Tag: Hatchery

The winning team, named Project Starfish, is creating a device that uses short-wavelength ultraviolet light (UVC), which kills bacteria, molds, viruses and other pathogens, to continuously and effectively kill bacteria in urinary catheters. About 75 percent of urinary tract infections acquired in the hospital are associated with the use of a catheter, and up to 25 percent of hospitalized patients in the hospital receive a urinary catheter, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

Elizabeth Bowman

Project Starfish has received a provisional patent for its device and has confirmed with FDA consultants that the device will follow a relatively inexpensive regulatory pathway, said Elizabeth Bowman. Bowman received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering with a minor in commercial entrepreneurship May 19.

“We’re really glad that we won this competition because we needed to the money to move us forward to the next step,” said Bowman, who plans to continue working on the project in addition to working as a health-care consultant in Silicon Valley.

The team’s initial funding to build a 3-D prototype and a small circuit board came from  Sling Health (formerly IDEA Labs).

Other team members are:

  • John Bisognono, sophomore, majoring in computer science with a minor in bioinformatics
  • Elliot Jaffe, BS/MS student in electrical engineering with a second major in physics
  • Caleb Ji, first-year student majoring in math
  • Daniel Lane, doctoral student in biomedical engineering
  • Jessica Miller, founder and an MD/PhD student at the School of Medicine and in biomedical engineering
  • Vineet Chauhan and John Henschen, MBA students in the Olin Business School
  • Jay Vasileva, a graduating biomedical engineering student from Saint Louis University

Project Starfish plans to incorporate this summer.

The School of Engineering & Applied Science’s Discovery Competition promotes innovative discoveries that solve a particular challenge or need.  The competition provides undergrad engineering students a forum to explore their entrepreneurial interests with support from mentors, to use their creativity to develop solutions for real-world problems, and to compete for financial resources that could help turn their ideas into businesses. The annual competition is funded by Engineering alumni.

Link to more about the 2017 Discovery Competition.

By: Beth Miller, School of Engineering & Applied Science

The final exam for The Hatchery course is unlike any other. Teams of students present the business plan for a startup to a team of judges made up of real-world investors, experienced entrepreneurs, and other experts. The judges ask detailed questions about the new product or service, the financial projections, patent-worthy innovations, and what kind of return on investment they can expect.

A dozen teams from the spring Hatchery have met this milestone in their entrepreneurial journey this week. Team NephroZip felt confident and pleased with their presentation for a new device that will simplify kidney surgery. Three students from Olin and one from the School of Engineering worked with the founder of NephroZip, a medical student, who initially pitched his innovation to Idea Labs.

hatchery debrief.pg

Team NephroZip debriefs with Professor Cliff Holekamp and coach Mary Jo Gorman after their presentation. Members of the team include: James Jacobs,MBA’17; Adi Radhakrishnan,BSBA’16; Charles Hon, MBA’16, and Claire Wallace, A&S’16.

Congratulations to all the teams! We look forward to seeing their ideas develop beyond the Hatchery into profitable and successful enterprises!

Link to find out more about The Hatchery Course and Skandalaris Center for Interdisciplinary Innovation and Entrepreneurship



HummingbirHummingbird logod Technologies is creating a system that will grow fresh vegetables, spices, and herbs right on your kitchen counter – green thumb not required! Danny Varghese, MBA’16, is CFO of the startup that won an Arch Grants last year.  (more…)

A big shout out to our former videographer, Tucker Pierce, BFA’15, on the grand opening of his startup Westminster Press, Saturday, Dec. 5,  6-10p, 3156 Cherokee St. Celebrate the Westminster Press’ new storefront with a night of art, shopping, and live music. The event includes a showcase of works by lecturer Lauren Cardenas (MFA12), Cole Lu (MFA14),Catalina Ouyang (BFA15), and Emmeline Solomon (MFA15).

Cofounded by Tucker Pierce (BFA15) and Nick Curry, Westminster Press is an art gallery, consignment shop, and printmaking studio focused on promoting work made by artists of marginalized identities.

Tucker and Nick honed their business plan in The Hatchery course and completed a successful $10,000 Kickstarter campaign earlier this year.

Congratulations, Tucker and Nick, from all your friends at Olin.

According to statistics tracked by the Skandalaris Center, graduates of Olin’s Hatchery course have been very successful at launching startups, securing funding and creating jobs. From 2008 to the present, The Hatchery can boast:

170 total projects
77 launches
49 still operating – a 64% success rate
$33.8 Million raised
375 full-time positions created
15 provisional patents filed
51% of companies launched in St. Louis

Hundreds of students have taken Olin’s popular entrepreneurship course, The Hatchery, since it was started in 1996. In the beginning students worked for outside entrepreneurs, but since Cliff Holekamp took over the course in 2008, students come to the class with their own startup ideas and develop a business plan during the semester  – many with a goal to launch the business.

“I am delighted by the resourcefulness of our students,” said Clifford Holekamp, senior lecturer in entrepreneurship and director of the Entrepreneurship Platform at Olin. “More importantly, my objectives for the course are still academic. My goal is to teach our students the lessons that will help them be more successful in any of their future endeavors — whether it be a startup right out of school, or a business initiative years down the road.”

See more statistics on The Hatchery compiled by the Skandalaris Center, here.

To learn more about startup initiatives on the Washington University campus, visit Fuse​, the new website dedicated to entrepreneurship and innovation.

Erika Ebsworth-Goold contributed to this post.


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