Author: Olin in the Media

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About Olin in the Media

Posting the latest on Olin student, alumni, faculty, and staff stories from business and news outlets locally, nationally, and around the world.


Seth Carnahan

Poets & Quants has recognized Olin’s Seth Carnahan as a Best 40 Under 40 professor.

Carnahan, associate professor of strategy, is highlighted an April 29 article that notes Carnahan, 34, is an award-winning researcher and teacher. He “has spent his early career building a strong and robust research pipeline with more than 600 Goggle Scholar citations and multiple grants and awards to boot.”

Carnahan provided “a great experience for one of my first MBA courses at WashU” with lectures that were relevant, current and generated engaging class discussion, one nominator said. “I feel as though my point of view changed greatly with regard to business strategy after having taken his class.”

A professor inspired him

Carnahan told Poets & Quants that he has no other academics in his family and was inspired by his strategy professor during his undergraduate. She mentioned her research during class, and “I dug up some of her papers an read them,” he said. When he learned her job was to write papers and teach, Carnahan said he thought, “I want to do that, too.”

Carnahan’s current research is examining the “human side of firm strategy.” He explores how organizations can out-compete their competition for talent and how firms can increase the performance of employees they already have by “managing their people more effectively.”

When P&Q asked what Carnahan thinks makes him a standout professor, he replied: “Based on the feedback they give me, I think students appreciate the open, inclusive culture that I try to create in my class. I think they see my class as a safe place where they can experiment with ideas, take risks, make mistakes, and learn from each other.”

Read the full article here.




For the second year running, WashU Olin has been named one of “10 Business Schools To Watch” by Poets & Quants.

In a recent post, Olin received recognition for two of its strategic pillars—entrepreneurship and global experience—that have been successfully implemented into the curriculum.

“Every course at Olin has to be accountable to entrepreneurship and innovation… That took entrepreneurship from being a really strong niche to something every Olin student is going to be exposed to,” said Cliff Holekamp, former professor of entrepreneurship at Olin.

However, Olin “places equal – if not greater emphasis on global business.”

“Deep global immersion in international business issues, cultures, and practices sets an important foundation for business today,” said Dean Mark Taylor discussing the MBA global immersion trip. “The cohort [also] really bonds as everyone gets to know one another and works together—especially as they begin the program by being thrown into the deep end on the global immersion where, at some point, every student must adjust to a foreign culture.”

P&Q also highlighted Olin’s location, accelerated graduation path, and the option for a STEM-designed specialized master’s degree paired with an MBA.

“We’re leaning into the needs of today’s business students, differentiating WashU Olin by leveraging our unique assets, preparing them to be globally-minded and globally-mobile and providing the tools to confront the challenge and create change,” said Taylor.

Other schools listed alongside Olin included the Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, University of Chicago’s Booth, USC’s Marshall, and IMD.

Read more of the P&Q article citing Olin as a top 10 school to watch.




Dean Mark Taylor addressing the Century Club on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018.

Saying WashU Olin’s newly rebooted full-time MBA program offers “a larger menu of options and opportunities to students,” Poets & Quants has named the school first among its “top 10 business schools to watch” in 2019.

In a post released Sunday, the online magazine covering business education cited Olin’s plans to launch an around-the-world global immersion in the first six weeks of the next MBA class among the reasons its program is worth watching (see Olin Blog’s “Desk of the Dean” column about the MBA revamp).

As Poets & Quants reported:

Olin first-years are meeting up in St. Louis for orientation before heading to Washington DC, where they receive intensive training from the Brookings Institution, the most cited think tank in the areas of foreign policy and global economic development. From there, candidates spend the next month in Barcelona and Shanghai, taking classes, conducting research, and delivering projects on behalf of corporate partners.

“It will be more than academic tourism,” Dean Mark Taylor said in the Poets & Quants piece. “It will be a chance to begin to understand doing business in Europe and Asia.”

