The Skandalaris Center offers several educational programs that provide funding to social and commercial ventures. While the process is similar for each of the following, the approach is different based on the intent of the donors who generously provide funding to the Center.

Most of our competitions run annually, with the exception of the LEAP Inventor Challenge, which awards funding three times a year.

We encourage participants to attend our inclusive Washington University Startup Training Lab (WU-STL) to help with their deliverables throughout the process.  Teams will also be invited to attend competition-specific workshops that we will announce as the competitions progress.


  • WashU Patent Challenge – WUSTL undergraduate, graduate, and professional students
  • LEAP Inventor Challenge – WUSTL faculty, post-docs, staff, and graduate students who have previously submitted an invention disclosure to the Office of Technology Management (OTM) or who submit an invention disclosure concurrently with their LEAP application
  • Global Impact Award – WUSTL undergraduate, graduate or professional students; residents; postdoctoral researchers; or alumni who have graduated within ten years. Open to ventures that are scalable, sustainable, and quick-to-market with proof of concept and a broad impact.
  • Skandalaris Center Cup – WUSTL students, postdocs, and recent graduates starting a for-profit venture
  • SEIC – open to all, with no WUSTL affiliation required, for teams working on an innovative solution to address a social problem; both commercial and social ventures are eligible