Nancy Nigh contributed this post to the Olin Blog. She is the communications and events manager at the Skandalaris Center for Interdisciplinary Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
On September 16, 2021, the St. Louis Business Journal announced its first “Inno Under 25” list of up-and-coming founders in St. Louis’ startup community.
According to author Nathan Rubbelke: “Our inaugural Inno Under 25 feature is designed to spotlight some of those up-and-coming innovators. The list includes college students balancing studies while building promising startups as well as recent grads and young adults focused full-time on their ventures. Unsurprisingly, this list features many with ties to Washington University, which has had an outsized role in boosting St. Louis’ entrepreneurial economy.”
The WashU entrepreneurs recognized for their contributions to the St. Louis startup ecosystem, include Joe Beggs with Hive Medical and GenAssist, Chiara Munzi with Closet Switch, Lloyd Yates with Tylmen Tech, Ayana Klein with 3Dux Design and Owen Zhang with Caralyst.
“The diversity of these founders—including students studying in Olin, McKelvey and Arts & Sciences—creating startups to solve unique problems is at the core of how WashU approaches entrepreneurship,” said II Luscri, managing director and assistant vice provost for innovation and entrepreneurship at the Skandalaris Center.
In addition, to support them through their academic programs, the Skandalaris Center worked with each of these young entrepreneurs as they established and continued to grow their startups through advising, mentoring, competition preparation and funding.
“We are beyond excited for these founders to be recognized and look forward to helping them and others elevate their ventures at WashU and in St. Louis.”
Learn about each of these founders below and read St. Louis Inno’s article here.
Joe Beggs HIVE Medical and GenAssist: HIVE incorporates a wireless sensor into IV lines to improve medication adherence and prevent expensive unplanned readmissions. Founding member Joe Beggs (BME ‘2020) received the first place Skandalaris Venture Competition trophy in spring 2021 and a $10,000 cash prize. Joe’s other venture, GenAssist, was started with the intent to commercialize the biomimetic sponges so that muscle loss may be healed in human patients.
Chiara Munzi, Closet Switch: Closet Switch is an online and mobile platform that makes getting trendy clothes affordable and social by facilitating nationwide clothing trades between high school and college-aged girls. Founded by Chiara Munzi, BS ’23, and Cosima Munzi. Chiara earned a finalist position for Closet Switch in the spring 2021 Skandalaris Venture Competition.
Lloyd Yates, Tylmen Tech: Tylmen Tech integrates technology, sustainability, and accessibility to create the best fitting, custom-tailored suits available on the market. Founder, Lloyd Yates, MBA ’22, was a featured panelist for the event Black Entrepreneurship in St. Louis, a panel discussion with veteran and rising innovative entrepreneurs from the St. Louis area organized by the Olin Black MBA Association. He has competed in the Skandalaris Center Venture Competition and Skandalaris’ IdeaBounce events.
Ayana Klein, 3Dux Design: Founded by current WashU student Ayana Klein, LA ’22, 3Dux Design supplies children around the world with the educational materials and academic skills they need to succeed. Anna was a Skandalaris Center Global Impact Award winner in 2020 earning an award of $20,000. She also competed in Olin’s Big IdeaBounce in spring 2020 and took home the top prize of $2,500 in the undergraduate category for her architectural modeling system, consisting of cardboard connectors and curriculum, which supports STEM education globally. Ayana planned to use a portion of the prize money to employ her fellow Washington University students as interns with 3Dux Design and offer educational opportunities to children.
Owen Zhang, Caralyst: Caralyst is a healthcare innovation startup, focused on increasing the quality of healthcare by matching patients and physicians based on preferences like communication style and personal characteristics. Caralyst allows patients to find physicians based on shared identities, communication styles, and personal characteristics. Founded by Owen Zhang, EN ’23, BSBA ’23, an undergraduate student at Washington University studying in the joint business and computer science program, and his team of Havisha Pedamallu, LA ’21, BSBA ’21, and Matthew Millet, ME. Caralyst placed third in the spring 2020 Skandalaris Venture Competition, winning $5,000.
The Skandalaris Center for Interdisciplinary Innovation and Entrepreneurship is the home of Entrepreneurship at Washington University. We support startups at all stages by providing opportunities and resources from idea to launch and beyond. We are dedicated to providing programs, services, and opportunities for all members of the WashU community. We encourage individuals, startups, ventures, and teams to connect with us for help throughout their entrepreneurial journey at firstname.lastname@example.org.