Wash U was a tour de force at Startup Connection on October 3!
The event is St. Louis’s largest entrepreneurship expo and brings entrepreneurs, investors, students, and community members together for one night to hear a series of pitches from the region’s hottest up-and-coming startups. Sixty companies each had 90 seconds to pitch their idea to a room full of nearly 1,000 people. At the end of the evening, the audience and investors chose their favorites, awarding more than $160,000 in cash and in-kind prizes.
Sparo Labs added to their growing list of prizes with two awards– The BioSTL Award ($2500) and the People’s Choice Award in Bioscience, voted on by the attendees ($500). Washington University graduates Andrew Brimer and Abigail Cohen launched Sparo Labs while in school, and continue to run the company full-time.
Farmplicity, which was launched in the Hatchery class last spring, won the People’s Choice Award in Early Stage Tech/IT ($500). Wash U alum Drew Koch and current student Jolijt Tamanaha, represented Farmplicity on stage. The company’s other co-founders, Andrew Lin and Lauren Ortwein, are also Washington University BSBA graduates.
Faculty-launched Observable Networks, run by Patrick Crowley (professor in Engineering) and Peter Finley (adjunct professor at Olin), won third place and $20k in the St. Louis Startup Challenge.
The big news was that Olin Cup winner and recent law school alum Drew Winship’s Juristat won first place in the Startup Challenge along with a check for $50k. (Pictured above.) Read more about Juristat’s big win here.
Additionally, Wash U students were highly visible at the event. The EVCA, led by Kasey Joyce, provided and coordinated about 50 MBA and BSBA student volunteers to run the event. Kasey moderated the on-stage elevator pitches. All-in-all there were over a hundred Wash U students in attendance.
Read more about Startup Connection in the St. Louis Business Journal.
After the event, I took part in a panel discussion on innovation and entrepreneurship on 9Network’s program, StayTuned. Square co-founder and Washington University alum, Jim McKelvey, was also on the show. You can watch the program in its entirety here.
It was an incredible and exciting night for Washington University and the entrepreneurship community in St. Louis!