Saint Louis University

GrowingSLU Idea Submissions Narrowed Down to Top 20

After reviewing more than 300 ideas, the GrowingSLU Advisory Committee has selected 20 non-academic ideas and all academic-related ideas to proceed to the next phase of the program over summer. The next phase includes development of business plans and feasibility analysis for the selected ideas.  

In early fall the advisory group will meet again to determine which of the 20 non-academic ideas and academic-related ideas should be funded.

"The advisory committee has been thrilled with the response to this new program," said David Hakanson, vice president, CIO and chief innovation officer. "It demonstrates the creative and innovative spirit of the SLU community."

As an expression of appreciation, members of the SLU community who submitted an idea will receive $25 in Billiken Bucks. Listed below are the top non-academic ideas: 

Initiative Name (Number of related submissions)

Submission Information
Alumni Email (2) "Offer permanent email addresses or something equivalent for our graduates. Our students are proud to have studied at SLU and should be able to use our gmail account even if it has to be tweaked (e.g., Many schools do this already.  It is also a great way to keep in contact with our grads with SLU news and for fundraising."
Assessment Center for Students with Disabilities (1) "Opening an Assessment Center for Students with Disabilities (ACSD)"
Billiken Beer, SLU Wine (2) "Billiken Beer. The University should partner with one of the local breweries (Urban Chestnut, 4 Hands, Schlafly, etc.) or hold a contest among local independent or other microbreweries to create a specialty-branded beer that can be sold at sporting events (basketball games, etc.) and other venues around the city."   "Partner with a local winery to bottle a red and a white wine with the SLU label.  Could be sold around town as well as on-campus."
Billiken Consulting (2) Creation of a group focused on marketing, negotiation, contracting for individuals within the University who may wish to consult for external organizations.
Campus Catering Service (1) "Open a campus catering service. While boosting prestige in the public's eye, it can be quite lucrative. UMass Catering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst bills itself as the region's 'premier caterer.' . UMass Catering brings in $2.5 million annually through 500-plus events.   This would work great with our Nutrition program."
Concierge Medical Practice (1) "SLU should consider developing a concierge medical practice.  These types of practice have gained in popularity in recent years and offers an opportunity to create a new clinical funding stream for the university."
Continuing Education (2) "We propose a University-wide technology infrastructure for continuing education featuring a searchable repository of programs, registration system, and platform for delivering asynchronous learning. This system will enable departments that currently market continuing education in isolation to share centralized resources for the delivery of innovative programs that appeal to an expanded market. Continuing education is a viable means for SLU to increase revenue beyond tuition dollars."
Daycare (16) "I realize that variations of this idea have surfaced throughout the years.  One thing that is certain is the stress felt by parents to find safe, quality, and affordable daycare for their children.  We have a wonderful resource within our School of Education of students studying child development, specifically in our Early Childhood Ed program.  An on-campus daycare could fulfill certain educational goals of some of our programs, as well as provide a significant opportunity for faculty/staff and community parents.  I could envision a culturally and socially diverse clientele, receiving top-notch care, while in turn supplying hands-on learning experiences for our students."
Drone Wars (1) "Leverage Parks College expertise to create a competition using drones. Drones would battle for a flag in a defined battleground with obstacles and a height limit, it could be indoor as well. Teams from other schools would be invited to compete and television rights could be sold to a cable tv channel. The competition would raise SLU's national awareness and Parks College's reputation. Plus, TV money!"
High School Code Camps (1) "The university should begin intensive coding camps for elementary through high school students both regionally and nationally where there is an emphasis on computational thinking.   These camps could be year round or intensive summer retreats or both.  The students should be encouraged to return each year for progressively more advanced training.  These academies would be highly effective recruiting tools for the university as well as a source of revenue.  Promising apps, games, etc. should be identified and assistance provided by mentors for development, implementation, and marketing thereby providing another potential source of revenue.  A review of current programs in computer science should be undertaken to ensure relevance, practicality, and perhaps even certificates not requiring a four year degree leading to proficiency and potential job prospects.  An endowment should be created to fund underprivileged children thereby engaging and providing a service to the community."
