Washington University startups well represented at Arch Grants​

​Four of 11 grant recipients have university ties

The latest cohort of Arch Grant recipients was announced Nov. 12, and once again, Washington University in St. Louis had a strong showing among the selected startups.

Of the 11 business awarded $50,000 capital funding grants, four have direct ties to the university. They are:

Chrona Sleep, founded by Zimin Hang (BA ’14 and Ben Bronsther (BA’13), uses research-tested, low-frequency sounds to improve sleep quality. The sounds are emitted via a pillow insert that also utilizes an accelerometer to measure movements during sleep, providing data on sleep quality. Chroma Sleep formed in The Hatchery, an all-encompassing entrepreneurship course offered by Olin Business School.

Hummingbird Technologies is another business that got its start in the Hatchery. CFO Danny Varghese (MBA ’16) and the company vice presidents all are current Olin students. Hummingbird is an indoor self-contained gardening system that uses machine learning, special lighting, a hydroponic system and multiple sensors to monitor conditions to create the perfect growing conditions for plants.

Jimmy Sansone (BSBA ’10) founded The Normal Brand clothing line, focusing on versatile, durable Midwestern apparel and accessories for men and women. The line recently announced a partnership with the St. Louis Blues to make Blues-branded clothes that will be sold at Scottrade Center.

Mary Wolff (BA ’11) is CEO and co-founder of Taptl. The company invented and continues to develop interactive, transparent displays for storefronts, kiosks and office buildings. This new approach to display tech eliminates the need for projectors of any kind.

“It’s very exciting to see our students and alums compete so successfully for Arch Grants,” said Cliff Holekamp, senior lecturer in entrepreneurship at Olin and director of the entrepreneurship platform. “Washington University’s entrepreneurship students are finding fast traction off campus as shown by their success with Arch Grants,” he said.

Arch Grants​ provides cash awards and free support services to startups willing to headquarter their businesses in St. Louis.

For more information about the university’s commitment to entrepreneurship and innovation initiatives, visit #WashUFuse.

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