Tag: CEL

Students in Olin’s CELect course helped create the marketing plan for SafeTrek, a personal mobile safety app that was introduced to the WashU community this fall. Student-led teams in the entrepreneurship consulting course are paired with startups at the downtown accelerator T-Rex and assigned a wide variety of projects.

“The project for SafeTrek is one of many examples where helping a local entrepreneur also helped the community,” said Academic Director for Entrepreneurship Clifford Holekamp.

We asked SafeTrek cofounder Nick Droege about working with CELect teams on the marketing rollout of the app for WashU:

Have the CELect teams provided valuable contributions to your company?

The CELect teams have been extremely valuable in helping us over the past year. From market research to rollout strategies, they’ve made our jobs easier.

The spring 2017 team was diverse mix of law and business students. Did they bring valuable perspectives?

The spring 2017 team was an impressive group. They were able to provide us with valuable insights on campus climate as we geared up to launch at WUSTL’s campus.

[Related: Check out the Spring 2017 CELect team’s take on collaborating with SafeTrek]

What would you tell other startups considering a collaboration with a CELect student team?

Yes. Constantly getting outside perspectives is extremely important as you’re building a company. As founders, it’s easy to hone in on our strategies based on our lenses of how we should execute. Having a group of young, motivated, entrepreneurial spirited students look at what we’re doing and offer their opinions has made us take a step back and evaluate our approaches.

Safetrek recently announced a $3.2 million funding round with St. Louis-based VC firm Cultivation Capital.

The University is continuing to provide SafeTrek FREE OF CHARGE to all students, faculty, staff and Basic Services Contractor employees. To activate your subscription click on the link below and follow the steps: www.safetrekapp.com/affiliate/WUSTL

FinLocker provides a secure financial data and analytics platform and works with mortgage lenders to reduce borrower frustrations and lender costs associated in getting a mortgage approved as fast as possible, while increasing certainty for investors. FinLocker accomplishes this by electronically capturing and analyzing borrower data such as employment, income, assets, credit, and other information. Consumers are able to share their financial information without worrying about that information being compromised. FinLocker provides greater certainty to lenders while reducing costs, risk, and potential fraud.

FinLocker has asked the CELect team to determine how it can leverage its technology to aid lenders in areas other than mortgages.

Our team is working with FinLocker to determine which area will provide the best opportunities and make the greatest impact for FinLocker, lenders, and investors. In order to accomplish this, our team will research different types of loans (student loans, auto loans, personal loans, rental, consolidated loans, small business loans, and peer-to-peer lending), and determine which is most attractive. Once we determine which type of loan is most attractive, our team will learn exactly how FinLocker can add value to lenders and investors for those loans.

finlockerOur team is thrilled for the opportunity to work with FinLocker and its experienced team. We are thankful for this real world experience through Washington University in St. Louis’ Center for Experiential Learning and are excited to be a part of FinLocker’s efforts to change the lending landscape.

CELect Team: Mike Manovich, Law; Cole West, BSBA; Tyler Combest, Law; David Allston, MBA

The Problem: The nursing home market is facing unprecedented growth as the 76 million baby boomers across the United States start to enter retirement. Surprisingly, the majority of these facilities have not sufficiently modernized to meet the challenges brought on by this newfound demand. Specifically, over 50% of nursing homes still use a paper-based system to manage the care of their patients and store their health records. Meanwhile many of those who have switched to an electronic system are tied down by un-intuitive programs with bulky and expensive in-house servers run by companies whose customer service often parallels that of the heavily maligned cable industry.

A Solution: In 2012 BlueStrata EHR was founded as a cloud-based solution to this dire problem. BlueStrata’s digital SaaS (Software as a Service)-model system allows nursing homes to dump their paper systems and expensive servers. The platform enables homes to conveniently access their patient records, medication information, and reporting from anywhere and was built from the ground up with an easy to use interface for nurses and other home employees. Most significantly, BlueStrata is dedicated to delivering best-in-class customer service with on-site on-boarding and implementation, a 24/7 live client support desk, and an online suite of webinars and informational documentation.

The Consultants’ Challenge: Despite BlueStrata’s numerous benefits, marketing and sales dollars are limited. In order to determine how the firm can most efficiently utilize their resources to most effectively reach the largest amount of potential customers, the company has enrolled our help. We are a team of multidisciplinary graduate students from the CELect course at Washington University in St. Louis. CELect is a unique class where students perform consulting projects for start-ups in the St. Louis area as a method of experiential learning while also giving back to the community.

