Tag: Startup Connection

The GiftAMeal mobile app, conceived and launched by Olin junior Andrew Glantz one year ago, has reached another milestone as it continues to grow in popularity. Jacob Mohrmann, BSBA’16, Chief Marketing Officer of GiftAMeal, reports that the startup more than doubled its meal count since September, reaching a total of 15,000 meals donated to local food banks.

Each time a user of the GiftAMeal mobile app takes a photo of his or her food at a participating restaurant, a meal is provided to someone in need through a local food bank. Users may also recommend restaurants to friends and share photos on social media.

GiftAMeal is one of the featured businesses at Startup Connection, Nov. 16, at Olin Business School.


Mohrman and Glantz were featured in the 2016 Olin Business Magazine presenting their Elevator Pitch for GiftAMeal.

GiftAMeal is a for-profit social enterprise, charging a monthly fee to restaurants to participate and paying out donation to food banks to help provide meals to those in need. GiftAMeal has won multiple awards, including being named a “Top 3 Student Startup” in the country at the South by Southwest Conference. It received its first investment of $100,000 from the Capital Innovators accelerator in St. Louis, marking the first time that the group had invested in an undergraduate startup.

GiftAMeal helps restaurants acquire and retain customers, while also feeding the hungry in our communities.

Photos by Jerry Naunheim, Jr.

Video courtesy of WashU Fuse


If you’re an undergrad with a startup idea or business that’s already up and running, you’re invited to apply to the first “Student Pitch-off” at Startup Connection, Nov. 16 at Olin. Pitch teams may consist of up to four students. Businesses can be in any industry and anywhere in the startup process – from ideation to in-market.

Selected student teams will have the opportunity to deliver their three-minute pitch to a panel of judges at the event, Wednesday, November 16 at Washington University. The student teams will compete for up to $1,500 in cash prizes to help move their businesses forward.

To apply, each team should complete this Google Form by November 7, 2016.

Startup Connection gives St. Louis’ top startups the opportunity to present their companies to a packed house of entrepreneurs, investors, and other members of the innovation community. The event combines a startup showcase, resource fair, and is topped off with a fast-paced pitch session.

Read more about the 2016 Startup Connection in this related blog post.

Startup Connection, St. Louis’ largest event focused on innovation and entrepreneurship, has announced the companies selected to take part in its Venture Showcase Nov. 16 at Washington University in St. Louis. The startups will have the opportunity to pitch their products, services and ideas to the business community, as well as compete for in-kind and cash prizes.

This year, 27 of the 74 companies in the Showcase got their start at Washington University or have a founding member with a close connection to the university. It’s evidence of the institution’s deep commitment to supporting entrepreneurship for students, faculty, staff and alumni.

“More than a third of the companies chosen to participate in Startup Connection’s Venture Showcase have distinct WashU DNA—they were founded here, received support from our entrepreneurship platform, or include executive officers with direct links to our university,” said Dedric Carter, vice chancellor for operations and technology transfer. “It certainly speaks to Washington University’s commitment to the innovation/entrepreneurship environment, and we are excited to welcome our friends from Startup Connection back to campus next month for their showcase event.”

The early-stage startups taking part in November’s event, to be held in Olin’s Knight Hall and Bauer Hall, represent a wide group of industries, from biotechnology and advanced manufacturing to consumer products and tech. Startup Connection’s Resource Fair features organizations that provide support, services, and connections for startup companies.

“Startup Connection is a great event to attend to see what’s new in St. Louis’ startup community,” said Startup Connection Managing Director Phyllis Ellison, director of entrepreneur services and institutional and corporate partnerships at the Cortex Innovation Community.  “We have an exciting group of companies this year that really emphasizes the variety of technology and innovation happening in the region.”

The Washington University-based businesses taking part in Startup Connection include:

  • Aggio
  • AirZaar Inc.
  • Applied Particle Technology
  • Bandura
  • Better Weekdays
  • Blue Line Technology
  • Cast
  • CredEd
  • DeepGene LLC
  • Dynamic Surgical
  • Eureka Analytics
  • Geneoscopy
  • GiftAMeal
  • Hockey Valet
  • Hummingbird Technologies
  • International PROOF System
  • Ivani LLC
  • Less Annoying CRM
  • Lipospectrum
  • Olio City
  • Pikazo
  • Pro-Arc Diagnostics
  • Riley’s Premium Pet Products
  • Rozzy Learning Company
  • Sparo Labs
  • Spectrum Perception LLC
  • Viosera Therapeutics

For more information about the event, including registration information, visit: www.startupconnection.org

Guest blogger:

Staging an event for 1,200+ guests, 90 vendors, with non-stop food and drink takes great planning and efficient staffing and the Aramark staff carried it off flawlessly for last fall’s Startup Connection held on all three levels of the Knight Hall-Bauer Hall Atrium. The event was recognized by the International Special Events Society – St. Louis Chapter as a finalist for the Best Logistical Event for 2015 at the annual Louie Awards, March 4.

Aramark, the company that provides facilities management and food services to Olin, organizes hundreds of events each year in our four buildings.

Gene Castellitto, Aramark General Manager for The Charles F. Knight Executive Education & Conference Center said Startup Connection was one of the biggest events in the new buildings since the Dedication Ceremony two years ago:

“This event involved removing all of the public area furniture from Knight and Bauer Halls, and re-setting the two buildings for 90 vendors and 1200 + guests. I want to recognize Alisa Kelly, Conference Planning Manager, for the countless hours and detailed coordination efforts required to make this event a success.  In addition, I would like to thank John Schuler, Brian Blankenship, Donnie Zavala, and Joe Banstetter for their contributions in making this event a success.”

Link to 60 second video of the event here.

In 2015, The Knight Center won a Louie award for the Best Overall On-Premise Catered Event for the Scholars in Business dinner held in the Atrium.

If you were not one of the many (1,200+) people at Startup Connection on Nov. 18, check out the great coverage of the event held on all three levels of the Atrium, in the Forum and Emerson Auditorium. Startup Connection is the largest event for early-stage startups in St. Louis and featured 70 companies, including 25 founded or supported by WashU alumni, faculty, and students.

StartupConnxForumLink to 60-second overview on fuse.wustl.edu

Link to nineNetwork’s Stay Tuned episodes recorded live at Startup Connection with Casey Nolen

In January, Ed Domain’s Tech Report, aired on Ch. 9 Wednesday nights at 10:30 and Sundays at noon will feature companies and founders interviewed at Startup Connection.