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Finalists Announced for Spring 2024 Skandalaris Venture Competition

Kim Wallner
March 7, 2024

Thirteen WashU student and recent alumni ventures have been selected as finalists in the spring 2024 Skandalaris Venture Competition (SVC). After a rigorous selection process, 22 semifinalist teams gave their best pitch to a panel of judges during closed sessions this afternoon. Scores were then tallied and finalists were selected to move on to the final round of the competition, where they will compete for funding and the chance to hoist the SVC cup.

“As the Venture Development Manager at the Skandalaris Center, it was incredibly rewarding to see so many young entrepreneurs combining passion and technical savviness to win over a room full of incredible experts with their pitches,” exclaimed Giovanni Liotta. “The best part was hearing from the judges how impressed they were by the quality and diversity of the entrepreneurial ideas presented. We’ll keep the energy of this day in mind as we prepare for the final, where the bar has been set very high!”

We are excited to announce that the finalist teams will be competing for up to $50,000 in funding to launch or expand their ventures, an increase from $25,000 in previous competition cycles. The increase in award in made possible through the generous support of our sponsors. We wish to express our sincere gratitude to our Diamond-level sponsors – Bob Skandalaris, Revathi Advaithi and Jeevan Mulgund.

The spring 2024 SVC finalists are:

Anode Free Sodium Batteries are a cost-effective and better-performing replacement for current lithium-ion batteries, based on more abundant sodium. Rajeev Gopal (PhD Candidate), Ethan Boutelle (SI), Peng Bai

Carbon Salary opens the carbon credit market to individuals through a carbon salary. Jacob Hibbert (MBA ’25), Jake Madary (MBA ’25), Jack Hobert (LA ’25), Henry Goddard (EN ’24), Riley Thompson (BU ’25)

Connect provides High Schoolers with online, verified mentorship from mentors (alumni, high-achieving peers, & parents) in their community. Michael Lee (LA ’26), Ethan Ng (Beyond Boundaries ’27), Fortuna Kadima (EN ’26)

For Womanhood is a safety app for college females experiencing intimate partner violence. Cherise Brookes (MBA ’24), Phadria Stanley (MBA ’25), Michelle Tellez (BU ’26), Marilyn Qiu (MBA ’24)

InCase is a sleek, durable Narcan carrier designed for life-saving convenience at your fingertips. Danielle Wilder (MD ’26), Matthew Bitner-Glindzicz (SI ’22)

Mapable is a travel planning app for people with disabilities. George Mitrev (EN ’24)

OvuMap is developing minimally invasive continuous hormone monitors that provide critical menstrual cycle insights and connect to a user-centric mobile app that allows individuals to make informed decisions about their health and lives. Nathalie Morton (EN ’24), Erin Ritter (EN ’24), Bhavana Angalakudati (EN ’24), Amanda Freeman (EN ’27), Tata Toure (EN ’26)

Page Pacer is a Chrome Extension that helps you read faster & stay focused through reading word-by-word. Aaron Hubhachen (EN ’27)

Phoenix is a biomedical engineering company focused on creating cost-effective prosthetics that are designed to be a patient’s partner for a lifetime. Lili Hostetler (SI and MBA ’24), Linda Graff (MBA ’24), Adrian Hong (BU ’24), Neil Sefah (MBA ’24)

Portal is a mobile application that helps students and job switchers see as many perspectives on the careers they are or should be considering as possible through short-form videos made by professionals. Brad Raizner (BU ’26), Andrew Woolbert (EN ’26)

SevPay helps international students make payments and access education financing in the United States. Abdul Oganla (MBA ’24)

Sustain-a-Plate helps grocery stores alleviate waste and increase profitability. Franklin Taylor (MBA ’24), Anna Larizza (BU ’25), Kelsey Kloezeman (BU ’24), Tanvi Jammula (BU ’26), Jason Ti (SI ’25)

The Process is a card game that engages students in civics education to develop advocacy skills needed for advancing the interests of their community. Colby Crowder (SW ’24), Stanford Cooper

Following the closed judging, each team presented a condensed 60-second pitch to an audience of WashU and St. Louis community members. Attendees voted for their favorite venture to win one of two $500 People’s Choice Awards. 

The SVC People’s Choice winners are: Carbon Salary and OvuMap

Each of the semifinalist teams will receive valuable feedback from the judges, aiding them in refining their ventures and enhancing their pitches as they progress forward. “The amount of effort and energy that teams put into this competition is incredible to see, but we know the work doesn’t stop tonight,” said Cyril Loum, Assistant Director of Venture Development. “We look forward to supporting these teams in the future, finalists or not. Whether it’s through pop-up support meetings with experts, our Launchpad summer accelerator program, or connecting with our team, the Skandalaris Center is here to help.”

The spring 2024 SVC winner will be announced at the Washington University Innovation & Entrepreneurship Awards on April 18. We hope you’ll join us for a celebratory evening!