The Skandalaris Center for Interdisciplinary Innovation and Entrepreneurship is the place on campus Where Creative Minds Connect.


At the Skandalaris Center, we provide entrepreneurial resources to those who think differently at Washington University, within St. Louis, and beyond.

Who We Serve

Our initiatives serve all students, alumni, faculty, staff and the community. We call this the SC Network.

Our Pursuits

Our initiatives are divided into three parts:

  1. Get Connected
  2. Get Trained
  3. Get Funded

Get Connected

We are building the largest online community of Washington University talent, called ConNEXT. ConNEXT is a networking tool for sharing ideas, exchanging skills, and finding mentors and mentees.

ConNEXT is a resource for those who:

  • Need someone else's help
  • Have a skill to offer
  • Want to be a mentor
  • Want to find a mentor

Join the community via our website or fill out our connection form to join the newsletter and learn about ways to get involved.

Get Trained

The Skandalaris Center offers co-curricular programs to serve students, alumni, faculty, staff and the community in their entrepreneurial needs. These programs provide real-world, practical training opportunities.

  1. InSITE Fellowship
    The InSITE Fellowship is a prestigious fellowship available to graduate students who demonstrate a passion and drive for innovation, entrepreneurship and/or venture capital. A nationally recognized fellowship, this is an opportunity for graduate students in all schools to work with local entrepreneurs and venture capitalists (VCs) on consulting projects. In addition to connecting with local startups and VCs, fellows will have the opportunity to attend national conferences, including SXSW, and host networking events on campus.
    Washington University is among peer schools such as Stanford, MIT, Harvard, NYU, Columbia and University of Pennsylvania, as it is one of the first schools in the Midwest, along with University of Chicago, to launch the InSITE Fellowship.

  2. Workshops
    We offer free, noncredit workshops designed to encourage ideation, develop skills and advance ideas. Workshops are held on both campuses, targeted toward various audiences. We recommend, but do not require, that participants attend all sessions, and have found that the workshops help competitors improve their deliverables.
    Evidence-Based Entrepreneurship is designed to transform students and faculty from any school into capable innovators and entrepreneurs through seven contiguous sessions.
    Washington University Startup Training Lab (WU-STL) is a free, year-long series that serves as a comprehensive introduction to innovation and entrepreneurship. Open to the community.

  3. Hatchery
    Various schools at Washington University offer entrepreneurial training for credit. One such course is The Hatchery (Business Planning for New Enterprises). It is offered by the Olin Business School in both the fall and spring semesters and is open to all students at the university.
    Students form teams around a commercial or social venture idea proposed by a student or community entrepreneur. The deliverables for the course include two presentations to a panel of judges and a complete business plan. The deliverables in the course are similar to the deliverables in the Skandalaris Center's business plan competitions and can be a valuable first step toward competitions and funding for a new venture.

Get Funded

We host several competitions each year that provide funding to social and commercial ventures. Each of these is an annual competition, with the exception of the Bear Cub, which awards funding three times a year.

Bear Cub Challenge

  • This challenge provides funding for translational research with the goal of advancing the university's intellectual property toward commercialization.
  • Who Can Apply: Washington University faculty, postdocs and graduate students
  • Award: Award amounts vary

The Skandalaris Center Cup (SC Cup)

  • The SC Cup awards student-funded, for-profit ventures.
  • Who Can Apply: Washington University students and postdocs
  • Award: Up to $5K, six months of mentorship

Social Enterprise and Innovation Competition (SEIC)

  • SEIC awards socially focused for-profit and nonprofit ventures. Teams are funded by community donors and foundations.
  • Who Can Apply: Anyone (no Washington University affiliation required)
  • Award: Award amounts vary

Washington University Patent Challenge - New!

  • Translate real, high-level Washington University patents into everyday English, and then apply the technology to an innovative, commercializable use (no licensing options available, strictly educational).
  • Who Can Apply: Washington University students and postdocs
  • Award: $10K in awards ($5K to undergraduate teams, $5K to graduate and postdoc teams)

Suren G. Dutia and Jas K. Grewal Global Impact Award (GIA)

  • This awards scalable, impactful, quick-to-market Washington University startups.
  • Who Can Apply: Washington University students and recent alumni
  • Award: Up to $50K

Student Groups

IDEA Labs, The BALSA Group, and The Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Association provide additional opportunities to train and even launch a venture.

Learn More

Please contact the Skandalaris Center for additional information about all programs. We're excited to hear from you!

Contact:Jessica Stanko