ST. LOUIS–Even if it weren’t housed on the first level of Washington University’s Simon Hall, one would know that the Skandalaris Center is in on the ground floor – both literally and figuratively.
“There’s the old fairy tale about the princess who goes around kissing frogs looking for a prince,” said Kenneth Harrington with a smile. “We sometimes say we’re in the business of kissing tadpoles.”
If so, Skandalaris has smooched plenty of baby amphibians over the years and more than a few have become royalty. Harrington, the center’s managing director, estimates the institution is involved with as many as 700-800 new business venture ideas a year. Since its founding more than a decade ago, that’s been Skandalaris’ raison d’être – to promote a culture of innovation by stationing itself at the headwaters of deal flow, the conceptual stage where ideas begin to germinate.