2017 was an incredible year for Sling Health St. Louis, and we saw our homegrown organization continue to push forward in our innovative way. Though the past five years have given us a strong backbone, we have been committed to steer away from complacency and constantly adapt to provide the best experience for St. Louis’ student-entrepreneurs.
Demo Day 2017
Demo Day 2017 put a spectacular finale onto the end of our ’16-’17 academic year. Over 200 attendees poured into CIC@4240 to watch 19 Sling Health teams representing 6 cities from across the country convene in St. Louis for their first-ever public presentations. Of 9 finalists chosen for the podium pitch competition, 6 came from our St. Louis chapter, including the 1st and 3rd prize winners! Where4Care, who is creating a mobile platform to better direct patients to the appropriate venues for their healthcare needs, took home the $2,000 third prize. InVizon, who is building a self-cleaning neurosurgical endoscope attachment, took home the $6,000 grand prize. We’re looking forward to doing it all again for Demo Day 2018 on April 13, 2018!
Sling Health Fellowship Program
After Demo Day, we were able to fund five interns to continue working on their projects through the summer. In addition to Ian Schillebeeckx, representing Where4Care, we supported Rohan Gujrati from SnItch, Jesse Weisberg from Therabotics, Amy Mirro, and Leon Xu from InSight.
The summer quickly rolled into our Fall recruiting season, and we are thrilled with the nearly 150 applications we received. In line with previous cycles, our applications spanned all stretches of WashU and SLU’s campuses, including the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, School of Medicine, Olin Business School, Program in Occupational Therapy, and many others. We also had applicants this year from the University of Missouri in St. Louis and the St. Louis College of Pharmacy.
We had the difficult task of choosing 15 student teams to make up our ’17-’18 cohort, and they have been in full swing over the past five months. Some of the exciting projects we are looking forward to this year include improving blood flow clamping during transplant surgeries, virtual reality for surgical education and training, and rapid point of care genetic screening. We are also thrilled to have partnered with the School of Medicine to tackle a problem that they have flagged as one of their most pressing: the opioid epidemic. Ray Henson and his team have taken this on and have begun designing a dosage tracking system to chip away at a nationwide obstacle.
It has been an absolute privilege to preside over what I consider the most unique and impactful student-entrepreneurship experience in the country. The team of individuals on our executive board who volunteer their time each day to make sure that St. Louis students can innovate are truly remarkable. As exciting as it has been to be a part of this saga, I’m thrilled to know that Sling Health STL will be fully in the hands of Rachel Goldberg. She has shared the leadership responsibilities with me for the past few months and has risen and grown as an incredibly effective leader. I can think of no one better to continue our reputation for repeated success and innovation in the next year.
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