From the Hatchery … to reality​​​​​​

​New rese​arch shows Washington University startups have staying power

Taking a great idea, product or technology from concept to reality is often a strenuous process, requiring business acumen and marketplace savvy. It’s a process that’s changing the landscape of St. Louis as the city continues its startup renaissance. It’s also a process to which Washington University in St. Louis is committed in teaching students, faculty and staff.


A new research project from the Skandalaris Center for Interdisciplinary Innovation and Entrepreneurship shows just how much the university has helped foster a lasting commitment to the concept of entrepreneurship and innovation on campus, in St. Louis and beyond.

According to numbers released by the Skandalaris Center, a unique course offered to all graduate and undergraduate students through Olin Business School called the Hatchery has had an enormous success rate when it comes to startups that continue to impact our community.

From 2008-2015, Hatchery startups have:

  • raised $33.8 million;
  • created 412 full-time positions; and
  • filed for 15 provisional patents.

A total of 170 projects have been supported by the Hatchery course since 2008. The Hatchery has assisted with 77 launches, 49 of which are still operating, equaling a 64 percent success rate. And the local impact of those startups also is significant to the community: 51 percent of all of the companies that came through the Hatchery were launched in St. Louis, and 33 percent of those are still operating.

“I am delighted by the resourcefulness of our students,” said Clifford Holekamp, senior lecturer in entrepreneurship and director of the Entrepreneurship Platform at Olin. “More importantly, my objectives for the course are still academic. My goal is to teach our students the lessons that will help them be more successful in any of their future endeavors — whether it be a startup right out of school, or a business initiative years down the road.”

To learn more about startup initiatives on the Washington University campus, visit Fuse​, the new website dedicated to entrepreneurship and innovation.