Honorary Coach (1) "Offer donors the opportunity to be the 'honorary coach' of a men's basketball game, either by auction or a set donation level ($5,000, $10,000). The 'honorary coach' could sit with the athletes and receive tickets immediately behind the bench for his friends and family (so they can see him/her 'in action'). Other items could also be included (autographed ball, jersey, team photo, feature in game program, etc.). This could also be expanded to other sports, such as soccer and women's basketball, for a lower donation amount."
Increase Matching Gift Revenue (1) "Create a current list of (verified) matching gift organizations that support Higher Education. Query Banner to determine all donors employed by such organizations. Utilize marketing and stewardship departments to cultivate these donors as a target market. Use existing acknowledgment letters to thank donors for supporting matching gifts, adding any necessary disclaimers for the possibility of ineligible gift matches. Use catch phrases such as 'double your impact', etc., in acknowledgments. Include reply envelopes with mailings that include printed motivation/solicitation codes. Design and promote matching gifts effort on our website and our social media accounts. List our 'thank you's' for people and organizations that have supported the University with matching gifts."
Lunch Delivery (1) "Many times meetings and other pending projects leave little time for employees to leave their offices for lunch. When those days occur employees in Dubourg Hall will often call outside restaurants for delivery. I would like to recommend that Aramark or another University-sanctioned vendor create a mobile breakfast or lunch cart that goes floor by floor during peak hours so that staff can buy food, coffee, etc. It would encourage staff to purchase Billiken Bucks or to use their monies towards food purchased through the University. It also can promote healthy eating by offering fresh salad, sandwiches, fruit, etc."
Round Up SLU (1) "Garner new revenue by enabling customers at all Point of Sales locations within the SLU campus to 'round up' their purchases with a donation to SLU.  Any visitor, student, faculty or staff member who makes a purchase at a SLU bookstore, coffee shop, food vendor, or  Chaifetz , can make an instant, easy-on-the-wallet donation to SLU.   Round Up!: 1) encourages individual participation toward a larger, community goal; 2) fosters and celebrates a spirit of philanthropy; 3) provides measurable results that can leverage external support."
Secure Storage for Big Data (1) "With very little investment, SLUCOR has been able to develop a successful consulting practice serving clients in the health care sector.  We have identified a potential need for corporations to securely store health insurance claims data for their employees.  SLU would be able to charge a monthly service fee (aka, 'rent') for secure storage, based on size and offer services to update it. Warehouses, like this, are essential to employers who may change insurance carriers, brokers, etc...and need the ability to port the data to other partners on demand.  SLUCOR could also sell professional services for the analysis of this data as an add-on to data warehousing."
Solar (5) "Install solar panels on roofs of university buildings. 30% federal tax credit. Lowered and secured energy costs AND reduced environmental impact. Fit with Magis Strategic Plan: Initiative Four: Being an Innovator and Entrepreneur in All That We Do. We have a Center for Sustainability; let's lead the local community in going forward with this idea."
Student Businesses (10) Several ideas related to student-run businesses.
Technology Transfer (1) "The Center for World Health & Medicine's mission is to develop new therapies for rare and neglected diseases. We have been successfully advancing numerous projects and would like to propose the Center and SLU to spin out an 'Umbrella Company' to further advance lead drug candidates into clinical trials. The Umbrella Company would provide the opportunity for additional funding streams via SBIR grants and future licensing and royalty payments back to SLU through IP agreements to the company."
Trash to Treasure (1) "Each year, the Center for Service and Community Engagement plans the Trash To Treasure Program, which allows students moving out of the residence halls at the end of the year to donate materials they no longer need (furniture, appliances, clothes, etc.)  The St. Vincent de Paul Society picks up the donations, giving $750 for each large truck filled.   For this idea, we propose (working with Facilities, Housing and Residence Life, and other departments) to install permanent donation locations (provided by St. Vincent de Paul) around campus.  Students, faculty, and staff can bring items to these locations (which are equipped with sensors to let SVDP know when they are full), and then SVDP can pick up materials.  SVDP then pays SLU per pound of materials collected.  This not only generates revenue, but furthers environmental sustainability as well as helps SVDP accomplish their mission of helping the poor."

Please contact David Hakanson at or (314) 977-5353 for any questions regarding the GrowingSLU program. Additional program information is available on the GrowingSLU website:

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