$50,000 prize winner, other winners announced for Skandy Awards

Washington University’s Skandalaris Center recognized more than a dozen individuals for creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship.

The Women’s Bakery, a startup that trains East African women to launch and manage bakeries in their communities, is the recipient of $50,000 in funding as the winner of the Global Impact Award from the Skandalaris Center for Interdisciplinary Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Washington University. The Women’s Bakery was founded by CEO Markey Culver, who received her MBA from Washington University in 2017.

The award was one of more than a dozen announced last week at the second annual Skandy Awards ceremony. The ceremony featured an address by outgoing Chancellor Mark Wrighton, who is taking on a role supporting Better Together, an initiative that seeks to merge the city of St. Louis and St. Louis County. Skandy Award honorees were recognized in remarks by Skandalaris Center Managing Director II (pronounced “Two”) Luscri, and Jessica Stanko, assistant director of programs for the Skandalaris Center.

Skandalaris Center awards in creativity were given to students Caitlynn Bohanon and Garrett Passamonti for their creation of an “Immersive Experience Program as part of the new Bear Beginnings orientation,” a Washington University new-student orientation program.

Also receiving an award for creativity was student Arnav Kannan, who creates video content that “captures the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship at WashU.”

Skandalaris Center awards in innovation were given to Dr. Phillip Cuculich and Dr. Jennifer Silva.

Cuculich is co-founder of Cardialogica: Ablate Smarter, intelligent software that provides a non-invasive way to fix heart rhythm problems using a beam of energy. The single treatment takes less than 10 minutes.

Silva is co-founder and chief medical officer of SentiAR Inc. SentiAR uses augmented reality to provide 3D holograms of a patient’s heart to help surgeons during surgery. In 2017, SentiAR raised about $1.1 million from a group that included St. Louis investors Biogenerator and Cultivation Capital. Last year, SentiAR received a $2.2 million grant from the National Institutes for Health.

Skandalaris Center awards in entrepreneurship were given to Ony Mgbeahurike and Danielle Wilsey.

Mgbeahurike, an MBA student at WashU, is founder of Good Soul Co.,  which imports a TigerNut food snack from Nigeria under the name Good Soul TigerNuts.

Danielle Wilsey, also an MBA student at WashU, founded The Confluence, a holistic restaurant incubator. The goal of the incubator is to reduce risks and improve capacity for entrepreneurs by “providing affordable restaurant retail space, industry-specific technical training and interactive community support.”

John Hardin, president of Acceleron LLC, received the Skandalaris Center LEAP Mentorship Award for his 40 years of leadership in the med-tech sector.

Cliff Holekamp, outgoing director of the Olin Business School’s entrepreneurship program, received the Skandalaris Center Excellence in Service Award. Holekamp taught the Hatchery and several other entrepreneurship courses at the university.

Skandalaris Venture Competition

Two startups split the venture competition’s $15,000 prize.

SpectraServe won first place and $10,000. SpectraServe applies the power of hyperspectral imaging technology to improve hospital economics and reduce patient suffering by increasing the reliability and speed of tumor margin assessment.

Illumino won second place and $5,000. Illumino is a surgical lighting company with a flexible, low-profile lighting option that provides more illumination for the surgical field compared to current light sources.

Both Illumino and SpectraServe received $1,000 Lyft gift cards, in addition to their prize money.

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