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The Skandalaris Center grants nearly $75,000 in non-dilutive funding to Washington University Startups at the spring 2022 Innovation & Entrepreneurship Awards

Shanna Akley
April 14, 2022

It was a night of celebration as the Skandalaris Center presented The Washington University Innovation & Entrepreneurship Awards and honored students, alumni, faculty, and entrepreneurial community members for their efforts and dedication to the WashU entrepreneurial ecosystem. With over 80 people in attendance, the Skandalaris Center honored three students and three mentors for their excellence in innovation and entrepreneurship, and awarded nearly $75,000 in non-dilutive funding to WashU startups.

The evening started by recognizing 32 graduating students who earned Honors in Innovation and Entrepreneurship by showing exemplary involvement through a combination of curricular and co-curricular activities. The Skandalaris Center also recognized four graduating students who previously owned businesses on campus through the St. Louis Student Entrepreneurial Program (StEP).

The celebration continued with the Excellence in Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship Award, which recognized three students who have greatly impacted and improved the entrepreneurship ecosystem at WashU; Tony Sims II (BU ’22), Dave Kanoff (BSBA ’12, GB ’22), and Rosie Dutt (Ph.D. student).

Next, the center recognized three mentors who have dedicated their time and resources to entrepreneurial students, and are truly making a difference with the change-makers, thought leaders, and visionaries of the WashU community.

The first mentor to receive this award was Dr. Heather Cameron, an inspiring motivator who challenges students to think uniquely, especially in the social entrepreneurial space. Dr. Cameron works with the Skandalaris Center to support the Beyond Boundaries Endgame of Entrepreneurship class and prepare teams for competitions.

The second mentor to receive the Excellence in Mentorship award was Jerry Rosen, a Skandalaris Center Investor-in-Residence. His willingness to provide authentic feedback and be readily available to all students make him an invaluable resource for student ventures participating in our funding competitions.

The last individual awarded was Maxine Clark, an active member of the Skandalaris ecosystem for several years. She not only helped shape the vision of the center, but her influence extends to the greater WashU and St. Louis area. Maxine has a supreme passion for advising students and always makes herself available to share her expertise.

“We are so pleased to be able to recognize the individuals in our ecosystem who are not only prioritizing entrepreneurship as a career but also those who are excited about sharing their knowledge with young, enterprising innovators. Through their generous gift of mentorship, we are able to cultivate another generation of entrepreneurs,” said II Luscri, the Managing Director of the Skandalaris Center and Assistant Vice Provost for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at WashU.

The excitement continued with the announcement of the winners of the Global Impact Award (GIA) and the Skandalaris Venture Competition (SVC). After several weeks of working with the Skandalaris Center and mentors from the entrepreneurial community, the GIA and SVC finalists gave their final presentations to a panel of distinguished judges, who evaluated each team on their startup’s idea, target customers, value proposition, industry trends, a minimally viable product or service, financial modeling, traction, team, and overall presentation. 

Guided by the mission established by the generous donors of the award, Suren G. Dutia (BS ’53, AB ’67, MS ’67) and Jas K. Grewal, the winners were chosen because their ventures are scalable, sustainable, and quick-to-market with profitability and broad impact. Two winners were chosen this year, with Patika taking home $15,000. Patika is the largest cohort-based hiring platform for tech talent. By training new talent on their education platform completely free, companies pay to have their own cohort and access the human capital that they direly need. Gulcan Yayla (MBA, MSW ’17)

Another GIA winner, HIVE Medical, took home $35,000 in non-dilutive funding for their smart IV device, which wirelessly, objectively, and continuously records medication adherence data specifically for IV medication. It doesn’t require patients to do anything, which is especially important for tackling the problem of non-adherence. Joe Beggs (BME ’20)

Through the generous support from Skandalaris Center National Council member, Kishore Kanakamedala, and additional sponsors NSIN, cfk creative, AAA Translation, and KDK Technologies, three SVC winners were awarded a combined total of $22,500 to help fund their startup businesses.

First Place and $10,000 was awarded to Grapevine Biosciences with rapid testing for the identification of catheter-associated bloodstream infections. Victoria Mityul (ME ’25)

Second place and $7,500 went to Multiflex Neurovascular Catheter, a medical device that solves unmet needs in neurovascular surgery. Vinay Chandrasekaran (BS ’21)

Tylmen Tech received third place and $5,000. Tylmen provides universal sizing to help people shop the web with confidence knowing their exact size and fit. Lloyd Yates (GB ’22).

“We are so proud of all the teams who participated. These founders worked hard and gave us the best presentations we’ve seen all year, ” said Cyril Loum, Assistant Director of Venture Development at the Skandalaris Center. “Any WashU students, faculty, staff, or alumni with a venture or new idea should reach out to us for mentoring and making connections. We’d love to see you in the next cycle of competitions.”

Applications for the fall 2022 Skandalaris Venture Competition will open on August 22. All current WashU students and all WashU alumni within one year of graduation with an early-stage venture or idea are encouraged to apply.

The 2023 Global Impact Award competition will open in November 2022. All current WashU students, postdoctoral researchers, and recent alumni within ten years of graduation who are creating ventures that are scalable, sustainable, and quick to market with proof of concept and a broad impact are encouraged to apply.