WashU has a number of great non-academic student groups to help you find the path you want to take. 

The BALSA Group

The BALSA Group is an independent group consisting of graduate students and post-docs in the St. Louis area seeking real-world opportunities to experience the business of science. Projects are intended to help members develop transferable skills applicable to academic and non-academic career trajectories. Members partner with startups, entrepreneurs, and established corporations and institutions to deliver data-driven recommendations to guide business directions.

Members start off as consultants and work on a project over the course of six to eight weeks. Each project consists of three consultants, a project manager, and a project adviser. In each project, consultants develop proficiency in highly transferable skills including management and technology consulting, intellectual property, sales and marketing, research and development, and technology transfer.

The BioEntrepreneurship Core (BEC)

The BioEntrepreneuship Core (BEC) is a multidisciplinary organization aimed at fostering and promoting scientific innovation and bioentrepreneurship at Wash U. Their mission is to provide an educational forum for all students, post-docs, faculty, and staff regarding biotechnology based entrepreneurial opportunities and skills and to encourage relationship building between Wash U and the St. Louis entrepreneurial community.

Seminars, networking sessions, and coffee hours connect members and the community to bioentrepreneurial resources. BEC hosts a workshop series throughout the year leading up to the Bench to Business Challenge, a pitch competition held each spring.


IDEA Labs (Innovation, Design, and Engineering in Action) is a student-run, nonprofit bioengineering design and entrepreneurship incubator founded in 2013 at Washington University in St. Louis. IDEA Labs’ primary objectives are to develop a culture of innovation at Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, to teach students the skills and processes needed to invent and implement new biomedical technologies, and to develop novel medical devices targeting unmet clinical needs. Graduate, undergraduate, medical, business, and engineering students form teams to tackle unmet needs in healthcare delivery and clinical medicine. Teams are mentored by Wash U faculty, physicians, staff, and St. Louis entrepreneurs. Successful teams go on to form ventures and commercialize their inventions. If you are interested in joining IDEA Labs. consider applying to be a team leader or team member, or submit a clinical problem.

Is your group not listed here? Email SAC and let us know!