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. Pre-Orientation: Startup (W)U
    Startup (W)U is the Skandalaris Center's pre-orientation program for incoming first-year students. The program takes place each year on the Sunday-Thursday in August before Orientation and the start of classes. It allows innovative thinkers and students with an idea to be active in entrepreneurship and get to know the Skandalaris Center and St. Louis startup community as soon as they arrive on campus.
    Students from all majors are welcome and will experience the journey from idea to venture.

  2. Summer Entrepreneurial Internship Program
    This 10-week summer program offers undergraduate students in any school the opportunity to experience entrepreneurship in a real-world setting through a paid internship at an early stage startup. Students work at their ventures Monday through Thursday; then on Fridays, they participate in unique activities including site visits to startups, panel discussions, and visits to St. Louis neighborhoods.

  3. Student Entrepreneurial Program (StEP)
    StEP provides a unique opportunity for students to own a business on- or off-campus. Student owners can supplement the valuable business and entrepreneurial skills they learn in the classroom while gaining real-world experience as they manage and lead their own businesses.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

Learn More

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

Contact:Jessica Stanko