Skandalaris Center

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

Summer with Skandy Event Series Kicks Off with Growth Startups

Shanna Akley
June 13, 2022

The Skandalaris Center started its summer event series with a Growth Startup Panel, starring three St. Louis entrepreneurs giving real-life examples and experiences of the first five years of a startup. Conducting the panel discussion and facilitating the Q&A portion of the panel was WashU student and St. Louis Entrepreneurial Fellow, Griffin Lovato (LA, Beyond Boundaries ’25). Over 40 attended to listen and connect with the panelists, who are listed below:

Jeff Gamble is a WashU alumnus and Founder and CTO of Rezilient, a healthcare delivery system that aims to make seeking medical help accessible and convenient. In 2012 he was awarded The Cognitive, Computation, and Systems Neuroscience fellowship, and was a Research Assistant for upwards of 5 years. In 2017 he wrote an abstract that covered spinal cord injuries and new technology and therapies to aid in proper recuperation.

Andrew Glantz is a WashU alumnus and the Founder and CEO of GiftAMeal, a mobile app that promotes restaurants while giving back to the community. Glantz ran a non-profit storefront that valued and encouraged sustainability and was vice president of a children’s charity where he helped raise over $300,000. Recently he was the youngest entrepreneur featured in the St. Louis Business Journal’s 30 Under 30 List.

Jennifer N. Avari Silva is the Director of Pediatric Electrophysiology, a Professor of Pediatrics and Biomedical Engineering at Washington University School of Medicine/St. Louis Children’s Hospital and the Faculty Fellow in Entrepreneurship for Washington University SOM. Silva is the co-inventor and co-founder of SentiAR, a software device spinout developing the first mixed reality platform to display 3D visualization of a patient’s cardiac anatomy. She has recently co-founded a second company, Excera, Inc.

Throughout the panel, Lovato and audience members asked numerous questions, including topics of team recruitment, changes a business model will go through as it grows, and tips on improving your pitch for future customers and investors. “Really anchor on the problem you’re trying to solve. You’re never going to be perfect at describing what you’re trying to build when you first start,” said Gamble. Silva continued this thought by saying, “whatever your business model is, it’s probably wrong. If you have to pitch something, pick a model and know that you will probably have to pivot later”. Panelist Glantz agreed with these comments, and contributed advice to the audience by saying, “fail, learn, and iterate as quickly as possible”.

The Skandalaris Center will continue its Summer with Skandy event series throughout the summer, with different themes and guest speakers each week. To stay up-to-date on all events, go to