Think you have what it takes to be the next Zuckerberg? Are you the type of person who is always finding creative and innovative solutions to solve problems? Lots of Washington University students have great ideas but never get to work on them because they lack the time and resources it takes to commit to working on an innovative concept or entrepreneurial endeavor. Startup WU will give you the opportunity to work with an interdisciplinary team to accomplish your goals. Whether you are interested in art, business, engineering, or the sciences, you’ll explore questions like:
I have this great idea, now what? What does it mean to be an entrepreneur? How can innovative thinking change the world?
Once you arrive, everyone is welcome to pitch their idea – there are no limits, it can be a social or commercial venture concept, a new student program, anything at all! (Please know that pitching isn’t a requirement – we need team members who can get work done even if the big idea isn’t theirs.) After a blind vote, teams will form around the top ideas. Then you and your teammates experience an experiential learning environment by taking that idea from concept to prototype. A rapid progression will take place through modules including ideation, team formation, and real-world market validation. After three and a half days of collaboration, prototyping, and market testing, the program will culminate with team presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with the opportunity for constructive feedback and a small prize for the best presentation. The goal is to build enough momentum and pride of ownership to sustain the idea well past the end of the program.
Aside from creating a potentially viable business, participating in Startup WU will enable you to:
Gain a better understanding of the blueprint of starting a company.
Become more confident in your abilities as innovators and entrepreneurs.
Learn the value of interdisciplinary collaboration by working with students from all disciplines. As you formulate teams and collaborate throughout the program you will form connections and find value in each other’s thinking.
Feel comfortable sharing ideas with others and giving/getting feedback and learn how to use that feedback in refining your ideas.
Discover the importance of networking and building relationships through visits to local entrepreneurship and innovation hubs and through interactions with alumni and community leaders.
Take advantage of the numerous resources available through the Skandalaris Center for Interdisciplinary Innovation & Entrepreneurship, as well as within the St. Louis entrepreneurial community.
Engage with the diversity of Wash U and St. Louis
Students from all academic divisions (Arts & Sciences, Business, Engineering & Applied Science, Design and Visual Arts) are encouraged to join.
Join us as we seek to unite students across all disciplines and discover just how much a group of passionate people can accomplish in a few short days.
Don’t just take our word for it! Here is what some 2016 participants had to say:
“I really learned about the process and the long preparation of a startup company and fully understand the potential obstacles for surviving in the market. I also really enjoyed collaborating with my fellow students. Each having a specific task, we contribute to the same object. It helps us to bond not only as friends but also intellectually.”
“ . . . It is fun. I learned new things about entrepreneurship. I met really intelligent people (fellow first-year students and counselors). Almost real entrepreneurship experience.”