Our group – Robert Bailen, Rachael Lin, Michael Foland, and Tarun Sengar, are working directly with Tony Coco, BlueStrata’s president, to help advise on how to best leverage the benefits of their ERP (enterprise resource planning) platform in a targeted multi-media marketing campaign. Working alongside Mr. Coco and the BlueStrata team has been a great opportunity for us thus far. We have not only been able to witness first-hand how BlueStrata helps homes manage their workflow, but also how they save homes significant amounts of money through increased insurance reimbursements and reduction of human error.

BlueStrata is one of the recent success stories of St. Louis’ burgeoning entrepreneurship scene, which has been driven in large part due to Mr. Coco’s leadership. Mr. Coco was the former director of marketing services and brand management for Victor Technologies, a cutting and welding equipment provider. Victor Technologies was acquired in 2014 by the Maryland-based industrial firm Colfax Corp for $947 million. BlueStrata, meanwhile,  raised $1.66 million from the life science fund of St. Louis venture capital firm Cultivation Capital in August 2015. They’re continuing to grow at a rapid pace and just recently moved into new offices in Creve Coeur to house their increasing number of employees as they continue on their path to help nursing homes nationwide.

Team: Robert Bailen, MBA; Rachael Lin, PMBA; Michael Foland,Law; Tarun Sengar, MBA

SafeTrek is one of the leading personal safety apps available for iOS and Android. When feeling unsafe, a SafeTrek user can simply launch the app and place his or her thumb on a large safety button. When the user feels safe again, they need only release their thumb and enter their passcode. If circumstances necessitate help, however, the user can just release their thumb and wait —  911 is dispatched immediately when the user’s passcode is not entered in time. As such, the SafeTrek app enables users to discreetly notify authorities if and when they are in need of assistance.

Who are they?
SafeTrek’s dedication to the well being of its users is what initially drew our team to the company. SafeTrek’s practices illustrate just how strong their emphasis is on customer service. Last year, for instance, a safety assistant helped direct a distraught college student who had gone out drinking and lost her friends, back to her dorm in New York City. Although the student’s situation fortunately did not require the intervention of law enforcement, the SafeTrek employee remained on the phone with the student throughout her ordeal.

Why did the founders start SafeTrek?
After getting numerous reports concerning the incidents that were occurring on their college campus, the founders of SafeTrek brainstormed an idea about how to develop a safety system that was better suited to ensuring safety than the standard Bluelight System. The founders came up with SafeTrek and the app has since become an enormous success.

Our experience:
Our group has already enjoyed learning from a promising startup on a broad range of topics. As students who each have an interest in one day starting businesses of our own, SafeTrek has been a great partner for our group to consult with and we hope to continue to learn more about the many responsibilities that entrepreneurs must assume to build successful companies. We look forward to providing SafeTrek with helpful market research in the future and are grateful for the opportunity given to us by WashU’s CELect program.

Sandy Kugbei, Law’17; Kimaya Hemdev, BSBA; Christian Luetkemeyer; PMBA; Jason McCloskey, Law

In 1874, St. Louis was a major hub for industry. Downtown Washington Avenue was thriving with clothing and shoe manufacturers and the city was known as “first in shoes, first in booze, and last in the American league.” Today, the once thriving and populated downtown garment district has transitioned into historic lofts, retail, nightclubs, restaurants, and office space.

As part of the Olin Business School’s CELect practicum, students Emmy Caton, Shaheen Shabrou, Zitong Qiu, and Nancy Zhang are helping the Saint Louis Fashion Fund (SLFF) to revitalize the fashion industry within the community by putting together recommendations and next steps for the fund and SLFF’s fashion incubator.

The Saint Louis Fashion Fund is led by Executive Director Eric Johnson, an industry leader who has successfully launched similar programming and initiatives in New York City.

fashion-fund-incubatorOn October 27th, SLFF will celebrate the organization’s groundbreaking in a state-of-the-art building located at 1533 Washington Avenue (the ArtLofts Building).  As part of the fund’s broader education and outreach on fashion and design, six in-house designers will be welcomed as part of a two-year program to accelerate the development and resurgence of fashion within the larger St. Louis Community.

More information about the Saint Louis Fashion Fund and the incubator’s inaugural class and upcoming events can be found at St. Louis Fashion Incubator.

Blog post by: Emmy Caton (MBA’17), Shaheen Shabrou(PMBA’17), Zitong Qiu (JD’17), and Nancy Zhang (JD’17).

During Travel Week and Spring Break, a total of 82 students participated in experiential learning globally in 6 different countries spread across 4 different continents.

Students were able to travel to Colombia, Japan, and Cuba through the Global Management Studies course. During the Global Management Studies, student-led teams are able to conduct field research while engaging business leaders. Students who are enrolled in the CEL Practicum this spring semester were able to travel to places such as Africa and Vietnam to interact with their client. The CEL Practicum gives students from all disciplines the opportunity to apply and enhance their critical thinking skills while working on real-world, team-based consulting projects with business leaders.