Tag: Ideabounce

IdeaBounce startup pitch

Yesterday I attended my first IdeaBounce. I’m new to WashU (I started working in Olin’s Marketing & Communications department Jan. 4) and the idea of students giving a two-minute business pitch to a room full of strangers seemed intriguing. And, as someone who successfully avoided most forms of public speech through college, it also seemed terrifying.

Olin has a great reputation for turning out successful entrepreneurs—and it isn’t just limited to the business school. WashU has nurtured entrepreneurs from the medical school, the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, and especially Olin and the engineering school. I wanted to watch the beginning of this process.

However, IdeaBounce was not what I expected. Here’s my quick take on my first IdeaBounce experience—and what surprised me most:

1. I incorrectly assumed that only business and engineering undergrads participated in IdeaBounce. Reality is, WashU students from all tracks are looking to launch businesses, and they aren’t all undergrads. The participants ranged from freshmen to those seeking MBAs, executive MBAs, other graduate students, and local entrepreneurs. I think the last point—that IdeaBounce is open to anyone—is particularly important. St. Louis entrepreneurs attend IdeaBounce to polish their ideas, but also to recruit help from WashU students. And, their presence provides a great opportunity for Olin students to make connections and gain experience from those who may be further along in the startup process—that is a win-win.

2. I was most surprised by how far along in the process many of the presenters were. I pictured IdeaBounce as only a way to present brand new business ideas to an audience who could help polish them. However, several presenters had already launched startups and were looking for help getting to the next stage—greater distribution. This included a company that produces pizza-shaped horse treats and a startup creating a special surgical suture (they have a provisional patent and have already tested it on pigs). IdeaBounce, I learned, is more of a way for undergrads, medical students, MBAs, and community business owners (among many others) to connect, share advice, build relationships, and find new resources.

3. I heard additional pitches that are truly cross-disciplinary. In addition to the pizza-shaped horse treats, other ideas included a monthly subscription box that features tools to help managers improve the quality of their meetings, a lifestyle web-magazine focused on living like a Parisian, a specialized camera to identify cancer cells during surgery, and a food delivery app, among others. These ventures were looking for marketers, experts in materials science, full stack developers, and people from other disciplines like art and journalism.

I was surprised at the level of confidence (or how well they faked it) and poise the presenters displayed—at least two of whom were freshmen(!!) seeking to create thermally adaptive insulation for jackets. I was also pleased to see a supportive atmosphere. In fact, the judges don’t rate presenters based on what their idea is, but rather their passion and clarity. If you’re a budding entrepreneur—student or otherwise—it’s definitely worth your while to check out the next IdeaBounce. I’ll see you there!

Great ideas for startups to solve problems from excessive food waste to wardrobe choices for socially active college women, were pitched to a pack audience in the Frick Forum on Nov. 4 at the IDEABOUNCE co-sponsored by the Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Association and the Skandalaris Center.

Ideabounce judges

Ideabounce judges

Four participants won the judges prize for best pitch and worthy of investment. Each winner received $100.

Hanger – Charlotte Jones  & Ishi Metkar  metkari@wustl.edu BSBA’16

The Women’s Bakery, Inc. – Markey Culver markey.culver@wustl.edu

SnapPEAS – Jeffrey Gamble

Patch Life Utilities – Andrew Zheng




SnapPEAS’ Jeffrey Gamble

The audience selected another venture as their choice for best in show at the Ideabounce event:

East St. Louis Initiative – Wyatt Gutierrez

Guest Blogger: Jamie Stroble, MBA’16

Ideas for startups will be bouncing in the Frick Forum at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 4. If you haven’t signed up to pitch an idea, come hear the dozens of ideas students and community members will present to a team of judges. You can checkout some of the ideas that will be bounced  here.

EVCA logo 2Co-sponsored by Olin’s Entrepreneurship & Venture Capital Association and the Skandalaris Center, this Ideabounce will award $500 in cash prizes.

IdeaBounce flier



The Skandalaris Center will host its final Skills Session of the semester, Friday, April 3 on the topic “Putting it All Together:  The Narrative,” 2 p.m.– 3:30 p.m., followed by an IdeaBounce® at 4 p.m.  Managing Director Emre Toker has been leading the Skills Sessions all year, and you can catch up on any you missed on YouTube.  For this session, Emre will be joined by Dan Reus, founder at Openly Disruptive, who will add his own perspective and expertise on the topic.

After the Skills Session, get ready for IdeaBounce®.  Pitchers for the program have already been invited, and up to five winners will receive $100 and an invitation to lunch for additional mentoring and advice with our judges:

·         Andrew Knight, Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior, Olin Business School

·         Chris Miller, Chief Executive Officer of The Mission Center L3C and  Senior Lecturer of Social Entrepreneurship, Brown School

·         Erin Steinbruegge, Chief Operating Officer at CrowdSource

There will also be an open mic portion at the IdeaBounce®, so even if you haven’t been invited to pitch or even posted your idea on ideabounce.com, you can attend the event and raise your hand when we open the mic to all.  Last month, 8-year-old Jack – the youngest pitcher at an Ideabounce – wowed the audience during open mic. Watch him pitch on the Skandalaris Center YouTube channel.

Register to attend at ideabounce.com on the “events” tab.

This just in from the Skandalaris Center: “you are invited to attend the final IdeaBounce® on Thursday, May 15 at 6 p.m. We welcome everyone at our FREE IdeaBounce® events, to pitch an idea, to hear ideas from others, or perhaps to get inspired to pitch at the open mic. Since this is our last for the school year, we’re extending the deadline to post your idea, but also will plan to have more time on the agenda for the open mic pitches, AND we’ll award a $100 prize to an open mic bouncer.”

Winners are selected based on three simple criteria with the goal of encouraging ideas and getting people to start talking and get connected to resources: the clarity of the presentation, the passion of the presenter, and his/her request to help.

Get a sneak peak of what a bounce is like here, then please join us on Thursday.
If you have an idea and want a guaranteed spot on the program, post your idea to ideabounce.com by 9 a.m. on Tuesday, May 13.

If you want to come to see and hear other bouncers and take your shot at the open mic, JUST SHOW UP!

Date: Thursday, May 15
Time: Registration at 5:30 Pitches at 6 p.m.
Location: 3221 McKelvey Road, Bridgeton, MO, 63044, at St. Louis Community College’s Corporate College Campus FREE PARKING!!!

Our excellent judges volunteer their time and expertise to hear your ideas and help you move forward! This month’s judges are
· Adam McMurray, Business Development Professional, Threshold Sales Group, http://www.linkedin.com/in/adammcmurry
· Darcy Hunter, Independent Consultant
· Barry Schapiro, Workforce Solutions Group, St. Louis Community College
· William Lemon, Director of Scientific and Computing Services, ITE Innovative Technology Enterprises at UMSL
· Katie Ward-Lineberry, Project Manager at INCITE, Social Impact Marketing,

Our Skills Session Topic at 4PM on Thursday (preceding the IdeaBounce®) is “The Business Plan and Story” led by Sandra Marks and Arthur Milton Porter III, who will answer questions including how to build and use your business plan and how to build your team.

We hope to see you there for the Skills Session, IdeaBounce®, and “heavy hors d’oeuvre” reception so all may connect and help each other. Register at ideabounce.com and we will send you a reminder.