In the post, P&Q also cited the school’s plans for a more flexible program, offering an accelerated 14-month MBA, and its investment in a revamped Weston Career Center, with an expanded staff and industry representatives stationed on both coasts and the far east.

The publication listed Olin Business School first among its top 10 schools, which included Michigan’s Ross School of Business, USC’s Marshall, The University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs, and the University of Rochester’s Simon Business School.

Read more of the P&Q article citing Olin Business School as a top 10 to watch.

Pictured above: Dean Mark Taylor addressing the Century Club on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018, where he elaborated on plans for the revamped full-time MBA program.




Jerry Steiner, EMBA

A St. Louis-based ag tech startup led by a WashU Olin alum has closed another round of financing as it moves toward the commercial launch of a new cash crop in 2021.

Jerry Steiner, EMBA ’92, is CEO of CoverCress, a post he’s held since January 2015, two years after the company was founded as Arvegenix. Steiner has 15 years’ experience previously with Monsanto.

CoverCress closed its latest $2 million round of funding November 14. Two prominent organizations co-led the funding round, Bayer Growth Ventures, the venture capital arm of Bayer and formerly Monsanto Growth Ventures; and BioGenerator, the investment arm of local nonprofit BioSTL. The round brings the company’s total funding to nearly $8 million, according to the St. Louis Business Journal (subscription required).

The company at the same time rebranded to CoverCress, reflecting its focus on developing a cash crop based on the native plant pennycress. According to the firm’s news release, “CoverCress is a new winter oilseed cash crop designed to provide winter and early spring soil cover between corn harvest and soybean planting, while producing an oilseed crop. CoverCress oil and protein meal are similar to that of canola.”

“Many farmers have told us that they want to do more to protect soil and water as well as find new sources of income from their land,” Steiner said in the release. “We are responding with CoverCress, a unique product to deliver both benefits to farmers.”




Arch Grant recipients Marc Bernstein, BSBA ’15, Adam Hoffman, BSBA ’17, and Andrew Glantz, BSBA ’17.

Three startups spawned on the WashU campus joined the latest class of 20 companies to receive Arch Grants worth $50,000 each. All three companies were launched through Olin’s Hatchery course, one of the longest-running entrepreneurship courses in the United States.

The three Arch Grants recipients established at WashU are:

Balto, founded by Marc Bernstein, BSBA ’15. The company markets software that uses artificial intelligence to improve the success rate of sales reps working in call centers.

CheckTheQ, founded by Adam Hoffman, BSBA ’17. The company has created a monitoring system that delivers real-time information on wait times at airport security to airport operations.

GiftAMeal, founded by Andrew Glantz, BSBA ’17. The company markets a mobile app that helps provide a meal to someone in need each time a user takes a photo on its app at a partner restaurant.

“The entrepreneurial drive of these young alums, and the progress they are making with their companies is really remarkable,” said Cliff Holekamp, professor of practice in entrepreneurship, who teaches the Hatchery course. “It wasn’t that long ago that these students were sharing their new business ideas with me in my office, now to see them win Arch Grants is very exciting and a meaningful validation of the traction they are making with their companies.”

The three companies, along with 17 others, learned they’d each receive the $50,000 grant on November 16 at the Arch Grants gala, according to a story in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The Arch Grants organization does not take an ownership stake in the companies it supports, but does require them to operate for at least a year from St. Louis in order to qualify for the money.

The Olin Hatchery course involves student teams that work on a commercial or social venture idea proposed by a student or community entrepreneur. The students work to produce two presentations to a panel of judges and a complete business plan for the startup enterprise. The course is open to any WashU student who has taken the prerequisites.

Watch the Arch Grants video about all the 2018 grant recipients.

Pictured above: Arch Grant recipients Marc Bernstein, BSBA ’15, Adam Hoffman, BSBA ’17, and Andrew Glantz, BSBA ’17.