St. Louis, MO

Sign up for startup news at WashU.

How to Start a Startup at WashU

Student Groups

WashU ACM - WashU's chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), an international scientific and educational organization dedicated to advancing the arts, sciences, and applications of information technology.

ArchHacks - Join the group that organizes WashU's premier annual hackathon

WashU Entrepreneur Society - promotes entrepreneurship on WashU's campus through workshops, guest speakers, and participation in startup competitions

WashU WiCS - WashU's community for women interested in computer science

Xccelerate - promotes entrepreneurial thinking and skills among the WashU community through workshops, speaker events, and traveling to innovation hubs around St. Louis.

Accelerators and Incubators

LEAP - a hybrid virtual incubator and gap funding program designed to tackle opportunities in university technology commercialization.

Sling - a student-run healthcare accelerator that brings together healthcare professionals and students from numerous university programs to develop and commercialize solutions to real-world healthcare problems.

Hackathons and Competitions

ArchHacks - WashU's premier annual hackathon with the theme of healthtech. ArchHacks brings together more than 200 students of all backgrounds from around the country for 48 hours of collaboration, problem solving, and building. No prior experience necessary to participate.

ACM Hackathon - hackathon hosted by ACM club open to all WashU students

Arch Grants business plan competition - provides $50,000 grants to startups (early to seed stage) and takes no equity in return. Applications open May 15.

Olin's BIG IdeaBounce® - a 2-minute-video elevator pitch contest open to all WashU students who compete to win up to $2,500 from $20,000 in prize money.

Skandalaris Venture Competition- a funding competition that provides expert mentorship to new ventures and startups to ready them for commercializing their idea, launching, and pitching to investors.

GlobalHack - St. Louis based hackathon focusing on social impact through technology

University Resources

St. Louis Entrepreneurial Fellowship - year-long program that gives WashU students a chance to explore entrepreneurship at WashU and in St. Louis.

Skandalaris Internship Program (SKIP) - a 10-week summer program including a paid internship and an intensive introduction to St. Louis and to the world of startups, entrepreneurship, and innovation.

Notable Courses

The Hatchery - course offered by Olin Business School, you work with entrepreneurs and investors to develop a business plan of your own, or one brought to WashU by individuals interested in a group startup. At the end of the course, teams present their analyses to a group of business startup and venture capital experts.

CSE 330S: Rapid Prototyping and Creating Programming

CSE 437S: Software Engineering Workshop

MGT 450X: Center for Experiential Learning Entrepreneurial Consulting Team


Contrary - University-focused venture fund investing up to $500K in emerging startups launching from the university scene around the US

LEAP - a hybrid virtual incubator and gap funding program designed to tackle opportunities in university technology commercialization.

Holekamp Seed Fund - for Washington University junior or senior undergraduates or graduate students - apply for $1000 in seed funding

Building something?

Sign up for startup news at WashU, and be the first to know about new opportunities from Contrary.