WashU Olin alumni have continued to benefit from their membership in the community many years after leaving campus. This is part of an occasional series of vignettes about the alumni experience. Today, we hear from Ryan Richt, , AB ’08/MBA ’08, founder and CEO, Well Principled
When we meet Ryan Richt, he’s wearing a button-down dress shirt that belies his serious love for data: It’s a design featuring subtly rendered QR codes, which, when scanned, launch the garment maker’s website. Since leaving Olin just over a decade ago, he’s applied that love of data and his business savvy to start two companies—thanks, in part, to an ongoing relationship with WashU Olin faculty mentor Anne Marie Knott.
“We’ve probably had dinner once a month for 10 years since I graduated,” he said. “I used her book to start my first company.”
That relationship continues today. Knott, the Robert and Barbara Frick Professor of Business in Olin Business School, is an investor and chairs the science advisory board for Well Principled, Richt’s year-old startup. His firm leverages artificial intelligence to apply state-of-the-art business research to real-world problems.
In Richt’s model, his company creates “virtual business consultants” that meld a firm’s data—perhaps marketing information or pricing data—with the accumulated knowledge of 30 years of operations research. The consultants automate decision-making based on the firm’s goals.
“It is real work to go through the threads of research and read the back-and-forth between researchers,” Richt said. “Anne Marie and the scientific advisory board help us with that.”
Stay in touch.
Center for Experiential Learning
- Clare Nowogrocki, associate director 314-935-2050 | firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dorothy Kittner, MBA ’94, associate dean and director of business development and corporate relations 314-935-6365 | email@example.com
Alumni & Development
- Sean Martin, director of development 314-935-3687 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Weston Career Center
- Jen Whitten, associate dean and director 314-935-8970 | email@example.com
- Kelly Bean, senior associate dean and professor of practice in leadership 202-797-6000 | firstname.lastname@example.org