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


The Skandalaris Center aims to inspire and develop creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship at Washington University in St. Louis.

Who We Serve

We work with the best and brightest at WashU — the change-makers, thought leaders, and visionaries — to solve the world's problems and meet local needs through innovation and entrepreneurship. As an interdisciplinary center, our initiatives serve students, faculty, staff, and alumni from all levels and disciplines. 

Our Initiatives

Our initiatives are divided into four parts:

  1. Create
  2. Innovate 
  3. Launch
  4. Learn


We believe everyone can be creative. The following programs are designed to give the WashU community hands-on experiences and the creative means to solve problems. 

  • Make It Take It​​
    These monthly maker events at the Skandalaris Center are designed to promote creativity at any age and within any discipline, because anyone can be creative. 
  • Entrepreneurial Student Advisory Committee (ESAC)
    This committee provides an opportunity for students to have a say in the events and programs offered by the Skandalaris Center. 
  • Creator's Gallery
    This annual interdisciplinary exhibition allows creators of all types, disciplines, and ages to display their creative works of all mediums. 


Innovation is the backbone of entrepreneurship. The following programs offer opportunities to develop and share new ideas while connecting with other innovators. 

  • IdeaBounce®
    IdeaBounce® is both an online platform and an event for sharing venture ideas and making connections. This is an opportunity for participants to pitch their ideas (no matter how "fresh"), get feedback on them, and make connections. In-person events happen around twice per semester.  

  • Student Groups 
    There are many organizations that allow students to gain experience and make valuable interdisciplinary connections in the areas of creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship.  

  • Workshops
    The Skandalaris Center offers free, noncredit workshops designed to encourage creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship.


Good ideas are one opportunity away from success. We developed the following programs and competitions to help innovators and entrepreneurs access the resources they need to take their ideas to the next level. 

  • Student Entrepreneurial Program (StEP)
    StEP provides a unique opportunity for students to own and operate a business on campus that serves the WashU community. 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. 
  • Global Impact Award (GIA)
    The GIA awards WashU–affiliated ventures with inventions, products, ideas, and business models that will have a broad and lasting impact on society. 
    • Who Can Apply: WashU students, postdocs, residents, and alumni who have graduated within the last 10 years 
    • Award: Up to $50,000
  • Skandalaris Venture Competition (SVC)
    The SVC provides expert mentorship to new ventures and startups to ready them for commercializing their ideas, launching, and pitching to investors. Teams will develop materials focused on explaining the ideas that they are working on to a broad audience.
    • Who Can Apply: Current Washington University students with an early-stage venture or idea
    • Award: Up to $22,500
  • LEAP (Leadership and Entrepreneurial Acceleration Program)
    LEAP is a hybrid virtual incubator and gap funding program designed to tackle opportunities in university technology commercialization, illuminate investment risk, and rapidly accelerate the development of validated projects. 
    • Who Can Apply: Any person or team with WashU intellectual property 
    • Award: Up to $50,000
  • Simon Initiative
    The Simon Initiative is a multistage collaborative initiative to expand diversity and interdisciplinary approaches to entrepreneurship. 
  • Resources
    The Skandalaris Center, Washington University, and external services and resources are available to support innovators and entrepreneurs. 


Knowledge and skills are key to innovation and entrepreneurship. Our center offers the following events and opportunities to help our community learn the ins and outs of innovation and entrepreneurship. 

  • The Hatchery
    The Hatchery is a course offered by Olin Business School that allows student teams to pursue their own business ideas or to support community entrepreneurs. 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; these 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.
  • Skandalaris Internship Program (SKIP)
    SKIP is a paid 10-week summer internship and intensive introduction to St. Louis and the world of startups. Students work at their internships for most of the week; on Wednesday afternoons, they participate in special programs such as tours of entrepreneurial areas/neighborhoods, networking events, and panel discussions. 
  • Innovation Conversations
    These interactive discussions showcase different topics and industries with a variety of creators, innovators, and entrepreneurs. 
  • St. Louis Entrepreneurial Fellowship
    This year-long program gives WashU students a chance to explore entrepreneurship at WashU and in St. Louis. The experience includes a spring semester seminar that explores innovation and entrepreneurship, a 10-week paid summer internship at a St. Louis startup, a fall semester capstone project, professional development opportunities, and programs and events to engage with entrepreneurs, founders, and innovators. 
  • Washington University in St. Louis Entrepreneurship Courses
    Courses in entrepreneurship offered across the university are available to students at all levels and in all disciplines. 
  • Honors in Innovation & Entrepreneurship
    Students who have shown exemplary involvement in innovation and entrepreneurship during their time at Washington University are recognized through this program. Honors are earned by accumulating points through a combination of curricular and cocurricular activities. 
  • PhD Citation in Entrepreneurship
    This program provides opportunities for PhD students who are interested in developing skills and experiences in the areas of entrepreneurship and innovation. 

Learn More

Please contact the Skandalaris Center to sign up for our newsletter and for additional information about all programs.