WashU Competitions Launch New Companies in STL

In the startup world, competitions provide an array of opportunities for entrepreneurs to win funding as well as mentorship and training. Washington University in St. Louis just wrapped some of their biggest competitions this spring, appealing to a wide variety of entrepreneurs, from undergraduates to working professionals not associated with the university. But how much do you know about the different challenges and their effects on our ecosystem?
Sydney Katz, an undergraduate student in electrical engineering, discussed WOOTA at the IDEA Labs “Demo Day.” The WOOTA team, which aims to alleviate the clean-water crisis in developing countries, recently took first place at the Discovery Competition.

Discovery Competition

What It Is: The Student Entrepreneurship Competition, also known as the Discovery Competition, is an annual academic opportunity for engineering students to practice entrepreneurship, address real-world problems, and compete for funding.

Who should apply: WU Engineering undergraduates

Award: At least $25K

2015-2016 Winners:

  • 1st place ($20K, $5K in legal services): Water Out Of Thin Air (WOOTA) (offering a way to turn moisture from the air into a clean source of drinking water)
  • 2nd place ($15K, $5K in legal services): InVitro SELECT (provides an innovative selection system for assisted reproductive procedures such as in-vitro fertilization)
  • 3rd place ($5K) Hidden Hand (a device that aims to improve the management of bleeding duringsurgery)