Join the League
(of Extraordinary Entrepreneurs)
Join a Team: Apply Here

MGT 477E/577E Launching & Scaling New Enterprises
Spring 2023 – Wednesdays 4-6pm – 3.0 Credit Hours
Professor Doug Villhard


What is The League?

Technically it is an advanced entrepreneurship class. Functionally it is an accelerator for extraordinary WashU student entrepreneurs with a business idea.

What does it take to get accepted into the class?

Attend WashU as a student in any capacity. Have an idea/team that is ready to launch and scale. Or have a desire to join a student team that does. And, be approved by our selection committee. 

Why is it nicknamed The League (of Extraordinary Entrepreneurs)?

Because it’s an opportunity to work with some of WashU’s most successful alumni and friends. It’s your opportunity to join their league

In the past, we featured Jim McKelvey (Square), Andrew Rubin (Illumio), Jesse Pujji (Gateway X), David Eckstein (Menlo Security), Lori Coulter (Summersalt), JD Ross (Opendoor & Royal.io), Lee Fixel (Addition), Deborah Barta (BlockFI), Marc Bernstein (Balto), Chuck Cohn (Nerdy), Luke Saunders (Farmer’s Fridge), Amie Patel (Elevar Equity), Maxine Clark (Build-A-Bear), and Eliana Eskinazi (Wagr).

How do I apply? When will I be accepted?

  • 11/18/2022 – Founders/Students with business ideas can apply HERE. The deadline to apply is November 18th. Students interested in joining a team can mark their interest HERE.
  • 11/28/2022 – Acceptance Status will go out to Founders
  • 12/2/2022 – Students interested in being on a team are invited to apply and rank order their team choices
  • 12/8/2022 – Team Selections are sent out to students and founders.

If you have any questions or want to let us know you plan on applying, reach out to rianedwards@wustl.edu

How do the teams work?

You can apply with your own team. You can also apply to join a team. Accepted teams can look through the LinkedIn profiles of those who applied individually to consider inviting them to join your team. Long story short, you’ll form your own teams before the class officially starts.

How does the class work?

It meets weekly on Wednesdays from 4-6 PM. Each week one of our successful alumni will drop by to impart wisdom on a certain topic helpful to launching and scaling your company. Over the course of the semester, each student team will set goals for themselves specific to their company. At the end, each team will pitch real VCs and Angels for potential investment.

What resources are available to me once I’m accepted?

In partnership with the Skandalaris Center, you’ll have 24/7 access to the co-working space and the Center’s full resources. WashU also has partnerships with hosting companies such as AWS and Azure. Not to mention access to our database of mentors, advisors, industry experts, potential customers, and investors. We’ll help you apply for $1,000 from the Holekamp Seed Fund, for a $75,000 Arch Grant, and for acceptance to other accelerators. We also have a $30,000 pool of money each semester the teams can apply to use toward their startup ideas.

How is this class different from Introduction to Entrepreneurship or The Hatchery?

All of Olin’s entrepreneurship classes are fantastic. Introduction to Entrepreneurship is about discovering if an entrepreneurial career is right for you. The Hatchery is about learning what it takes to develop a competitive business pitch/plan. And this class is about actually launching and scaling a company. You are highly encouraged to take our other classes first, but students will be accepted into this class based on the efficacy of their idea, current traction, and specific skill sets they bring to the table that are desirable to startups. Taking the other classes is highly encouraged, but they are not a prerequisite if you can prove yourself to be “extraordinary.”

Who is Professor Doug Villhard?

Doug is also an alumnus of WashU, an innovator, founder, investor, and philanthropist who recently exited his software company and is now dedicated to teaching and investing in WashU startups. He is Olin’s Academic Director and Professor of Practice for Entrepreneurship. He works in partnership with Rian Edwards — Olin’s Entrepreneurship Program Manager — who is a great resource for connecting students to industry experts and potential customers based on your business idea.

Previous Teams have included :

ChiChi – Oatmeal made from Veggies. The Banza/RightRice of Oatmeal

Lightwave’s SlimFast – A line of USB-C PD standard chargers for laptops that will provide a more convenient travel experience for consumers through manufacturing chargers that are as slim as cell phones.

MiDoc –  An at-home medical device that allows physicians to remotely conduct lung and heart physical exams, revolutionizing the patient-provider telehealth experience and improving healthcare access, affordability, convenience, and quality.

Mozi – social media 2.0 that connects students for in-person activities

Pool – A mobile dating app that reinvents online dating as a social activity for singles to get help from their friends.

Sobriety Hub – A software application for sober living homes. Sobriety Hub enables Sober Living owners to make data-driven decisions to 1) serve their residents more effectively and 2) run their businesses more efficiently.

XChanger – Makes investing as simple as Swipe, Watch, and Play! We are building an all-inclusive financial community where our AI Algorithm personally recommends stocks for you to share and use in our brand-new investing tournaments!

Benchmark: Benchmark Learning is a high-quality, low-cost online tutoring provider for K-12 students currently specializing in math, English, science and coding tutoring. 

Lyfe Health: Lyfe Health is a cloud-based, A.I.-powered, universal-health-record platform where users can keep track of their health by aggregating all their health info into one, easy-to-use central location. 

Momint: Momint is a play-to-earn fantasy esports game; think NBA Topshot meets Fantasy Football, but for esports players. 

SecondHome: SecondHome is a service that makes the business of operating a home daycare simpler while also increasing access to quality and affordable childcare. 

Speak IT: Speak IT is like Siri for doctors: Our software increases efficiency of clinical workflow by enabling one’s voice to automate clicks in the electronic medical record. 

StockSwap: StockSwap is a social finance and gaming platform that combines the ability to share trades and thoughts about the market with daily fantasy for the stock market. 

Tylmen Tech: Tylmen, the size-verification platform, is on a mission to help customers shop for clothes online with confidence by utilizing sizing technology to show users exactly what clothes and brands fit them best. 

Utter: Utter is a Twitter trivia guessing game that is bring the viral moments online into the real world. #gamenightjustgotpersonal