The Innovation Imperative

The impact of innovation at the UW

Throughout more than 150 years of history, the UW has demonstrated an extraordinary track record of inventions and discoveries with impact across the globe. Consistently ranked the most innovative public university in the world, there is no limit to what we can achieve.

Historic finish to 25th Dempsey Startup Competition

The Dempsey Startup Competition celebrated its 25th anniversary with surprise announcements and $90,000 in seed funding awarded to twelve student-created startups (detailed below).

Celebrating UW Asian/Pacific American innovators

In celebration of National Asian American, Native Hawai’ian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, CoMotion recognizes these UW researchers making significant impact in their fields.

Four UW researchers elected to the National Academy of Sciences for 2022

Four faculty members at the University of Washington have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences. The new members from the UW are: Elizabeth Buffalo, professor and chair of physiology and biophysics; Joseph Mougous, professor of microbiology; Dr. Jay Shendure, professor of genome sciences; and James Truman, professor emeritus of biology.

Celebrating UW Women Innovators

In celebration of Women's History Month, we recognize these UW researchers
advancing important innovations in patient care, surgical procedures, health policy, TB
treatment, and foster care. They all recently received CoMotion Innovation Gap Fund

Celebrating UW Black Innovators

In celebration of Black History Month, CoMotion is proud to recognize these UW researchers who are advancing important innovations in chemical engineering, environmental engineering, and mechanical engineering. Drs. Carothers, Ray, and Olanrewaju were recently awarded CoMotion Innovation Gap Funds.

The ‘golden age’ for research tools: Parse Biosciences raises $41.5M for single-cell tech

Alex Rosenberg was a postdoc at the University of Washington when he co-founded a new biotech startup in 2018 and took the helm as CEO. The company is growing fast: Parse Biosciences launched its first products last year and on Tuesday announced $41.5 million in new funding.

Startups and spinoffs

Every UW college and school has launched startups and created spinoffs. Since 1990, UW has spun out 258 companies. These spinoffs have raised over $7.9 billion in funding with $4.7 billion secured over the past five years alone.

Startup portfolio

Proprio employees, led by CEO Gabriel Jones, pose for a team photo. (Proprio photo)

Success stories

Startup success takes many forms – from standalone UW spinoffs and startups, to acquisitions of UW startups by leading companies, to licensing of UW IP to industry leaders for further development.

Learn more

Innovation happens everywhere at the UW

Getting started: Whether you are a student, entrepreneur, investor, or other community member, these Frequently Asked Questions will guide you in the right direction.


“Insights I developed at UW are what carried me forward towards running my own businesses.”
– Keisha Credit, Master of Science in Entrepreneurship ’18

Keisha Forbes

The innovation ecosystem

The UW Innovation Imperative empowers students and researchers to learn, discover and build solutions to tomorrow’s challenges. It encourages innovation by providing the space and opportunity for people from all backgrounds — from the humanities to the sciences, the poetic and the pragmatic — to connect, imagine and discover.

UW student Ewurama Karikari helps fellow students

Learn the skills

The UW offers a wide variety of educational and learning opportunities to build students’ skills in innovation and entrepreneurship.

University of Washington Foundation Board (UWFB) members attending the Global Innovation Exchange (GIX) deep dive at the CoMotion's Makerspace in Fluke Hall

Get hands-on experience

Innovation happens in every corner of the UW — and there’s no better way to expand your skill set than to participate in a hands-on kind of way.

Students learn in their classrooms on UW Bothell campus in October 2019.

Bring ideas to life

A strong community is critical for entrepreneurs to bring new ideas to life. Important milestones along the journey include mentorship, lessons from industry leaders and alumni, and pursuing funding opportunities.

Nueroscience Hackathon

Build your network

Join us for events that will open your eyes, push your boundaries, and grow your network. Some are open to the public.