​Making an Impact in the Startup Community

​STL ​Entrepreneurship. Economic Impact. Startup Experience.

The Center for Experiential Learning (CEL) partners with the startup community through three programs:

CEL Entrepreneurial Consulting Team (CELect)

Research from Mattermark concluded that St. Louis is one of the top five fastest growing cities for startups. Olin’s entrepreneurial programs are an integral part of the St. Louis startup community. From LockerDome to Sparo Labs, St. Louis startups are capitalizing on the opportunity to engage with WashU student-led consulting teams.

Engaged, Educated, Exceptional

Teams are drawn from students across WashU’s campus. Each four-person team has studied entrepreneurship and has applied to participate on a CELect project. The class is taught at the T-REX technology incubator downtown; however, CELect student consultants work with companies from all the entrepreneurial co-working centers, including Helix, CIC, and TechArtista.

CELect students want to work on challenging research-oriented management consulting projects for high-growth St. Louis area startups while getting the opportunity to engage with the founders and senior leadership.

Does Your Startup Qualify for CELect?

Your startup may be eligible if you:

  • Are a St. Louis-based early stage company
  • Have employees beyond the founders
  • Allow students to work directly with founders
  • Have outside funding

CELect by the Numbers (2018–2019)






Project Length


Students per Team

Testimonials for CELect

Founded in 2012, Hatchbuck is a fast-growing marketing automation software company for small businesses.

“We engaged the team to learn how we could best grow Hatchbuck. We asked them to evaluate our marketing, analyze the competitive landscape, and determine acquisition targets.” — Don Breckenridge, Co-founder and CEO, Hatchbuck
Read more about the project (pdf).

Metrics Clinics in Finance and Marketing

Focused on enterprises in the startup ecosystem, Metrics Clinics provide you with fresh thinking and strategic recommendations from talented WashU Olin students.

Metrics Clinic in Finance Teams of 4 to 6 students tackle your business challenges—from high-level strategy to detailed, in-depth analysis in specific areas. These consulting projects help you understand and build financial metrics to drive your business forward.

Metrics Clinic in Marketing Teams of 2 to 4 students dig into your marketing challenges and answer questions about the growth of your organization. The areas of focus include market and need opportunity, customer value, product and business model, and branding and marketing. To participate, your startup must currently be generating revenue.

Metric Clinic by the Numbers (2018–2019)






Project Length


Students per Team

Testimonials for Metrics

“The CEL Metrics Clinic is an obvious choice for startups. There is no better way to affordably have investor-ready financials prepared for your company.” — Marc Bernstein, Co-founder, Balto

How It Works

Step 1

Getting Started

Projects are conducted in fall and spring semester. To kick things off, contact the Center for Experiential Learning at cel@olin.wustl.edu or +1-314-935-4512. Ask for Amy VanEssendelft.

Fall semester Spring semester
Project Scope Defined
Team Starts Project»SeptemberFebruary
Final Recommendations»NovemberApril
Step 2

Student Consulting Begins

  • Students will choose the selected projects within the first week of each semester.
  • Your team of four students will contact you to kick off the project, which includes setting expectations.
  • Throughout the process, you have access to the CELect director and CEL personnel as needed.
Step 3

Final Presentations

  • Your student team submits a written report and presents its conclusions and specific recommendations to you and the class at the end of the semester.
  • You have the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback to help the CEL continuously improve our services while also helping students improve their skills for future endeavors.

CELect Has Partnered With:

Arch Grants
Invisible Industries
Nanopore Diagnostics`
Sparo Labs