for good. Our web-based application will connect job-seekers and employers through upskilling programs in local labor markets. Sydney Nagorsky (EN ’23) and Jonathan Oshinsky (LA ’23)

Vulvopedia: a mobile application that uses daily lifestyle information and vaginal changes to detect the lifestyle decisions contributing to vulvovaginal yeast and bacterial vaginosis (BV). Najjuwah Walden (Ph.D. ’23)

The audience had a chance to join in the fun by voting for one team to win a People’s Choice award.

The SVC People’s Choice $250 winner, as voted by the 40+ attendees at the semifinals, is:

XChanger: a financial social media app where users can connect with other investors and follow their investment ventures while posting about their own. Raj Thaker (EN ’24)

All of the semifinalists will receive feedback from the judges to help making improvements to their ventures and their pitches, whether or not they were chosen as finalists. Luscri reminded the crowd, “We will be opening the SVC spring cycle at the end of this semester and we will have another $25,000 in non-dilutive investments available this spring. So take the feedback, continue to work, and continue to engage with the Skandalaris Team to make improvements.”