Olin hosts St. Louis entrepreneurs at Startup Connection

  • September 25, 2023
  • By Suzanne Koziatek
  • 2 minute read

WashU Olin hosted entrepreneurs from across the region at the 2023 Startup Connection on September 20.

The event provides a platform for new business owners to spread the word about their startups and network with one another—and for aspiring entrepreneurs to gain some inspiration and practical knowledge.

Among the nearly 50 startup businesses showcased at the event were many launched by current and recent Olin students.  

One is Tossup, a platform offering a social approach to sports betting. Its four founders are WashU seniors, including two Olin students. Adam Haiken, BSBA 2024, said the team brought Tossup to the event to give it broader exposure. “We’re just launching now, and we wanted to advertise that we’re in beta testing,” he said. Their display included a QR code that attendees could use to access Tossup.

Haiken’s colleague, Max Williams, BA 2024, said the jam-packed event was a great showcase. “We’ve been set up for seven minutes and we’re really busy.”

The Tossup team has already taken their startup through Olin’s Hatchery business plan course and owners are currently participating in The League of Extraordinary Entrepreneurs accelerator class.

At last year’s Startup Connection, Izzy Gorton, BSBA 2025, and Chiara Munzi, BA 2023, had just launched ChiChi, their chickpea-based breakfast alternative. “It was a month into our startup,” Munzi said.

This year, their product is available online and in local grocery stores. “We’re hoping to get more people to learn about it and test new product ideas,” she said.

Like the Tossup owners, Munzi and Gorton have benefited from their connections to Olin and to the Skandalaris Center for Interdisciplinary Innovation and Entrepreneurship. “We’ve worked with them a lot,” Munzi said.

The Startup Connection is part of STL Startup Week, a series of events to promote and encourage St. Louis’ entrepreneurial ecosystem.

About the Author

Suzanne Koziatek

Suzanne Koziatek

As communications and content writer for WashU Olin Business School, my job is to seek out the people and programs making an impact on the Olin community and the world. Before coming to Olin, I worked in corporate communications, healthcare education and as a journalist at newspapers in Georgia, South Carolina and Michigan.

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